Actually how God used every person in this story was inspirational. Yet when it REALLY mattered, this woman’s courageous heart encouraged a remarkable breakthrough on an amazing journey.
Last year Gavin Pansegrouw contacted Norman at the S4J office with the idea of doing the Triple Challenge as a fundraiser for S4J. By now it is HISTORY…the S4J at Triple Challenge happened and exceeded expectations as a fundraiser for the Water for Sudan project that forms part of the S4J.
The S4J at Triple Challenge consisted of a TEAM of athletes, running THREE marathons at THREE different venues, in 30 hours. These marathons were 1) Wonderpark Akasia Marathon on the Saturday morning 2) Ottosdal Nite Race (marathon) on the Saturday afternoon / evening, and 3) Johnson Crane Hire Marathon on the Sunday morning.
There were THREE athletes that signed up for the THREE marathons, i.e. Gavin Pansegrouw, Louis Malan and Shane van Dam. The rest of the team consisted of Gavin’s parents Jake (driver for the journey) and Christine, Lorinda Engelbrecht (Gavin’s girl-friend), Vanessa Malan and Norman Johnson (from the S4J office).
The team gathered at Gavin’s residence in Randfontein on the Friday, ready to get up at 2:00 on the Saturday morning to travel to the Wonderpark Akasia Marathon on the Saturday morning. The race had a huge attendance and was exciting to experience as the FIRST leg of the S4J at Triple Challenge.
After the race, the team moved on to Ottosdal Nite Race. We arrived on a lovely sunny afternoon, meeting up with quite a number of other S4J athletes, friends and acquaintances. Shortly after the marathon started, an incredible storm brewed with strong winds, rain and thunder. Afterwards Gavin shared that at times he was really concerned for their safety.
Lorinda also joined the S4J at Triple challenge team during this race. The support team waited for the athletes in soaking rain.
It was amazing to await Gavin and Lorinda at the finish line. For Lorinda to have finished this marathon in these harsh conditions with a personal best time, was just phenomenal.
Right then, things turned to the DRAMATIC side. What seemed like hours, with everybody now EXHAUSTED, we were driving through non stop rain. The alternator of the kombi were giving problems resulting that we could not drive this almost 300 km journey faster than 60 km per hour.
This seemed like a disaster. Where the whole team we’re supposed to move straight to Benoni for the Johnson Crane Hire Marathon, the proverbial wheels seemed to have come off. It seemed that we had to travel all the way back to Gavin’s residence in Randfontein and that the THIRD of the marathons of the S4J at Triple Challenge were just NOT going to happen.
It was right then that Lorinda about 2 am in the morning made this BOLD statement. “We SAID that we would do ALL THREE marathons…therefor we WILL run all three marathons!” By the time we got to Gavin’s residence, a DECISION had to be made. It was this: THREE of the team: Gavin, Lorinda and Norman got into Gavin’s car, head of to Benoni and were in time for the Johnson Crane Marathon.
Gavin ran and completed the marathon. What bravery of these two love-birds (Gavin and Lorinda) to have seen out the journey. What an amazing privilege to have been with them ALL the way.
One other S4J athlete, Jaco de Jager, al ran all three of the marathons that formed part of the S4J at Triple Challenge, but that story needs to be told in another article.