“At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable and then inevitable” Over the past few weeks, while many of us were sitting behind a desk, a group of incredible individuals were taking on a journey that challenges physical ability, mental strength and heart. The journey was the most extreme biathlon known to man and it was the journey of the red love train.
Led and marshaled by the incredible John McInroy the Unogwaja 12 left the Tsogo Sun in the V&A Waterfront on the 23rd May and embarked on a cross-country trip that most South Africans have not ever experienced ourselves. The journey would take the 12 (Along with the support team) across our beautiful countryside before landing in Pietermaritzburg the day before the Comrades and completing the intense challenge by running the world’s toughest marathon.
I was fortunate enough to join the team on the evening before the Comrades and the next 36 hours will forever be a moment that changed my life. Upon arrival at the Garden Court hotel in Durban, I walked into a team meeting and considering the status of the sports stars I have met through All Things Jabu, and fond myself completely awestruck. I was in the presence of giants and was loving every moment. These people had literally brought me to tears through the inspirational way they had embarked on the journey. None of the Unogwaja’s were doing this for a country holiday, they were doing this to inspire others, to make a difference.
And while the journey was full of challenges, it is in the face of challenge that the heart of a warrior starts to show. Through the incredible battle through pain that David Williamson faced, to the calf straining of Grant Matkovich and to the intense battle of the mind for A-J Spieringhoek. The Unogwaja’s faced some incredible challenges along their journey, but the telling tale was the consistent ability of the heart to overcome all things. It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, but rather the size of the fight in the dog. And as heart was the appropriate theme of the challenge, it is only appropriate that the story had one of the happiest endings that there could be as Unogwaja Beverley Davey got engaged to Gavin Grobbelaar.
To Stoff and the team, thank you for allowing me to play a small part in this incredible journey, for allowing me to complete a childhood dream and attend the Comrades Marathon and to allow me to feel a small part of the red love train.
To John, GI, Joff, Rich, Thamar, Bev, Miranda, Michelle, Tiago, Savey Will, A-J, Grant, Brundle, Dani, Feige, Zissy and Sarah, congratulations on running with heart and for all the sweaty celebrations on the route. To Gos, Hassie, Viv, Cindy, Altesh, Povey and Stoff the company on Sunday was not just fun, it was inspiring to be in the presence of your energy. To Pete and Zayne, you guys have truly captured the emotion with all your videos. Together this group of individuals has raised a mammoth R 460 000 for charity.
I’ll leave you with the brilliant thoughts of Dr Seuss (thanks Grant), “Dont cry cause it’s over, smile because it happened!”