‘I have been a runner since 1983 when I was in the military service. I was hooked from the get-go and have since finished more than two hundred triathlons, over a hundred half marathons and fifty-four full marathons.
Running has clearly been an important part of my life. It’s something I’ll always want to be able to do – and I always thought I would be able to do. Until that Sunday the 17th of May, 2015.
That day I was enjoying a cycle ride, my bike training when suddenly a big dog ran across the street. In a flash, I was lying in the road with a broken hip and I felt devastated. I saw all my short- and long-term plans – an anniversary holiday we had booked for the family, my capability to practice sports - go up in smoke. I needed surgery and soon afterward, laying there on the living room sofa during my six-week recovery period, I realised that feeling defeated wasn’t going to help me one bit. I decided that looking forward was my only option; I wanted to keep my spirits up, and in order to do that, I needed to set myself new goals, even if it meant starting out by doing “only” a 5-kilometer run.
But I managed it, even within a year of the accident! And I wasn’t going to stop there. So in 2016, I joined in a 10-kilometre race and then a half marathon - and so on. Early this year I was operated on again, to have a surgical pin removed, but as soon as I recovered from that, I started training for a triathlon as well as a full marathon. Since then, I have finished two ¼ triathlons and a half marathon, so now it’s time to reconquer that full marathon!
It will not be same as it was before, of course; I can still feel the impact the accident had on my muscles. When I ran my last marathon, in March 2015, I finished in about three and a half hours, but now my only goal is to finish. The time within which I will doesn’t matter to me.
In 2014, the year before the accident, I felt like a superhero. But the fact that I was able to pick up where I left off, also makes me very proud. I hope I will finish this marathon and feel like a superhero again. That’s what we all need to do: to go ahead and… never look back!’