UPDATE: On 25 February 2018 I ran my first ever marathon, the Deloitte Pretoria Marathon, in 04:58, thereby juuuuust managing the required qualifying time for the Two Oceans 56K Marathon. When I set out with this unlikely goal in August 2017, my first thought was to try to run the Two Oceans and I managed to secure an entry for this gorgeous and insanely popular race, but then I found out that, since at 56 kilometers (35 miles) the Two Oceans is an ultra marathon, I have to run a qualifying 'regular' (NOTHING regular about it, man!) marathon of 42 kilometers (26 miles) first. Well, I somehow managed, and now this couch potato is heading to Cape Town at the end of March to run the Two Oceans Marathon! This is simultaneously a dream come true for me and a point that I honestly never thought I'd reach.
I think my mom wouldn't have had a moment's doubt that I could make it, and at this point probably would have told everyone and the postman that her daughter ran a full marathon and is going to attempt to run the Two Oceans. In her honour, I am still raising funds for the Joost van der Westhuizen's foundation for MND (ALS). Thank you so much to everyone who already donated, it means the world to me and to the foundation. If you could please consider donating, even if just one dollar, it would go a long way towards not only helping sufferers of this debilitating and life-shortening disease, but also driving research on this severely under-researched condition.
More about the Joost van der Westhuizen Centre for Neurodegeneration: https://www.facebook.com/J9FoundationJoostvdWesthu...
And their posts about this campaign: https://www.facebook.com/J9FoundationJoostvdWesthu... and https://www.facebook.com/J9FoundationJoostvdWesthu....
In August 2017 I got it into my head that I want to run a marathon in honour of my mom (who passed away in June after a protracted battle with motor neuron disease) to raise funds for an MND/ALS research and support charity.
A few months ago I truly was a bona fide couch potato (the last time I had run properly before all this was doing track and cross country when I was 15!), but, since August, I've been training like maaaaaad (so far, lazy little legs are holding up OK) and I managed to run a half-marathon in a decent time (2:30) at the end of December.
My first goal is to complete the Pretoria Marathon (26Mi/42K) on the 25th of February 2018. This would be my first ever full marathon. If I can complete the marathon in sub 5 hrs, I will also qualify for the insanely beautiful and popular Two Oceans Ultra Marathon (35Mi/56K) in Cape Town, for which I have managed to secure an entry (but still need to qualify!) and which is my second goal to complete. FYI, the Two Oceans 56K will take place on 31 March, but let's see how the marathon goes first, huh?
So, friends, family, casual acquaintances, not-so-casual stalkers, and strangers, this is where you come in. I am raising funds for the J9 Foundation, founded by late rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen, who was diagnosed with MND in 2011 and passed away in early 2017. I cannot overemphasize how awful and debilitating motor neuron disease is; it causes severe nerve damage and complete muscle wastage and, thus far, there is absolutely no cure or solution for ceasing the progression of this life-shortening condition. The work of an organization such as the J9 Foundation is so, so important, not only for raising awareness about and contributing to research on MND/ALS, but also for offering a support network to those affected and for providing assistance to people who would not otherwise be able to afford the equipment and care needed to, as the disease progresses, compensate for the loss of basic bodily functions such as moving, talking, swallowing and breathing. The work of this organization in driving and supporting research and helping those affected retain quality of life for as long as possible is particularly needed in Africa and in South Africa.
If you could please, please, please consider sponsoring me on this absolutely insane endeavour by making a donation, no matter how big or small, it would mean so, so much.
You can see the J9 Foundation's post about my campaign here: https://www.facebook.com/J9FoundationJoostvdWesthu... and read more about the foundation here: http://joost.co.za/.
If you want, you can also check out my Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/muchloveillona/, which I will be spamming with training updates and, come February 25th, live race pictures and videos.