Dankie Veja

The theme to this story of a guy who isn’t just a member of the run cru or a soft spoken guy who is the true reflection of dynamite comes in small packages, just has to be Aka’s Congratulate.

Veja is the hero with no questions asked. He ran the Comrades Marathon that happened a few weekends ago and this wasn’t his first. This champion ran eight marathons and relentlessly keeps going back to what a normal runner would call self-inflicted pain. This makes the words “no pain no gain” a real thing. Do you know the pain of running in general let alone the pain of running on the road. And he ran like Forrest Gump for 9 hours and 26 minutes flat.

“THIS RUNNING THING IS NOT EASY NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRAIN OR HOW MUCH YOU THINK YOU ARE USED TO IT”, said Veja.

Why run the comrades marathon?

“To start with I ran the comrades the first time as a dare when my friends said to me I wouldn’t be able to finish or run the comrades marathon, my reply was ngizonibonisa. After that I ran the comrades because it had become addictive. I enjoyed the pain that came with it and the whole experience of the event. Yazi there is nothing like people cheering you on from the sidelines there are not enough word to explain that feeling you have rushing through you as you run.” “And besides that I have always been a person who liked adventure and pushing myself through greater challenges, like how I completed the Warrior Challenge.”

What is going through your mind at the time when you are running?

“I just want to finish and that is it!!!

Obviously there are other thoughts of your life and everything else in between. But the main thing is wanting to see the finish line.” “But the comrades marathon as I know it is a race that isn’t about time but more of you as a person your threshold for pain and how you pace yourself. So you have all the time in the world to gather your thoughts.”

At what point did giving up become an option?

“ When you reach the half way point of 70km or so and your body just wants to give in. But when I realized that I had 20 minutes till it was cut off ngagijima kakhule mfana.” “But giving up is something that never escapes your mind while you are running, I guess the crowd cheering you on and when you see how close you are is what silences those thoughts.”

The Saturday after the comrades marathon had passed when Veja came back to run with Cru. The words of praise “Dankie Veja bade lam” and everyone being genuinely proud of him is what makes your eyes swell up with tears.  And think to yourself that it can take an ordinary person who is just like Veja who isn't a super human but had the drive, the passion and the will power to pull through the ultimate race any runner could run. This story could easily become one of adversity, overcoming dares and challenges that life throws at you with a mighty power punch. Also how dreams are not so far fetched if you believe and actually seeing your dreams come true. ..to be continued