Cape Town - With winter already at our doorstep, one might feel a little bit
derailed from doing what used to be a morning routine of keeping active and
staying on top of one's game.
But to help you avoid making any of the
"its-raining-cats-and-dogs" excuses, multi-award-winning marathon
runner, Elana van Zyl- Meyer, shares a thing or two about staying active and
winning this winter.
SEE: SA ACTIVE: Winter activities to check out across Mzansi
Van Zyl-Meyer, who isn't competing at the moment,
describes the feeling of winning as one of "satisfaction, joy and
relief", says it is not about beating your opponent but rather the
"race against yourself”.
Before becoming an ambassador for the Sanlam Cape
Town Marathon (SCTM), van Zyl-Meyer set the 15 kilometres road running African
record of 46:57 minutes in November 1991 in Cape Town.
Van Zyl- Meyer also held the half marathon African
record 1:06:44 hours, set in January 1999 in Tokyo and was the gold medallist
at the 1994 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and set world records in
that event in 1991, 1997, 1998, and 1999.
She chats to Traveller24 about her dedication,
passion and spirit of never giving up when it comes to running...
SEE: Africa gets its first gold-status marathon + plus 7 other
iconic marathons to add to your bucket list
Can you describe the feeling of winning a race?
It has always been a great feeling crossing the
finish line first in any race - a feeling of satisfaction, joy,
relief when the hard work paid off and all came together on race day. But every
single marathon I ran, does not matter where I finished, it has been as
rewarding - it is not about beating your opponent but rather the race
against yourself when you finish a marathon.
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What is your top marathon prep tip?
Enjoy the journey - make it fun, run with people
you like, run in beautiful places and enjoy the feeling of getting fitter
Best adventure or running escape or retreat you
like to take?
One of the best spoils, when you train hard for the
marathon, is to get a massage, relax in a Jacuzzi after a run on a cold winter’s
Have you ever done any other major marathon events like Boston or NY - if
so, what were they like and how did they differ from The Sanlam Cape Town
I have run 5 (Boston, London, Chicago, NY, Tokyo) of the 6 world Marathon
Every single one was an extraordinary but different
experience. You feel the vibe of the City and its people
The SCTM is also unique - running along the shadow of Table Mountain -
only IAAF Gold label event on the African continent.
HAVE YOU SEEN: PICS: The first cross-border run between Namibia and SA
looks so EPIC
Where are you headed next?
I do not do races at the moment but enjoy a run in
the mountains every single day that I can.
In your opinion, how does sport affect the economy of the country?
Big sports events definitely boost the
economy of our country. At the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, we had 20
000 runners that came to Cape Town to participate in the Marathon or 10 KM
Runners travelled from 67 countries all over the
world, they stayed in hotels and ate in restaurants in and around Cape Town.
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