Phindi Gule, station manager of Vuma 103 FM, the Durban-based commercial inspirational isiZulu radio station, and ambassador for the Comrades Marathon will be kitted out in pink as part of the Pink Drive to raise awareness for Breast Cancer when she runs her second Comrades on Sunday, 2 June.
PinkDrive, is a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) behind South Africa’s first mobile mammography and educational units through the country, driving home the fact that ‘Early Detection Saves Lives’.
Phindi Gule, who now runs for New Balance started road running just over two years ago, she says that she was not a fan of road running but was encouraged into road running by her partner. “My partner has done five Comrades and he plays soccer. He is very active in sports and spends a lot of time outdoors and I on the other hand used to spend time inside the gym doing yoga and pilates. One day I decided to join him for a jog, it was tough but I was sure not to give up and especially have him think that I was a fragile 'girl'. I pressed on and never looked back” she says.
“Having launched Vuma in November last year, things are pretty busy at work and after hours too,” says Phindi “but I aim to train four times a week as my schedule allows, and running now keeps me sane.”
“The whole of Comrades route is magnificent, my strength is in the downhills and many say it's because I'm light. I do enjoy the uphills too but they are tough, so I guess Comrades 2013 will be an interesting one for me as it is an up-run.” she says.
Phindi trained in eight months for her first Comrade in 2012 and managed to do it in 11 hours 59 minutes and 3 seconds, a feat she said made her enormously proud.
“After finishing the race, I told myself that I was going to make it my business to encourage women to run this ultimate human race.” She says. “Little did I know that Comrades Marathon Association would pick up on this story as an inspiration for many others and a few months later I was asked to host the Comrades/ Vital Women's Seminars around the country aimed at encouraging women to take up runnng and complete the race. “
Experts at these seminars included a Sports Doctor, Sports Psychologist, Dietician and Comrades Coaches who were invited to advise women on how get started and prepare themselves for this ultimate human race.
Phindi now also hosts the Novices road shows where she shares her story - 'My First Comrades - Non-runner to Comrades finisher in 8 months' and other activations. In the weeks leading up to the Comrades Marathon, Vuma 103 FM will also be honouring the unsung heroes of this extraordinary event on air.
Like many other runners, Phindi has started to develop her own rituals or “race habits”. “I simply must have a banana before any race.” she laughs. “Then at the start I pray and then give my partner a hug and off we go. We run together so races are also bonding time for us and highly recommended for couples.”
Phindi’s aim is to raise R 200 000.00 for PinkDrive.
People can make a donation by either messaging ‘Race770’ to 42030 charged at R 30 an sms or go to www.race4charity.co.za go to the search tab and type Phindi Gule, then follow the donate instructions by clicking on the donate button, any amount can be donated.