Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 143, July 2021 July 2020 - Page 4

THE ED ’ S DESK by SEAN FALCONER the ed ’ s desk
Sean Falconer

THE ED ’ S DESK by SEAN FALCONER the ed ’ s desk

Public Service Announcement

As I sit writing this month ’ s message , I am thinking back to last March , when the world was turned upside down as the country went into lockdown , events were cancelled , masks became mandatory , and we began using phrases like “ the new normal ” in just about every conversation . Now all the talk is about vaccines – my age group opened for registration just a week ago , and I will be going for my first jab as soon as this this mag ’ s deadline is behind me .

While Modern Athlete is not a mainstream news publication , this magazine still has a prominent voice within our running community , and thus I feel it is my moral duty as Editor to urge all readers to go get the vaccine . I know that some people do not want to do so , and I respect their right to hold a different opinion to me , but everything I have read about the COVID virus , and the vaccines , points to the jab being the way to go . My partner has been for her first one , with no side-effects ( and no 5G , take note ), as she qualified earlier thanks to her work profile , and I will be following suit soon .
In the meantime , the President has just announced that we ’ ve gone back up to Level 3 lockdown restrictions , and I was happy to see some trail event organisers immediately post that they will be ‘ opening up ’ with small events in the next few weeks . It has been refreshing to see how many trail events have still gone ahead over the last 16 months , and watching hardcore road runners give trail running a try has been both inspiring and entertaining . Of course , we all hope the virus will be contained soon , that life will go back to normal and events will come back , but until then , let ’ s mask-up , sanitise , socially distance and get vaccinated .
Good Reads for You
This month I interviewed two really inspirational athletes who ‘ operate ’ in very different environments . Both do a bit of running for fitness , but their main sport is very much not about running . The first is mountaineer Remy Kloos , who recently returned from Mount Everest , where unusually bad weather forced her expedition to turn back when oh so close to summitting the world ’ s highest mountain . The other is swimmer Carina Bruwer , who stays at sea level for her sporting endeavours , setting records and ‘ firsts ’ as she pioneers marathon routes .
Both of these athletes undertake their climbs or swims in order to challenge themselves , and it is fascinating to hear about mountaineers just trying to survive in the ‘ deathzone ’ above 8000m , or what goes through a swimmer ’ s mind when slowly stroking their way through shark-infested seas . However , Remy and Carina also go out to climb or swim to help others , and that makes their stories all the more inspirational .
Also , now that the Olympics have ( finally ) kicked off , we have included a special section covering SA ’ s contenders in the athletics , as well as golden memories of past Games and prospects of World Records in these Games . The athletics programme in Tokyo starts this coming Friday , 30 July , and I cannot wait to watch Akani , Wayde , Wenda , Precious , Dominique , Ruswahl , Kyle , Stephen , Gerda , Irvette and the rest of the team in action . I do not think that success in the Olympics is just about the medal count , because just getting to the Olympics put these athletes in the top 0.000000000001 % of the human population ( or something like that – I just made up a number that looked about right ), so no matter what happens , I will cheer for every one of our athletes , from heats to finals to ( hopefully ) podium ceremonies . Go Team SA !
Sean Falconer
Image : Nicole Hayes

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