The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race… its to test the limits of the human heart.
And yesterday, during the Mandela Marathon, Mark Savides found pure heart in another runner.
Mark, a seasoned runner, who ran the Mandela Day Half Marathon on Sunday is looking for a woman who donated her medal to him so he could give a medal to each of his sons.
Mark had only run a few half-marathons after his first race last year.
“I was at the 16km mark but had been battling with sore feet, right from the start.”
“With 4km (all uphill) or so to go I was really taking strain when a lady stopped next to me and said not to worry she will run with me.”
Mark told her to go ahead of him a couple of times but she insisted on staying to help him through the race. She ran with him when he felt strong enough & walked with him when he needed to.
He said that they started talking & he learnt that she had run 4 Comrades but had inured herself & was using this race to get back into training.
“She spoke to me about her daughter & said that she was steadying medicine in Mauritius & was coming home soon to visit.”
Mark mentioned to her that the worst part of the race would be his two young boys fighting over the medal at the end.
“As soon as we crossed the finish line she turned to me, gave me her medal & said now your boys won’t have to fight & then disappeared into the crowd before I could get her name.”
Mark says his sons went crazy when they received the medals, they were both thrilled to get one.
Mark is now looking to thank the fellow runner & searched through the results to find her… apparently her name is Akash Singh & she runs for Spartan AC.
He posted on his Facebook in the hopes that he could find her.
“If anyone knows Akash or how I can get hold of someone at Spartan AC, please let me know as I would like to do something to thank her or at least do something to pay it forward.”
“If this was not the spirit of the race I don’t know what is!!”