Minnie Trimalley - 70-year-old runner, an inspiration to the younger generation!
Photo Cred: SPAR

They always spoke about my fitness and looked up to me as their running teacher. They called me their role model, and it is so satisfying that they wanted to be like me when they grew up.


Port Elizabeth, South Africa (09 March 2020) – Retired teacher Minnie Trimalley says the SPAR Women’s Challenge was the catalyst for her to become a dedicated exercise enthusiast, leading to a new and healthier lifestyle.

The 70-year-old is one of the Eastern Cape race ambassadors this year, a tribute to running habits which have become part of her daily ritual since that first Port Elizabeth event 27 years ago.

This year she will again be joining thousands of women at the race village in Summerstrand for the popular 10km and 5km races on March 21.

Trimalley, who grew up in Schauderville but now lives in Summerstrand, had already become a regular runner and had competed in the Two Oceans and Comrades ultra-marathons by the time she was introduced to the SPAR event.

But she says competing in the Women’s Challenge changed her life completely.

“I became disciplined and committed in such a way that running became part of my life,” she said. 

“I believed in myself, which proved I had the ability to better my time with each race.

“I realised it was a healthy addiction as well as a stress reliever. I’m an early-morning runner, so I schedule my daily programme as I hit the road.” 

During her teaching career at Hillcrest Primary in Helenvale, which lasted 46 years, Trimalley would often challenge her pupils to join her running programme.

“I trained so hard for the SPAR Women’s Challenge that I often received medals in my age category.

“That was the time I encouraged my learners to run the race with me, which they are still doing today.

“The example I set is my energy as well as my fitness level, which they admired and they often compared my age with their parents.

“They always spoke about my fitness and looked up to me as their running teacher. They called me their role model, and it is so satisfying that they wanted to be like me when they grew up.”

She praised the children under her care for their commitment.

“Transport has always been a huge problem,” she said. “If we had transport to get them there I’m sure Hillcrest Primary would be the winning school with the most entries [in the Women’s Challenge].

“They used to walk early in the morning from Helenvale to get to the start at Kings Beach and later the area adjacent to Pollok Beach. To them, the T-shirts, goodie bags and medals were something to look forward to.”

Besides encouraging a healthy lifestyle for the youth, Trimalley said the Women’s Challenge was a wonderful opportunity to join in the fun.

“It urges women of all shapes and sizes to participate, and the camaraderie among them is electrifying.

“For some, it sets a platform to become more serious runners and later professionals.

“For others, it’s about enjoying the fun during the race, and the big achievement for most of them is to finish and receive a Women’s Challenge medal.

“My advice to all women is to enjoy the race, finish it, and you never know what the future holds.”

Sources: Minnie Trimalley | SPAR 
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens or share your good news with us by clicking here
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *