Q. Who are you and what do you do for a living? 


My Name is Gaopalelwe R Mekwa. I am a 28 Year old Merchant living and working in the Sandton Area. I am an artisanal baker and cook when I am not running.

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your personal life?


I have a strict schedule that gives time to both work and exercise. During the week I run before work and on weekends I run Park Run on Saturday and Sundays I do a Long Run or Run a timed race.



Q. When and why did you start running?


 I started running in March 2017 as a way to get back in shape and I have been hooked ever since

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?


I am part of a small, sociable but motivated group of runners, we even have a WhatsApp Group, we run Park Runs, Enter Races together and we have breakfast after our big races. I am also motivated by the runner’s high and sense of accomplishment that comes at the end of every run.






Q. What is the longest distance you've ran?

23km

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets? 

My routes are generally safe, I enjoy the mental challenge of running outside and I love the experience of being on the streets: the fellow runners, the sights and sounds. No run is ever the same.

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?

I think because we live in a demanding fast paced world where we are all juggling work, studies, social lives and other interests exercise takes a back seat. I truly believe that our bodies were made to move and we were designed to have a physical experience on earth, it is concerning and sad that some people will never know the joys and benefits of exercise.

Q. What was your best running experience?

My best running experience was completing OLD EDS 21km in less time than anticipated and having my friend take pics as I ran across the finish line. It was my first ever timed 21km



Q. what was your worst running experience?

I ran a 10km run just after I had started restricting carbohydrates which was a mistake of note. I was slow and sluggish during the run and I hit a wall. The fact that I had not had enough sleep the night before did not help.

Q. How do you push through the pain?

I am fortunate enough to not experience pain during my running. It is usually slight discomfort that fades with time. I am running my First Comrades Marathon next, you can ask me this question then because I will know pain.

Q. What advice can you give someone who wants to start running? 

The best advice would be: Start slowly, join a Park Run, Put money towards a few races, eat and enjoy running. In order to run well you need consistency and discipline over time.

Q. Social media sites

My social media Contact

Twitter: @Mekwa_Money

Instagram: Mekwa_Money


#RunRevolution



Q. Who are you and what do you do for a living? 

My name is Sarah Flinton, but my close friends call me Flinto. I'm from Sheffield, Yorkshire but I've lived abroad for the past few years now. I have danced all my life and I studied musical theatre at a drama school instead of university. 
When I first started running I was performing in Disneyland Paris where I worked for a year and a half. Now I'm a touring actress with the White Horse Theatre Company in Germany; I play Desdemona in 'Othello', Billy in 'Billy's Friend' and Silvia in 'Two Gentlemen'. I'm touring Germany until July 2018, in these three plays. 


Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your personal life?

I'm automatically a very active person, alongside performing I am a qualified personal trainer so fitness is really important to me. I tend to have a schedule for a week in my diary and just work around life in general.
Whilst in rehearsals in Germany I got my cast to do a 'run club' in the morning, I think involving friends in exercise helps make it fun and more interesting. Doing a marathon is a tough challenge, so being able to run with friends and know they support you is incredibly motivating. 
Whilst I was working in Disney I would just run home from work, after dancing a hard parade I would already be sweaty but I wanted to push my body to the limit so I would skip the bus and jog the thirty minutes home.

Q. When and why did you start running?

I started running in the Summer of 2015 when I wrote a bucket list and had the London Marathon on it. The reason I chose this marathon in particular was because I'd seen my dad run it a few years previously. I stood at the finish line for hours and I remember how proud and emotional I felt that day. My dad ran in memory of his dad, Neville, who sadly lost his long battle with Alzheimer's. 
I remember back in drama school when we were sent on runs for 20 minutes and I was struggling, I remember one day having a panic attack because I thought I couldn't do it, it seems silly now that I thought 5k was difficult back then. It's strange because I was at my fittest dance wise, but running was just entirely different. 


My dad started taking me on runs and it slowly got easier. I would run around the French countryside in Summer and it was freeing. I got a charity place for the London Marathon 2017 in about October. I was to run for The Children's Society and I had amazing support from the charity. From then, I just got myself committed to running, made a training plan and I liked that there was some organisation into my fitness again. 

