I’d like to introduce you to Sharon Fuchs. Sharon is the first woman to have led a bus, the first of which she did last year with Stuart…
How long have you been running for?
I started running in about Feb 2007.
What made you decide to start running?
Funny that, I’d been walking for ages, Charmaine’s husband (old comrades runner) said to her that I walked well, I should consider entering a marathon, run the downs to qualify and then I could do comrades too. Silly suggestion but the seed was sewn…
I was training for the natal 50km walking champs at the time. I completed the race with your mom (yes, my mom walks AND runs – total over achiever) I spoke to her at the end and asked her if she thought I “had what it takes” – she said she did…
I had missed the official cut off date for the Indian Ocean Marathon and said to myself that if I could get an entry then I’d try, if I didn’t then I’d write it off. Well, I got my entry the next morning. (almost to my horror) and did my first marathon (until that day, the furthest I had run was the 10km Stella Royal!)
What was it like leading a bus in the Comrades, knowing you were the first woman to do so?
I didn’t realise at the time that I was the very first, as far as I knew there was some lady doing the 10hour bus too… turns out I was mistaken… go figure!
Leading a group of people towards a goal in a race as taxing as this takes a lot of energy as well as keeping focused on the race, what was going through your mind?
Not really anything, I think if you think too hard about it you could well chicken out! You go with a mind to be focused, you know that you have a lot of people depending on you. You can’t fail, it’s not an option.
How did you prepare mentally for this?
Practice. I did a lot of races where I made a point of doing the pace I intended for Comrades. The toughest was the Mannix Monster.
Did you have help?
With Stu last year it was fabulous, we worked towards the same goal – he works on a 5km stratergy, I work on 1 k at a time. I managed to get my hands on his pace strategy before the race to make sure we had the same objective, I had to keep on track which is why every kilometre matters to me.
Will you do it again?
Oh yes. it was incredibly awesome!
What is the most important thing that endurance racing has taught you?
No two races are ever the same – not the same distance or even the same race . It always changes, when you think you know what you are doing – you don’t!! It is part of what makes it incredible! I also know – beyond all shadow of a doubt I am not a mountain goat, those ultras in the mountains are not for me. My self-preservatoin is far too strong!!
What is it that keeps you going on these long races and running in general?
Well, some people die at the finish which is why for now, just keep on runin sista! keep on runin 🙂
I stumbled across a great write up on Sharon by another runner on one of the running forums I’m on, have a look to see what other people have to say http://runnerstalk.myfreeforum.org/about1858.html