Dave is not always going to be there…

You see this photo below? I’m the girl with the red top and blue cap. The big guy next to me is Dave. He was the pace setter that got me over the 2009 Two Oceans half marathon finish line. This photo was taken of the 3 hour bus coming up to UCT.

I can still remember that day clearly. The relief when I finally caught Dave at the 16km mark. I immediately felt safe. I immediately knew I was going to make it. I knew I’d finish strong. With singing and words of encouragement, Dave got me (and a lot of other runners) to that finish line with 5 minutes to spare and for which I will be forever grateful.

Unfortunately, 2010 was a very different experience. I arrived at the start of the race to find that Dave was nowhere to be seen. In fact, there was no 3 hour pace setter. This immediately set me back mentally as I was planning on running with the 3 hour bus and realised I would need to run the entire race by myself.

So with no Dave to carry me, my race was a struggle. I did not finish in the required 3 hours. I missed cut-off by 6 minutes. There was no t-shirt or certificate to say that I had completed the race. Nothing. I was devastated. I felt like a complete failure. In fact, I was filled with so much anger that there wasn’t a “Dave” to carry me home.

But it wasn’t Dave’s fault. I realise that now.

I came back in 2011 to get my medal. But this time, I was a bit wiser. I knew in my mind that if I was to finish in time, I had to rely on nobody but myself. I needed to ensure that the training I did was enough. I needed to ensure my legs were strong enough. More importantly, I needed to know that my mind was in the right place.

I guess in life, we often rely on others and when those people are not there anymore, we crumble. We fail and then we blame others.

I’ve come to realise that in life, I never quite know if there will always be someone to rely on or not. Chances are, there won’t always be a “Dave” by my side to carry me through so I need to be prepared for whatever surprises come my way. Just like my races, I need to know how to rely on my own strength to get me across that finish line.

11 thoughts on “Dave is not always going to be there…

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  4. I are Dave, I am so touched by seeing this, I was a pacesetter for many years and funny enough Two Oceans 2009 was my last one and my last half marathon paceset.

    I remember Bronwynne very well and referred to it in my blog that I had at the time

    **“ As Union Ave flattens out …..5,4,3,2, ooonnneeeeeeeee…….lets jet. Next surprise (and I apologize I really can’t remember your name) this young lady pulls up next to me in a red top, “Dave today is my birthday, I must make this finish, it is my first” Good Lord another newbie….”Don’t worry we will make it“ I say with a smile “Happy Birthday” “

    This awesome bus hits the grass and turns into the finish straight to the delight of the spectator around us, they are shouting and banging on the advert boards, the bus is restless but I keep on saying” Plenty time still stay on your pace we will make it…no problem.”

    We crossed the line from 2:56 to 2:58 followed by stragglers, many of whom told me that they just tried to keep the flags insight.

    Many hoorays and “Thanks You Dave” handshaking, backslapping through the finish area. An absolute high, there is just no ways that this could be topped ***

    Although I have a feeling of pride seeing what my contribution did for Bronwynne but also a sense of guilt after reading further in “Dave is not always going to be there…” if it had this impact on Bronwynne what did it do for the others that ran with me in 2009 when they arrived at the race in 2010.

    Just after 2009 Two Oceans I changed direction and aimed at a different type of racing being circuit racing at the time when Bronwynne was running the 2010 Two Oceans I was running a 211 km race.

    This year I have a 403 km run ahead of me but I plan to be at Two Oceans 2013 back in my place of the cut of bus.

    Well done on what you have achieved Bronwynne, you are a true inspiration to others, keep it going and we hopefully meet again.



  5. Agreed, Bronwynne, strangely enough you are my Dave. You inspire me with your wit, passion and love for life through your blog and tweets. I stumbled upon you from one of your tweets to someone else that I follow (so glad for this). I am attempting to take your lead/pace for me in 2012 to make a difference to others as well, but just like you I will not hold on but move on 😉
    Keep walking (running)!


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