Friday 22 June 2018

42 Days of Running - done

This year, my annual pre-birthday game of running every-day-for-the-consecutive-number-of-days-of the-age-that-I'm-turning, passed quickly and in a bit of a blur. This past Monday marked my 42nd birthday.

It was definitely less 'impactful' than in previous years. With Rusty in my life I have achieved more of a balance that what I had in my late 30s and in the first year of my move to Parys. Come sun, rain or hail, I take Rusty out every day for a run or long walk or combination thereof (depending on what we did the day before). It's good for her and has been very good for me. I find it easier to commit to going good for someone else rather than for myself...

I did do a few more longer runs over the past 42 days than I had been doing. My body has always loved distance and I should 'feed' it more often.

Right now I'm down with a nasty cough and cold. Timing is never good for any cold but I'm a bit peeved because Rusty and I have been running so well. This week I've been reduced to long walks as my body fights the infection.

Walking on the nearby golf estate. This bridge is lovely but the metal grid is not at all dog friendly. I'm carrying 21kg of love. Must say, I do delight in carrying her because it is the only chance I get to give her a full-body cuddle.
That's the end of this year's birthday game. Until next year's '43 Days of Running'.

Monday 4 June 2018

Hazel is running Ten10 again

On Sunday afternoon I enjoyed the special opportunity to run bit less than 20km with Hazel on Day 3 of her Ten10 challenge.

This is Hazel's 5th year of running 10 x Comrades distances (90km/day) from JHB to Maritzburg, with the 10th being Comrades itself. She started running on Friday and yesterday, Day 3, ran to Parys. Karen and I went out to meet her on the road, running with her to the day's finish.

Hazel, Karen and me. Photo taken while running!
Also running this year is Cornel. This is her first Ten10 and she is running incredibly well. She seems to have a natural knack for distance.

Hazel has been involved with animal shelters, having rescued a good many dogs while out on runs. She has provided homes for some, found homes for others, rushed to vets and raised funds for sterilisation programmes and to assist shelters with food.

While we were running yesterday she told me about a runner that she met recently who, while he was out on a run, saw a puppy being chased and stoned. The puppy appeared to have deformed front legs and it was being abused by a group of men. He rescued the puppy and has adopted it. As it turns out, the issue with its legs were purely due to malnutrition, which corrected within two weeks. When he saw the puppy being abused, the guy asked himself, "What would Hazel do?". He has named the puppy Hazel.

And then last week she got a call from a running friend to say that children were abusing kittens that had been born to a feral cat near a block of flats. Hazel dropped her girls off at school and got there about 45 minutes later. Apparently a 10 year old boy has smashed in the face of one kitten and was in the process of skinning it when he was stopped. Other children were looking on. Another kitten had been hung by its scruff on a barbed wire fence. Hazel says fortunately she did not see the state of the first kitten - the police had been called to intervene. When she is done with this challenge she will address this issue with the children's school and work with them to teach children about animal welfare.

Hazel is one of the bravest, strongest and most capable women I know.

You can donate to the shelters that Hazel has nominated through the Ten10 website. Or you can do your own thing by donating to your local shelter or by dropping off dog/cat food for the animals that they protect.

And, if you have the capacity, consider being a forever home to a shelter animal.

And, sterilise your animals. Neither you nor they need to have puppies or kittens. Shelters are overflowing.

Follow Hazel and Cornel on their journey and if you're in the area where they are, catch them on the road and give them a cheer or run a few kilometres with them. You can follow their movements on live tracking at