• Charles Baloyi

Bosman keeps training while hoping for races to return

2016 Comrades Marathon champion Charne Bosman is hoping against hope that big races will resume again soon. Covid-19 has laid waste to sporting events around the world, particularly the sort of mass participation events that South African runners enjoy. Both Comrades and the Two Oceans Marathon were canceled last year, and there is no sign that the world's most beautiful marathon will take place this year during the Easter holidays.

Nevertheless, the 45-year-old Tshwane-based runner has not stopped training and she hopes that races will open this year.


Bosman in the colours of Murray & Roberts Running Club during happier times before Covid-19. Photo credit: Charne Bosman.

Bosman is still hoping to use the flight and accommodation vouchers given to her by Mango airlines and Southern Sun hotels for canceled trips that were booked before the Coronavirus hit SA. But the second wave of Covid-19 is giving her sleepless nights, and she fears that it will jeopardize any chances of having the Two Oceans in three months' time. "My vouchers expire in two years, but I am hoping to use them this year. I have not stopped training in case races open again. I am optimistic that the races will open. We will have to wait until February to see what the race organizers will say. The second wave is getting worse, and a part of me thinks that we will not race anytime soon, not even at the Two Oceans," said a worried Bosman.


The Murray & Roberts Running Club veteran receives a monthly retainer from her club.

But she said she is aware that they will not be able to pay them forever without racing. "If they are no guarantees of racing, I am afraid that the clubs will pull the plug on us. I want to stay positive and not waste my energy on things that bring me pain. But the reality is that we will be in trouble if there are no race schedules or confirmations. The virus is demoralizing for all of us," she said.


Bosman in action during the 2017 Comrades Marathon. Photo Credit: Mosibodi Whitehead.

Her heart goes out to runners that do not have sponsorship at a time like this. "I get a stipend, but what about the other runners? I pray for the pandemic to come to an end," said a hopeful Bosman. The modest runner said the pandemic taught her to appreciate the small things in life. Bosman has two dogs, and walking them every day makes her happy. "We are losing out on prize money, possible records, incentives, and the feeling of racing and making friends on the road. But we must not panic and think that the virus has won. We must keep on training and stay positive," she advised.


Although she ran two virtual races in 2020, she's not planning to do that again saying she would rather keep on training and wait for the real thing. The former Tuks Bestmed race and Johnson Crane Marathon winner encouraged other runners to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines. She said runners must exercise caution during training for safety purposes.

" Let's stay safe and avoid going out unnecessarily. We must wear our mask and sanitize all the time to stay out of danger," Bosman added.


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