Brand Ambassadors

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ashley becker

I am Ashley Becker. I am 11 years old and I am in Grade 5 at St Davids, Marist, Inanda. I love being outdoors and doing exercise with my family.

Sport plays a big role in my life. I enjoy swimming, playing soccer, rugby, hockey and cycling. I came 1st in a 15km Mountain Bike race in August 2021. On the weekend I cycle 50km with my Dad in the Cradle. I also enjoy cycling on the exercise bike at home. My favorite bike is a Scott.

I enjoy running. I came 3rd in a cross country event at my school. Every week at the Run Zone Time Trials I run 8km with my Dad. I am proud to be a member of the Run Zone family. I am one of the brand ambassadors for Run Zone.

I hope to inspire other children to do sport and have a healthy lifestyle.

DEIRDRE LARKIN

I became interested in running in 2011, after visiting a specialist who diagnosed me with osteoporosis and wanted me to have an operation. I decided to try and avoid this by following a careful diet and exercise. I was then 79 years of age.

My youngest son Richard was staying with me and he ran every morning for half an hour. So I copied him and, when I saw the advertisement of the Valentine Evening race of Randburg Harriers, I asked Richard if he would join me in doing it. I enjoyed the occasion immensely and quickly found out that there were many similar races within easy reach of where I live in Randburg. I immediately went to as many races as I could, my enthusiasm for them mounting steadily.

I became a regular member of The Fitness League and Randburg Harriers. In April 2017 I was fortunate enough to be taken to the Geneva Half Marathon by Carte Blanche, where I broke the world record for my age group.

Next month I will be 90 years of age and still enjoy running very much with Run Zone in Northcliff. I have not had any trouble with my osteoporosis...yet!"

Nico Nieuwoudt 2

nico nieuwoudt

My running journey actually started out just as fitness for my rugby days to keep my body fit. During my matric year I stopped running actually to focus on exams. After matric I stopped my rugby and decided to took up running as my new sports. I couldn't see myself doing nothing and decided to run, running was then just to be fit, but then I ran my first race and since then one medal just weren't enough. I fell in love with it right away and can't see myself without it.

Running is a great way for me to inspire, encourage and motivate others to do what they love and to never quit in any situation.

Joining Run Zone was the best decision I could ever make because it helped me to improve on my career in running and in a way it helped me to reach out to people who just needed a little advice. I am still young and got lots to learn from this amazing sport and club.

Samuel Gardiner

Before I fell pregnant with Samuel, I had been training for my first Comrades. A month before Comrades I found out I was pregnant. Sadly, we miscarried our baby. A few months later we found out I was pregnant again. We named him Samuel meaning ‘God heard’. He was the blessing we had longed for.

Samuel came to Runzone time trials, club runs and helped at a few water tables before he was even born.

He started walking when he turned one and started running soon after. Samuel loves being outdoors and would live in the garden if he could. He often has a stick, rock or twig to show off.

Samuel loves to run up to ducks and hadeda’s but doesn’t quite understand why they fly away and squawk at him, when all he wants to do is pat them. When he has a lot of excess energy, he runs around the dining room table and loves it if someone chases him.

Dynamite comes in small packages is suitable for this little guy.

theo adams

I grew up playing soccer, joined a soccer club at the age of 7 and spent every weekend thereafter on the soccer fields playing matches. This was my life until one dreadful day during a match, I was tackled and broke my ankle. I underwent an operation and had a steel plate and screws implanted on my ankle in order for it to heal. The news came the morning after the procedure when the Orthopedic surgeon advised me that I would never be able to play the sport I loved so much again - that day I felt my world was ending. A year later, after the steel plate and screws were removed, I decided to joined a gym and that is when I took up running. Initially the running was to improve my cardiovascular health and when I felt healthier, I ventured outdoors - because it was outdoors, I took easily to it. I started running more often and realised how much this new found sport became my new PASSION - it grew on me to the extent where I craved running when I was not on the road - I was addicted! I’ve set goals in my running which I have achieved and as I achieve them, I continuously reset new challenges. Mindset plays a huge role in achieving ones goals . You have to achieve in your mind first before its manifested in the physical. You have to SEE yourself starting AND finishing whatever you have set out to do .

I quote " Success is the sum of small efforts , repeated day in and day out" - Robert Collier

Since joining Run Zone, with the support and guidance I have received from our leadership - especially Graham Block - I have managed to achieve another goal that I have been chasing for a while - my first sub 3 marathon - and what a day it was when the Run Zoners were there to cheer me on!

I love running, the feeling of the road under my feet, the outdoors and the therapy experienced during my runs. I value and have learnt so much from all the people that running has brought into my life and I will continue to run as long as this PASSION burns within me and there is a road ahead!

