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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Bothma

Even if I fall, I will still fly again.

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

One of my favorite routes. Of course I will be there. Marked in big bold letters on my calendar, Bay to Bay 30K was going to be my first race of 2019, as well as my first 30K. It was going to be great!

But the past month has been anything but great...

One of my favorite routes - Camps Bay to Hout Bay

My year ended on a low after having another hard fall. Yes, another accident!! I was out running coming downhill past the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. I was running on the pavement, going at quite a speed, when an Uber pulled up next to me. There wasn't enough time to see it coming or to stop...the next moment a door hit me on my chest and knees and I went flying back falling directly on the hard pavement with my back. I just laid there, shocked and uncertain of my injuries. I felt a sharp pain in my chest and saw the bruising on my knees as I slowly made my way up. The moment I got up the Uber drove away. "She is up so she must be fine!"

I wasn't.

The following week I experienced a lot of pain. I ended up spending my New Years in hospital getting an injection in my back. Thereafter, I decided to take a week off running to give my body time to recover. One week before my first race of 2019, I was able to start jogging again with the hopes to be ready to line up the next Sunday at the Bay to Bay 30K. My training prior to the accident went well and I felt confident after completing my last 28K long run in 1:48. However, I could feel my body wasn't ready yet, but I kept my hopes up right to the start of the race. I lined up with a positive mentality and knew I did the best I could to be ready despite the circumstances.

I was feeling very strong. Going up the mountain I felt comfortable and by the 9K mark, the second lady quite far behind me. I was on my goal pace and ready to increase the speed on my way back. Going down Suikerbossie, a very steep downhill, I felt a sharp pain in my back. It felt like my leg was giving in under me when I got to the bottom. I started slowing down drastically and the second lady began to catch up. By the half way mark she passed me. I tried following, but the shooting pain down my leg became unbearable. At 18km I knew that I had to stop, my race was over. I was devastated, as I was on pace to run a 1:45-50 for my first 30K. Tears rolled down my eyes as the ambulance came to pick me up and take me back to the medical tent.

This is a warning for all runners. Be cautious. Even when running on the pavement, you still have to be aware of your surroundings. Look out for the cars and any other hazards that may be on the road. Some people don't look or care, and then you are left with the scars...

I can't tell how many more times I will have to fall before I can fly...

But I won't stay down.

I will keep on getting back up.

I will keep on fighting.

I won't give up.

Fly butterfly

- Annie

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