For many taking part in this year’s Comrades Marathon, training is in full swing; Ron Smith started running to lose weight and this year, is taking on the famous run for a good cause.
Hillcrest, South Africa (16 March 2023) – Ron Smith started running with his sister Shayna in the pursuit of losing some weight. Before long, the running bug had bit and Ron became a dedicated runner. He and his sister have found real joy and connection through the exercise and it has inspired them to take on many exciting projects.
Ron shared that he always carried a little puppy fat when he was growing up. He avoided activity, and always managed to be ill when PE class was up. He spent his time in chess club but admits, he even avoided that at times.
As he got older and lived through his 20s, his puppy fat lingered and before long, he was bordering on obese. He tried all the fad diets and made all the excuses until one day, he decided he wouldn’t let his excuses lead his life anymore.
With the support of Shayna, Ron started running. He ran through all the pain and exhaustion. Pushed down every excuse not to put his shoes on and before long, found it was easier and easier to hit the road each day.
Today, running is a passion for Ron, he even manages a running club in Hillcrest and works on inspiring others to have a little fun with their fitness. He has found his personal freedom and now helps others do the same.
Ron decided to sign up for the Comrades this year, challenging himself to do the event for charity. Going through the charity lists, he didn’t see the one he wanted to support. The Association for the Aged (TAFTA) is an organisation Ron holds very dear to his heart. He reached out to the team and asked if he could run the Comrades in honour of the work they do.
They were over the moon to be chosen and welcomed Ron’s efforts.
“My own grandmother was truly the heart and soul of my family. And proof that everyone (especially the elderly) deserve to live the remainder of their lives with dignity.
The elderly are often forgotten and considered in most cases neglected.
TAFTA do amazing work in making sure the elderly continue to live purpose-driven lives. They receive a subsidy from the Department of Social Development for the elders living in frail care and Wellness Centres. However, elders requiring assisted living and those in fit accommodation and living in the community do not receive any subsidy.
Therefore I have taken it upon myself to run Comrades for the elderly and TAFTA. In the hopes of bringing much-needed awareness and funding. They are the forgotten citizens of South Africa.”
Ron hopes that those who are inspired by his journey or wish to support the elderly, will do so and help him make a difference. You can help by donating using the QR code below or clicking here.