June 08, 2018

Damelin Randburg’s Faculty Head of Commerce talks Comrades 2018

 

Comrades Runner Damelin Randburg‚Äč

During the week he heads up an academic department at Damelin and on the weekends, he’s up at 6am training for one of the biggest races of his life. Mathias Imbayarwo, Damelin Randburg’s Faculty Head of Commerce, Leisure and IT is all set to participate in one of the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon races, the Comrade’s Marathon.

A first for Mathias, the father of two is extremely amped to hit the road running in what he expresses will be one of his life’s biggest milestones.

The Communications team caught up with Mathias pending his race to find out more:

Tell us about yourself?

I am a family man, married to Majory with two lovely daughters Ruru and Ruva. I am altruist at heart with over 15 years of industry experience. I hold an Honours degree in Economics and Master’s degree in Finance and Investments.

When did you start working at Damelin?

I joined the Damelin team, in February 2012 as a lecturer, got promoted to a Programme Coordinator and then to the Faculty Head.

What inspired you to participate in the marathon?

I started going to the gym for fitness reasons and still struggled to lose weight, which soon became a concern to me. I was then referred to the Run Zone AC Club by one of my part-time students and I never looked back.

How do you feel that the day is almost upon you?

With this being my very first Comrades Marathon, I have mixed emotions, both feelings of excitement and nervousness. I am ecstatic that I am so close to achieving a huge milestone in my life but also concerned about the need for me to be in good health and fitness until the big day.

Take us through a typical day of training for the marathon – both mentally and physically?

On weekends, I am up at the crack of dawn to start training at 6am at the sports club. My coaches Graham Block and Candice Lubbe then map out the day's route which includes 5km, 10km, 15km, 20km, 30km or 40km depending on the strategy for the upcoming races.  The first 5km is always the most difficult because my whole body will be screaming for me to stop, however, after that, it’s all smooth running with motivation coming from my club members of all ages. I tend to partner with someone on the run and we talk about work, life, family and races because after 30km or more it is a long way to go solo. Our club also provides us with water stations every 5kms, helping us to rehydrate along the way. During training, however, the body responds differently on different days, but the motto is to keep moving, even if the going gets tough.

What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running? Specifically running long distances?

Running long distances allows for interaction with different people and gives us an opportunity to listen to their testimonies. It basically liberates the mind, allowing runners to be open about their personal life. A good example was an athlete that I know of, who confessed that they used to hate people in general and always lived an isolated life. He eventually opened-up through running long distance races and meeting new people on the regular.

What motivates you to run?

As mentioned earlier, I started running for fitness reasons. However, when I teamed up with other passionate runners, it became a lifestyle. Running makes me feel that I am achieving something meaningful in my life as it inspires self-reflection, determination, breaking barriers and achieving goals that I have set out for myself. Running brings me to the realisation that as a physical being, there is a lot to be achieved, all I need to do is unlock that capacity within me.

What’s your personal mantra/something you live by?

Keep pushing your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual boundaries

What are the things you are most passionate about?

I am passionate about uplifting young people, especially those from the less privileged background, and motivating people to live a healthy lifestyle.

Family life?

My sincere gratitude goes to my wife Majory and two daughters Ruru and Ruva for their support and understanding when I divert scarce resources (time and finances) towards the acquisition of running toys and paying for races.

 What are your hobbies?

 When I am not training, I enjoy cooking for the family, watching cartoons with my daughters or doing work on my laptop.

 Any words of encouragement that you have for aspiring runners?

I would really like to encourage them to join a club and not to be intimidated by seasoned runners. They can start with running and walk short distances, please don't be shy, we were all there at some point. In two to three months, you can push to 8k, 10k and so on.  In closing, I would personally like to credit my coaches Graham and Candis, family, friends and especially my team at the Damelin National Office for their support.

By Ashmika Chottu 

 

 

 

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