Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 127, February 2020 - Page 6

Have Your SAY Got something on your mind that you want to share, a burning question you want answered, or a good story to tell? Then send it to letters@modernathlete.co.za, and add a pic if you can. Letters should preferably be no more than 300 words long, and pics must be high-resolution to be usable in print. (Note that letters may be shortened due to space limitations.) RACE TACTICS PULLED THROUGH INTO LIFE EDITOR’S PICK OH, CECILIA, LET’S GO FOR A RUN This is my friend Cecilia Voysey. A year ago she started walking around the block in the morning. I recently convinced her to do a race with me, on 15 January, the President Hyper Berg en Dal 5km night race in Krugersdorp. Although we finished last, Cecilia was so excited. When we came in, I told the person handing out the medals that this was her first race. They made a special effort to present her medal, placing it around her neck and thanking her for doing the race. Afterwards she was amazed that we could have a free glass of coke, and Cecilia did not want to leave. We sat down, just looking at the people, as she wanted to take in the vibe. The next day she called and thanked me, and said she hardly slept from excitement. What a privilege for me to guide her, and know that this will not be her last race. – Teresa Coetzee, Krugersdorp I still remember when I was 18 and taken to my first race by the two friends who were like older brothers to me. Here I am, 26 years later, still running, and still loving being part of the running community. Just love that you could introduce Cecilia to our wonderful community. – Ed. Teresa Coetzee with Cecilia Voysey During November and December, I had a bit of spare time on my hands and went back to running some short distance trail races, ranging from 12km to 20km. Actually, whatever was floating around, I entered. I even landed in a road race in Yzerfontein, running in and around this beautiful little West Coast gem. My plan was to use these races for recovery after my #WheresWillie2019 challenge, and to work on my speed, which is non-existent. In all of the races I took part in, I set out with the goal to finish in the top six, but sometimes everything does not go as we plan. One particular race we left the start line at a blistering pace and I was holding onto the heels of the younger, faster runners for dear life. Age is a bugger, but luckily, with age comes perseverance and knowledge… or so I am led to believe. At midway we went up this hill, and from lying third, I dropped down to fourth, then fifth, but I kept on pushing, and holding on for dear life. The leaders – namely runners one and two – were already out of site and I was fighting with number four, who I eventually passed. But number three just stayed out of my reach, which really disappointed me, as I was opening up, but there was no more speed left on my speedometer. Once we started to drop down towards the valley and the finishing area, runner three dropped another gear and sped away from me. I kept on charging, but then got passed by another speeding bullet... which in my mind dropped me to fifth, or so I thought. Anyhow, as in life, the other athletes were faster and stronger that day, but I kept at my pace until the finish. On crossing the line, I was asked for my name and told I was the third overall long course runner in. I replied, surely not, that I was fifth, or even sixth, but she assured me I was number three. 6 ISSUE 127 FEBRUARY 2020 / www.modernathlete.co.za I am no super athlete, but I have always said that I know how to push my body and mind to achieve my goals. In each of the four races I ran through this period, I learnt a valuable lesson: It dawned on me that running a road or trail race is like running our paths in life.