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

Oh there has been plenty of times I've felt unmotivated. I often message my dad; "is it bad if I skip this one" and he'll reply saying something like "just go and see how you feel". And he's right, the idea of running in French winter at minus degrees was horrible. But once you're out the door all you have to do is move your legs. 
When I was training for London I felt motivated by the idea of running past Buckingham palace and down the mall with cheers on either side... gives me butterflies just thinking about it. 
My second marathon was to be Berlin 2017, and I was running for Alzheimer's Research, so my grandad pretty much got me round those 26.2 miles and out the door for all of my training runs. 



A great book I read that motivated me was 'Running the Smoke' I highly recommend it. 



Q. What is the longest distance you've ran?

London And Berlin Marathon 2017



Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets? 

I'll admit, whilst working for Disney, I hated co-workers or friends seeing me in my running kit. A co-worker saw me in my big running shoes and laughed at me saying they were ugly. I wanted to slap them and say "Train for a marathon then you can judge my shoes you idiot" 
But i just got on with it, wore my big ugly trainers and got my music on and ran. I tend to wear a cap to hide my face, normally running is my time to myself, so I like to just zone out and not let anyone notice me. 
I've got more confident after London because people notice your fitness, I've had people often comment on how fit I am and of course that makes me feel good and want to do more!



Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?

I hate not exercising, even taking rest days stresses me out because I feel like I'm not improving.

Q. What was your best running experience?

Running on the London Bridge got me pretty teary eyed along with the last few miles. Surprisingly I felt strong at the end and found myself overtaking and being able to run faster, that felt good, really good. 
Nothing can prepare you for the crowds in London, they get you round. 
I watched the documentary 'Mind Over Marathon' and it really hit home with me, so when I ran next to a few of the guys I couldn't help but tell them how amazing they are. 
In Berlin I managed to shed my time down a lot, that felt pretty amazing looking up at the clock when I passed the Brandenburg gate at the end. 



Q. what was your worst running experience?

I went for a long run with my dad once and just had a panic attack because I thought I couldn't do it. I ended up walking home crying and just collapsing in the bathroom. 

My ankle has stopped me a few times, I broke my ankle on a trampoline years ago but it's still weak, occasionally it really kills, and I've had weeks when I can barely walk and that has really upset me. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?

Decent music, a good audio book, friends. There's so many distractions, it's just finding the right one for you. In London my friends and family chose my music so my playlist was making me laugh out loud most of the time. 
And of course... a decent massage and a beer



Q. What advice can you give someone who wants to start running? 

Get decent shoes, go to a proper running shop and get your feet fit if you're serious. Your trainers should be a few sizes bigger if you're doing long distances. 
Find a running buddy who will run with you occasionally. 
Read 'Running the smoke', people's reasons for running are so motivating and all very different. 
Sudocrem your feet to avoid blisters... this works a treat.
And finally... if your legs give up, run with your heart. 



Q. Social media sites:

 Instagram @sflinto
Snapchat: @sarahflinton
Twitter: @sarahflinton 

#RunRevolution

Q.Who are you and what you do for a living? 

My name is Steven Artemiw. I'm 36 from Toronto, Canada and the owner of Bond Running & Coffee (bondrunning.com). I'm also a co-founder of Parkdale Roadrunners (parkdaleroadrunners.com). 




Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?

I'm fortunate to work in a running store, so running is part of my work responsibilities. We host runs every single day. It's a new business so from time to time I do find it hard to balance my quality sessions because I spend a great deal of time running to encourage other people to run. But I'm getting better at that.


Q. When and why did you start running?

I started running in 2007 after suffering from a drug overdose. It was the only thing I could do to get my life back on track. It didn't cost money or need special equipment. It was something I could do with motivation and nothing else. 


Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

In the early days my motivation was just knowing that I needed to get out there in order to stay clean and get healthier. At this point, after running for 10 years if I really don't want to run I just listen to my body and I don't run. After a couple of injuries I'm a big proponent of listening to your body. 



Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?

I've run two marathons and that's definitely the furthest I've ever run. But running marathons, I've learned, just isn't for me. I prefer to run shorter distances. I really, really enjoy the 5K and recently the half marathon. 

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?

I kind a get a kick out of running through rain and snow storms late on a Friday night and the looks that you get from people. I feel like there are two types of people that you encounter when you're out running on the street; those that either are or were runners and totally get it, and those that wish they were and are envious that you have the motivation to do it.



Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?

As humans we come by laziness honestly. It's instinctual. If you don't need to chase your food, or run to avoid becoming another animals food, your brain will tell you to save your energy. But we can all benefit from a little physical activity.




