Interview by Allister Arendse
Image by Nick Aldridge
Occupation: Proteas Coach
A friend of mine taught me how to run slowly but far. I always tried to run too fast.
I started taking distance running seriously about 25 years ago.
Because I travel a lot, I find running a great way of seeing places I travel to. And I don’t enjoy going to gym.
Running is a great time for me to meditate and connect with God.
At the moment I run about 40km a week.
I tore my calf muscle going up the first hill in the Knysna Half Marathon about 10 years ago. I carried on running for another 3km because I was too embarrassed to stop – not a smart idea.
The perfect running conditions for me is dry, no wind and around 18°C.
The night before a long run or race I normally have pasta, but I certainly could not be regarded serious enough a runner to worry about what I’m eating.
I’m a morning runner. Except for winter in Cape Town. I prefer to run in the morning, I find it a great start to the day.
I have had a few ideas on how to outwit rival teams while running. It is a great time to think about many different things.
When it comes to running routes I’m not fussy, but I have probably run up to Kirstenbosch top gate from my house in Claremont more than any other run.
My tip to others would be to make it a part of your everyday life, something that is a priority in your day.
My adidas running shoes are the first thing I pack in my bag when travelling.
In India, I ran very little on the roads, mainly in the gym which I did not really like. It is difficult to get around in India on the roads.
I don’t listen to music when running.
My goal in running would be to cover the distance I decided to run on that day. I never go short of that.
Our team physiotherapist is a 25-time Comrades finisher and I just said to him that I wanted to tackle Oceans and he said: “Okay, from tomorrow you have to run 60 kays a week.” So we began that process. While we were on tour in New Zealand we did our qualifying marathon in New Plymouth. We finished a match on the evening and literally an hour later we jumped in the car and drove two-and-a-half hours to get there. Slept for one hour, ran the race, and drove back to catch a flight to get to our next match. So it was a good experience but gave me a healthy respect for that sort of distance.
I have no desire to run Comrades at this stage, but would like to commit to running at least one marathon per year.
Two Oceans was an incredible experience as being from Cape Town, I’ve always wanted to run the breathtakingly beautiful route.
Kirsten completed this year’s Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in 05:33:13.