Vanessa Bassey Akpanika

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Your first Half Marathon can you remember it? 


I remember mine, I was injured and very determined. Running up and down from Melrose arch to Sandton almost Woodmead and then back again. City2City marathon :) #nostalgia 

But Vanessa recently ran her first Half marathon. 




Q. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do for a living?
My name is Vanessa Akpanika, I’m an ambitious and go getter African. I work for one of UK’s top RPO companies. 

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

I started my fitness journey in November 2012 and ever since then I’ve been hooked. How do I balance my exercise regime; I try to work out at least 3 times during the week. But weekends are my favourite as I have enough time in the day to get into my exercises. I love weight and strength training exercise and just recently started endurance exercise in running as well.

Q. When and why did you start running?

Running was actually how I started my fitness journey in 2012. However, I didn’t really enjoy it much so I joined the gym and went through the whole team fitness gym routine exercises; which I love. However, my aunt is a dedicated runner (she competes in almost all the races) and she always asked me to join her on these races or for a road run. And that’s how I got back into it again.

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

Although I get lazy to go for a run or to the gym, I always think of the rewarding feeling I get when I’m done with the workout and I’ve worked out well. The ache is so addictive, not sure if everyone else thinks that. But it is! I love it! I love that pain even though I’m sore; it’s just makes me feel proud that I got the work done and for me that’s motivating enough to go back.

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?

I’ve just recently completed my first ever 21km at the Dischem half marathon. 

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

It’s free and more relaxing than on a treadmill. I love the feeling of the breeze on my face when I’m running on the street. And I run in a nice and safe neighbourhood also. 

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

I think we need to find a better way of enticing them to become more active than critiquing them. 

Q. What was your best running experience?

Completing the Dischem half marathon before cut off time. I had no training for the race. My aunt asked me last minute to step in for her colleague who couldn’t make it and I said why not. 


Q. What was your worst running experience?

I haven’t had one yet. Hopefully there won’t be one.

Q. How do you push through the pain?

I keep my eyes on the finish line and my mind on my set time to finish. That really helps me a lot. 

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

Just do it! It might seem difficult but try it out and start small don’t push yourself too hard or else you might regret it. Do the most you can and push your self from there. I always try to beat my time. So If I finish a 5km in 59mins; at my next 5km, I would try to finish at a faster time.

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

I’m on Instagram. I don’t post much anymore because of limited time during the day but I usually post my fit pics just to be a motivation to others. @vanfierce


My best running shoes is … Reebook and Nike

I love running because … It’s rewarding

Injury is … SUCKS –especially leg cramps

My body is … everything to me.

My running playlist has … Gospel, RnB and Hip Hop songs

I hate running when … It’s hot and humid

Pain is … addictive (exercise pain I mean) 

The road … my best treadmill 

Sweat is … A sign you are working hard. But I hate sweating.

In future, I would like to run … A full marathon.

Indie means … Love and support

I do not like runners who … n/a Everyone is different and that’s ok!
#RunRevolution


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