Ndaba Mhlanga 2

brian mhlanga

Brian Mhlanga is also known as "Ndaba the runner" on Social media has a psychology and philosophy background. He is passionate about health and wellness and has worked with multi-disciplinary teams that have adopted and promote holistic approaches to wellness . His special focus on wellness is prevention which is why he runs. According to him running is his therapist and has allowed him to feel empowered. For him RunzoneAC is " not just a running group, it is a community".

ethan o'neil

Ethan has been determined to stand on his own two feet and march/ run alongside us adults, since we can remember.

We realised in December 2012, that Ethan had a mind of his own when it came to his fitness, when he walked up the 2km steep passage way up to Cape Point, and refused for any of us to pick him up, even at the age of 14 months!!

Fast forward a few years later, to 2018, Ethan is now starting to enter the fun runs at all our major events, such as Johnson Crane, Dischem, Robor Scaffolding, Pick ‘n Pay and Pirates to name a few.

After these few short 5km fun runs, we were asked to assist Ruimsig Park Run with a test run of the initial route in 2018, so we arrived in a sweltering June afternoon around 12:00, and off we set, first run of Parkrun Ruimsig.

A mere 2 months later, Ethan then completed his first 10km race, FNB City 10km, at the age of 7years.

Although he is like most runners, who cannot always roll out of bed on a Sunday morning, he absolutely loves the Run Zone comradery on the roads, when he is out and about.

He is currently starting to do most of our popular 10km races for a 3rd or even 4th time, Cool Ideas Pirates 10km/ FNB City Run 10km/ RAC 10km/ Spar Ladies 10km/ Comrades Virtual 10km . . .

Ethan has participated in over 70 Time Trials, 20 Trail Time Trials & on Strava his recorded runs are sitting at 165, with an average distance of 8kms per run.
He has also cycled a few of Graham’s routes, with an average cycling distance of 15kms.

His current PB’s stand at
5km – 24:26
10km – 56:48
Run Zone TT PB 26:19
Run Zone Trail TT 26:03
Parkrun PB 26:45
PS. He hopes to run alongside Gerda Steyn on time trial one afternoon.

joan thompson

My name is Joan Thompson(JT), 45 years of age, born in December 31st 1975. Just want to tell a short story about my journey of running.

13 years back , I used to wear size 42, weigh 86 -89 kg, and i used to had nose bleeds and some times collapse.

One day, My husband was scared and he took me to the hospital at Netcare Krugersdop, and I was diagnosed with Hypertension, Cholesterol and Diabetes. The very same day, Doctor said that she will prescribe the medication for Six month's but if I won't change the lifestyle, then I will be on Chronic medication for life🤬! Can you imagine that time I was 32 years of age. Then my husband tell the Doctor that I'm a Pig 🤬😢! coz i like eating wrong foods, and too much Salt, sugar and the fizzy drinks, but I love her, and definitely I will help her.

The following day, I clean up all my wrong food from the Fridge i used to buy and one week later , I joined Virgin Active at little falls.
3 months later, I went for my 1st check up, and everything was normal, then my doctor said to continue with medication and not stop exercising.
6 months later, went to my second check, and everything was okay , then doc said that am not going to prescribe another medication, just continue with the your new lifestyle, that's your medication. And am so lucky to have a husband who is so supportive, when it's comes to exercise, running and eating.
In October 2016, I met Graham Block, in Jim Fouche road, and I asked him about the running thing, then he said to me go to facebook page, then you will find all the details.
I trained from 2016 November - then 2017 the all year and 2018 13th June , I ran my first comrades, and I finish earlier 20 minutes before cut off, in 11: 40 minutes from Petermarizburg to Durban , with my own 2 legs😄 from the start line to the finish line, and I was over the moon ☀️. My second comrades I finished in 11: 24 minutes.
Last but not the least, my fellow people it's not too late to change your life style.

English is not my first language 🙈🙈🤬

Masego Mosia

masego mosia

Masego Mosia was born in 2012,11th of November, currently in grade 3 and loves running and swimming. She's always happy and vibrant.

Sissy Pieterse 2

sissy pieterse

My name is Sissy. I am 24 years old, and I am originally from Bloemfontein. I came to Johannesburg 6 years ago to play hockey and study a BEd in Foundation Phase at Wits University. I majored in English and my sub-major was Early Childhood Development. I am currently a teacher at King Edward VII Preparatory School. I have always loved sport and I have always been an athlete. At school I competed at a provincial level for 7 different sports codes.

I started my long-distance running journey in March 2021. By May 2021 I had run my first ever half marathon (21km). In October 2021 I will be running my first ever Marathon (42,2km) in Cape Town. I think it is safe to say that my dreams of a long-distance runner are slowly but surely becoming a reality. To say that I have absolutely loved my running journey and experience at Run Zone Ac. is an understatement.