73 year-old Greyvenstein up for Stagger challenge

Photo - Gameplan Media

Pretoria-based Annatjie Greyvenstein will be stepping into the unknown when she lines up on the start line for the 2017 Sani Stagger marathon on Saturday, 25 November, making her road marathon running debut on one of the toughest races on the calendar.

The Irene Running Club member is a national race walker, but recently turned to running following an injury.

Having run the Sani Stagger half marathon before she is looking forward to going to whole hog over the final weekend of November.

“I did the Sani Stagger half marathon in 2011 and I absolutely loved it,” the vibrant Greyvenstein commented.

“The people, the scenery, it was all so magical that I knew I had to come back this year and I thought, why not give the full marathon a go?

“Runners have the incredible ability of being able to have a conversation while in a race, something that we don’t do as walkers. The social aspect of running was very appealing to me.”

Greyvenstein felt that she needed a change on retirement and that is when she took up the sport of competitive walking. Having obtained her national colours for the sport she has competed at the highest level and finds that running is far less challenging.

“Running is a lot of fun because you don’t have to concentrate as hard as you do when you are walking.

“There are no rules and you have the time and the opportunity to talk to fellow runners and enjoy yourself. Runners can discuss anything from politics to the weather whereas being a walker you are very focused on technique and speed,” she explained.

The Sani Stagger is arguably one of the toughest marathon’s in South Africa, taking runners to the summit of Sani Pass and back down, a challenge that Greyvenstein is excited to be a part of.

“I have been asked why I entered a race like this and I give the same answer, because it is there and I can!

“A race like this gives me the ideal chance to ask myself the question of whether I am tough enough or not.

“I know that my body is going to be sore the next day and I might have a few bumps and bruises but I hope that I can get to the end in one piece,” Greyvenstein added.

Greyvenstein’s lust for adventure has taken her to many different parts of our country and Africa, showing that she is lives her life to the full.

“I have done the Rhodes Race, it was bitterly cold and snowed. I learnt a lot about myself during that race. I took a lot of wrong turns but got home safe in the end. I was late but I got home! One of the best races ever,” she continued.

“I love adventure and try to do something different whenever I can. From climbing Kilimanjaro, riding 100km on camel back or running the 80km Day breaker relay with a friend.”

Despite carrying a slight injury at the moment and tossing up whether she is up for the challenge, Greyvenstein’s mind is leaning towards taking on the challenge.

“I have had to take some time off running but I am walking again and I have a week and a bit to get ready for the race so I am sure that I will be fit for the event,” the determined pensioner added.