South African LD Triathlete of the Year 2011/2012

My ‘girls’ may not be large or make me a potential model for Victoria’s Secret – I would like to claim that this is due to the fact that I was genetically engineered to be an athlete ;), My point is that even though I may not be well endowed in the chest department, and I am fit and a Vegetarian I am not immune to developing breast cancer in my lifetime. Breast Cancer runs in my family, with my Mother having had the disease twice. Thankfully, in the case of my Mother, the cancer was detected early and effectively. She has undergone a mastectomy and radiation therapy, but I am proud to say that I still have a very fit and active 70yr old for a mother :). She is currently in remission (for 5 years now), and we can thank modern technology and regular mammograms for that…

So what does this have to do with my latest challenge??? Well, apart from having my ‘girls’ checked, I have decided to do a bit of an exciting new event that I have never done before, as part of my build up to Ironman South Africa in April. It all started when I met Wayne and Shan – organisers of the world’s biggest swim race (for my international friends have a look here – www.midmarmile.co.za ). For South Africans, The Midmar Mile is a mythic event in South Africa, just like the Comrades Marathon and the Argus Cycle Tour. Generally, competitors swim one mile across the Midmar Dam in the province of KZN. On meeting Wayne, I said to him that I was sure this is an amazing event, but why would I want to drive across the country to swim 1600m?? For me, who regularly does this as my warm up in swim training, this distance can hardly be considered a challenge!!!

Then came Wayne’s challenge to me – why don’t you take part in the Pink Drive 8-mile???. Not being terribly good at maths, I equated 8 miles to around 8 kilometres in my brain and said “Why the hell not!!”. Smiling at my new found challenge, I then proceeded to excitedly tell Special about the 8-mile swim. Poor Special has only been swimming for just over a year now, but being such a good sport he has decided that he too will join in!

So what is the Pink Drive? The Pink Drive is a non-profit organisation that is not simply focussed on telling people about Breast Cancer, but has actually taken the initiative to take breast screening to the women of this country and make it possible for all, no matter where you live or what your income. Early detection not only prevents deaths of bread winners and important family members, but also reduces the burden on our under resourced national health care system. The Pink ‘Drivers’ head out to many inaccessible parts of the country, as well as corporates, and brings the screening services to women who would otherwise not have the time, access or money.

With no challenge ever having been to big for me, I have taken on the task of raising some funds for the Pink Drive in my attempt to do the Midmar Mile 8 times! As time is short – I only have 3 weeksleft to do this, I am aiming to gather R10 000 in pledges for the Pink Drive should I succeed in my attempt. Every person who is able to assist, even if it is only R100 will be issued with an official pledge form from the Pink Drive :). For my international readers, any donations in Euros, Dollars or Pounds will go a very long way here – worth more than 10 x here, so please consider digging deep in your pockets! Starting from tomorrow, please drop me an e-mail if you are keen to support. I have put in my R100 already…. 3 weeks and R9900 to go! Watch my Facebook page for updates :)…

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