Ntutu Letsaka

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On who you are... 

Father, molecular biologist, failed guitar player, less than part-time photographer, a bit of a beer and wine snob, the antithesis of a culinary genius, or and there’s that running thing. 


On running…

Always had a love/hate relationship with running. Ran a bit at school, too small for rugby or tennis, too lazy for hockey, poor reflexes so no cricket. Showed a bit of talent but hated competitive sport so did enough to never get noticed except when mistakenly winning the u16 3000m race at Sports Day. Ended up running 10:20 for 3000m which was alright and did the job of being invisible.

Unfortunately my old man was rather good at this running business so there was always expectation (31:58 10km and 2:30:40 42.2km). Varsity and independence happened and I found the partying lifestyle more to my liking until at 27 I couldn’t walk up two flights of stairs, so I did what I knew and bought a pair of running shoes. The rest as they say is history.

It’s still a work in progress, have gone from running for fitness to holding decent PBs of 35:46 for 10km and 1:19:15 for 21.1km, and even did the unthinkable and ran a marathon (3:38:10 in 2012). Can’t imagine a life without being able to go for a run 


On Street culture…

Sometimes I feel like a 50 year old man trapped in a 31 year old body. Let me say no more otherwise this one won’t end well for me :p

On Running culture…

This is a weird one. Running is so deeply personal for me, I started running to fix my health, when I went through the biggest upheaval of my life ending an 8 year relationship running was my crutch, and now it’s the base of my daily routine, so I miss the bigger picture. Having said that I see the power of the community spirit with running. Love engaging with runners, sharing our trials and successes, meeting new people. It’s invigorating and powerful

On gadgets…

This is messy. Gadgets are great, some with motivation bundled in etc but I’m a scientist by training and so very data driven and I get overwhelmed by numbers. There is an essence to running that can get lost with relying on gadgets. I had the skill of running by feel but lost it when I got my first watch. When the battery dies I almost have to will myself to keep on running (I run the same set of loops)! 



On injury…

I’m currently injured and looking at 6 weeks off (4 down!) and it’s one of the worst things that can happen. Unfortunately it’s a reality of dealing with running. You will get injured but with some patience you will come back and get back to where you were. It’s a hard message to take in though

On achievements…

I’m trying to be more process driven so I’m learning to see achievements as landmarks on route to something, not necessarily bigger but often better. Otherwise one gets too hung up on specifics and it can be soul destroying 



On future goals…

Get fitter and faster. I have a date with destiny with the marathon, that first one kicked my ass! I want to beat my old man’s PBs, a bit of a vanity goal. If I lose my mind sufficiently (read mid-life crisis) I might even run Comrades, but let’s never speak of that again!

Away from running, be a good father, make more friends, care for the one/s I love and finally get round to doing that PhD I keep putting. Live life fully

On your social media…

I sometimes feel very sorry for people who follow me on Twitter or are friends on Facebook. Social media is basically a very unfiltered stream of what goes through my head layered with my odd sense of humour!

On Pink…

When you have a kid, ideas you have about things get questioned and this is one of them. Never liked pink and always assumed it was a choice I made and then my son picks out something pink and obviously gendered and I was to stop him and say no. Then you realise where that comes from. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. I think I’m learning.

On Pain…

Physical pain is usually a sign that you’ve done something and must stop immediately! Emotional pain is often irrational but always a teacher. Both leave valuable lessons 

 
When I die…

I want those I love to celebrate a life fully realised, and not to mourn 

#RunRevolution 


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