Q. What was your best running experience?

I spent a couple days down in Death Valley at the end of 2016 and it was really enjoyable running down there. Tough, but so much fun running through the canyons, and camping. I'd say that was by far my best running experience 


Q. What was your worst running experience?

I can't really think of something that I would classify as my worst running experience. Even my worst run ever was still better than any night I ever had as a drug addict. 


Q. How do you push through the pain?

If we're talking about actual pain in training, I don't run if I'm actually hurt. If we're talking about the pain of a race and it's all mental and you know that race is gonna be over in 20 minutes or 90 minutes or whatever, I push those thoughts aside through breathing and mantras. But actual pain, I don't push through it. That's not worth it. Running isn't supposed to hurt like that.



Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?

Legit, just start. If you're afraid of people seeing you, do it at night or early in the morning. Whatever your hangups are with it, avoid them until you're comfortable. But just start! If you've got the confidence, join a running group. There's nothing better you can do for yourself than joining a running group. But if you need to get out the door on your own, if you can't find a beginners group in your area, just do it on your time. Don't sweat it. Don't think about what the people looking at you are thinking. Just start. It will be the best thing you've ever done for yourself.



Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you? 

I'm on instagram as @stevenartemiw and @bondrunning.

#RunRevolution

When did you start running?

I started running in July 2016, a few months after moving to Joburg.

How did you start running?

When I was still living in Cape Town I reconnected with my high school friend through Instagram. I noticed that she was an avid runner, with lots of accomplishments. She also had this aura of happiness around her when running; it was so contagious I wanted in. Also, I was grossly out of shape, having been inactive for months. I needed to shed weight as well.

Why did you start running?

For three reasons, I wanted to lose weight, I needed a hobby as I was new in the city and I also wanted in on the happiness runners seemed to have.


What do you find to be most rewarding about running?

That feeling of accomplishment after the race. Knowing that you faced hardship and managed to see it through, that feeling when you reach the finish line and holding that medal at the end.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about runners in general?

I think non-runners in general think runners are suckers for punishment who have lots of time in their hands. This is far from truth, I think runners are realists; they know and acknowledge that running isn’t easy, they put effort in training knowing they will reap the benefits in the end. These benefits, contrary to popular belief, aren’t restricted to weight loss only, but to general well- being, body, mind and soul. Running for me is spiritual too, I get to reflect on my life, I meditate and reconnect with  my Maker and every time I get to the top of a nasty hill I reassure myself that I can conquer whatever challenge I face in life.



How have you trained for Soweto Marathon?

I have done a few long runs over the past couple of weeks, a few half marathons as well as mid-week runs

What is your message to fellow Soweto Marathon Runners?

You’ve put in the effort, now go out there and have fun! Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!


How can people follow you on social media?

I’m on Instagram. Search for @justcallmeyandi



#RunRevolution




Q. Who are you and what you do for a living?

My name is Montaser Ibrahim, I’m 27 years old, I’m a Civil Executive Engineer, I’m working in one of the structural projects in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?

It’s not an easy as you know especially under my circumstances of my career, but fortunately I adore the running, I found myself and the inner peace in running, usually I run at night not day because of my working period time (8am to 5pm), but if I got an exhausted day and find myself cannot run at night, next dawn I must woke up and run after the sunrise, For me I prefer to run early after the dawn when the fresh air and the natural amazing view of the sunrise from the Red Sea. 

My average runs per week are 3-4 runs. 

Q. When and why did you start running?

I started to run in 2013, I read a post on Facebook about the importance of running and the publisher was Tenth Runners, it is a group of amateur runners in my city where I live (10th of Ramadan City), I loved the idea and went with them and from this point my trip with the running was started.

The main reason for me to run was losing my weight, when I started running my weight was 91 Kg, now It is 70 Kg 

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

My first motivation factor is Nike+ app, I got a lot of good friends who are very lovers to running, to be honest I feel jealous sometimes when I found one of my friends ran a longer distance than me or faster, you know it’s the good competition between the friends. 

The second is my concern about my health and the internal organs of my body, I feel that my heart, lungs, liver that will thank me when I get older. 



Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?


My longest distance was 30 Km, I remember that day, It was 8-Jan-2016, my time was 3:05:51.

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?

