LOCAL runner Jacky Heyman, 50, was part of a field of 52,697 runners that participated in the New York 42.2km Marathon in the US recently. There were approximately 193 other South Africans running the race, with 140 countries represented.
“The marathon was a bit of a bucket list thing, really. When I was 12 years old, my dad went to New York on a business trip and when he came home all I wanted was to go to New York too. So I boldly stated there and then that one day when I was 50, I would go to New York.
“Now, as a bit of a novice runner, I kind of nurtured a niggling thought that I would perhaps do just one marathon in my life.
“So 2017 progressed as it does and with my 50th birthday looming in 2018, I knew it was time to start planning my big New York trip but the reason didn’t seem big enough so I decided I was actually going to do this one and only marathon thing.
“The encouragement I got from family and friends and my fellow runners was beyond expectation, and all the inspiration I needed,” she said.
“I joined an early morning running group to get me through the winter and help me adapt to running in the cold.
“My running group gave me a nine-week marathon training programme which I followed as best I could, and I also do twice weekly strength and body conditioning training.”
Apart from having to actually run 42.2km across the five boroughs of New York, Heyman said she was so overwhelmed just being there and having made it that she could not stop crying. “People were all joyful, cheering, singing, dancing, and encouraging along the way.
“That is what got me to the end. It was truly unforgettable, immensely humbling and as it’s been described time and again, a race like no other,” said Heyman.