A finish is a finish

Ridwan Wagiet (centre) leading the bus just past the 20km mark.

Ridwan Wagiet (centre) leading the bus just past the 20km mark.

A finish is still a finish and receiving a medal proves it. This year’s Cape Town Marathon was my worst finish of the four marathons I’ve done – not that my other times were great – as I finished in a time of 6:28. In 2015, I ran the CTM in 6h04, while in 2014 I did the Peninsula in 5:58:04 and the CTM in 6:15.

I offer no excuses for these times and I am happy for those that do sub-2:30’s, 3:30’s etc.

The gist of it all is that we have participated and no-one can take it away from us. By merely standing at the start and responding to the gun is a testimony of our commitment, whether we bail during the race be it through injury or just tiredness – so aptly called “uit rafel” is of no consequence.

Some of us require coaching, some don’t. Some are just natural runners but what we all require from time to time is encouragement – “you can do it”, “looking good”, “not far to go” are but some common phrases used as encouragement.

My coach and good friend Isgaak Slamdien had a hard time with me once, cajoling me with “Kom aan”, “los die camera”, “hou op praat” and the favourite one “focus”. Then I say in my mind “hocus pocus”. Fatima van der Rheede is bit nicer with her “well done Mr Wagiet” and so on. Yep, sometimes our erstwhile coaches have no idea how it helps. So bravo to our coaches and mentors.

Some of your proteges have excelled, some just make the finish and some don’t but that’s the game and next week we are there again to endure the thirst, the cramps and the pain in muscles we thought never existed.

Thanks to my bus from which I alighted at bus stop 21, thanks to Mr Cramps who attacked me at bus stop 24 and thanks to the support along the way from all our sister clubs and our very own physio team Solonik.

My main source of encouragement during this CTM 2016 were our first timers and I salute you.

That is what the will to participate does to us.

So back to my worst time – yes Mr Cramps, you had me, you warned me to take the SlowMag, you said practice and put in the mileage – well I heeded some – but Mr Cramps the medal does not have the time nor the excuses engraved on it. It just means that the holder of that medal completed the marathon “warts and all”.

By Ridwan Wagiet

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