A lot of people encourage me when I run, I love their concern, yesterday for example the cashier in the super market beside home stopped me and asked me to give him advices to start running and losing weight 

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?

Everybody must do some exercise, any exercise you love it, just move your body to live healthy.



Q. What was your best running experience?

I love running in groups not lonely, so my best running experience was in Sharm El Sheikh International Half Marathon on 24-Mar-2017. It was an amazing race

Q. What was your worst running experience?

It was the first attempt to finish 21 Km without any stops, it was so hard for my body to handle with this long distance, but now I finished about fifteen or twenty half marathons. Now I don’t remember the exactly number. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?

I just focus on the finish line and always remember my fiancĂ©e when she wishes the success for me. 

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?

Just do it, you never regret.


Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?

You can follow me on twitter: @_montaser_

#RunRevolution

Q. Who are you and what you do for a living?
My name is Manuel, but you can call me Robim. I'm a guy who is always looking for new things to do, new ways to do them and new people to do them with. Right now I'm studying to become Personal Trainer, which is something I recently found out to be a big, huge passion of mine. But I've been doing lots of different stuff over the past 10 years, from Design to DJing, and I still manage a small music label and do live electronic music concerts once in a while. I also love Football, and my role model is Cristiano Ronaldo.



Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?
Well, right now my exercise regime IS becoming my professional life, but I still have to separate things, so I have to be very strict, and plan things very carefully. Once I start actually working as a PT, I will have to balance my work load and my free training load, so I don't run out of energy, or worse, get injured. It's definitely a challenge, one I'm most certainly up to.

Q. When and why did you start running?
I can't exactly remember, but I know I have been running since I was very young, probably, 12-13 years old. I used to do cross country running along with my school team, and after that I just kept running for pleasure. And that's how I do it now, you know? I rarely do long distances, no more than 10K, since I have lots of other activities I enjoy doing. Still, running is up there among my favourite ones.

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?
My inner motivation, which luckily I've always had very present and liquid in me, is always firing some sparks for me to move, to never stop. If I'm physically fit, then I will do it. I have a very strong focusing capability, specially when it comes to exercise, so it's only natural for me that I get up and start doing whatever I had set out to do that day.

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?
I ran 15K once, some years ago. As I said before, I don't enjoy running long distances. I used to be a sprinter, and frankly nowadays I will rather run around 5K and try to do my best time within that distance than go about running for longer. That's also due to my training regime, which is mainly anaerobic (maximum and sub-maximum efforts within shorter periods of time, using more energy substracts from muscles and less oxygen). As I keep saying, it's all about balance.

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?
That freedom one feels when running outside, that feeling of being capable of going wherever one wants, using only one's body and nothing more. The sensation of wanting to go faster, or slower, it's unique. Can't really describe it with words, but if feels like poetry to me. Any physical activity feels like poetry to me, raw movement is such a pure form of expression.

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?
I honestly think it's tragic, and what really scares me is that most people are not really aware of what it causes. And that same amount of people also have a very strict negative opinion about exercise, and it's not particularly correct, quite the contrary. Exercise is mainly about health, it's not about getting yourself to the very limit every single time your doing something. Leave that for the professional athletes. For the common people, it's mainly about maintenance, of the body and of the mind. And the mind needs the body to be in motion, otherwise it will also lose some of its abilities. Balance your daily healthy dosage of exercise with some nice and clean nutritional habits and you will extend your quality of life for many years. Get on moving, now!

Q. What was your best running experience?

Every summer I spend my holidays in the south of Portugal, Algarve. And every summer I have wonderful running experiences, with a mix between running on the beach and by the seaside in small towns, always with amazing weather. This year, though, last month, I probably had my best running experience. It felt better than ever before, I ran more consistently, I was able to command my body more accurately, and I enjoyed every second of it, even in effort as you might guess, cause I was pushing myself to test my resistance capabilities. I did my best KM splits ever, as a result of the training routines that I've been patiently following for the last 6 months. It's paying off - best physical form of my life!

Q. What was your worst running experience?
Not really sure, but I think it was 3 or 4 years ago, also in Algarve. I felt out of shape, out of rhythm, out of sync. Exactly how I hate to feel, incapable of testing myself to the limits I set out to reach. It felt awful, I ran 2K and had to stop. Never had happened to me before, never happened to me again ever since.

Q. How do you push through the pain?
I focus and think about my goals. I visualize the best version of myself that I'm yet to achieve. And I KNOW I have to keep going, no excuses are valid at that point. It is when you feel the pain that you must keep going, that is when you're reaching new levels. That's exactly when you are improving, and I always think about it, and keep on going. Many times I think that it's going to be hard, but doable, so it's cool! I know that I'm gonna do it, so I just do it, and I will rest later. It's all about focus and discipline. About wanting it more. Playing hard, working harder.

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?
Prepare yourself for that task. Running ain't easy, and it certainly can be bad for you if your body isn't ready. Before running long distances on a medium intensity, run short distances on a medium/high intensity. Do some extra physical work. Train your muscles, arms and legs, and specially work HARD! on your core. The core is the central part of your body, every muscle surrounding your vital organs, and back muscles. Without them you'd be a messy blob. Have your core well tuned before you start running, because it's the one thing that will help you avoid injuries, particularly in the knees and spine. Think about it, running is repeating one movement thousands of times, with impact and pressure, and not a lot of amplitude in it. The more work you put into your core, the better protected you'll be for this kind of task. And if you LOVE RUNNING, LIKE I DO, you're gonna wanna do it for as long as you possibly can! So do it responsibly, and in a healthy way. That way, you'll be running for years and years, feeling like a feather in the wind.

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?

The one that I use most of the times is Instagram, feel free to follow me: @manuelderobim

I also have Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/m.robim), and a SoundCloud page with some of my own musical pieces (https://soundcloud.com/oldmanual) - prepare yourself, it's not your ordinary summer hit!

You can also follow my electronic music label through Bandcamp (https://avnlrecords.bandcamp.com/), with lots of fresh young artists from Portugal and other parts of the world!

#RunRevolution

Q. Who are you and what you do for a living?

Hi! My name is Casey and I was born and raised in Grandville, Michigan. I grew up playing volleyball and I went on to play in college at both the University of Memphis and Butler University. I moved out to Los Angeles (where I currently live) after graduation and have been working in the financial services industry. 


Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?

I’m not going to lie, it can be a bit of a challenge, but I try to place a priority on making sure that I can get my exercise in during the day. I usually end up doing some kind of gym workout or run after work, but on the weekends, I am a huge fan of group fitness classes or early morning runs.


Q. When and why did you start running?

I didn’t start running for exercise until after college (before that it was always a coach imposed punishment). I always hated running and it wasn’t until I moved out to California and a friend convinced me to do a 10k that I started to incorporate it into my schedule. 

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

I try to remind myself of how good I feel after a run. That immense feeling of accomplishment that comes from a run is definitely addicting!



Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?

26.2 miles. I ran the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon in 2016 - it was an amazing experience!



Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?

I think I’m generally so focused on finishing the run that I don’t generally worry about it too much. 



Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?

Exercise can have such a powerful effect on your life and not just in the physical sense. For me, my exercise routine helps to make me feel less anxious and stressed. Not everyone wants to run, but there are so many great ways to stay active like walking, sports, hiking, swimming, and all the countless new classes gyms are putting out. I recently started boxing and I absolutely love it. I also think it’s so important to expose children to exercise early and show them just how much fun it can be!

Q. What was your best running experience?

Probably crossing the finish line at the marathon in San Diego. It was so surreal to think of all of the training that went into that moment. My best friend was there at the finish line and I felt so grateful to be able to complete the race and share that moment with someone.



Q. What was your worst running experience?

During the training for the marathon, I developed hip bursitis that made me have to sit out for part of my last month of training. I remember the last run that I did and having to stop after mile two because I was in so much pain. It was really hard to take the time off to heal, but I knew it was necessary if I wanted to be able to run the race.

Q. How do you push through the pain?

One of my best friends is also a runner and he introduced me to the idea of a “running mantra.” It’s a quick and easy phrase that you repeat over in your head to help get yourself through. For me, I repeat the phrase “Dig” or “Dig it out.” It’s something that reminds me to dig deep and push until the end!


Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?

I would say that it will probably be a struggle in the beginning, but if you can get past that initial pain it gets so much better! When I first started training for the marathon, I couldn’t run more than a half mile at the pace that I wanted. It was horribly frustrating and I felt so defeated after that first run, but it got better and easier over time. Build a running schedule and try to stick to it - you’ll feel so accomplished when you can look back and see literally just how far you’ve come! 



Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?

My Instagram is @caseysolo – that’s the one that I am most active on.

#RunRevolution