Ouma Annatjie Berntzen’s story is a testament that age should not limit one’s passion and pursuit of excellence. Her love for running and tenacity has pushed her beyond her physical limitations, proving that one’s mindset and determination are crucial in achieving one’s goals.
The Beginning of Berntzen’s Running Journey
Berntzen’s running journey began in her 60s when her friend Venita Nel invited her to a 5km fun run in Simon’s Town. She then started joining races regularly with her friends, gradually increasing her distance until she completed her first 10km race in 2009. From then on, Berntzen pushed herself further, meeting all the 10km races that year and joining the 1000km Challenge Club, where she ran 1000km in a year in races.
Pushing Herself Further
Berntzen’s desire to push herself further saw her completing her first half marathon in under three hours in 2010. She then completed two marathons, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in 2013 and 2014, where she finished comfortably in 5:46 and 6:10, respectively. Additionally, Berntzen completed the John Korasie 30km race at 71 and participated in the ORAK 12-hour circuit race in Vredendal, where she ran 60km and received a silver medal.
Age is Just a Number
Despite her age, Berntzen’s love for running has not dwindled. She continues to run at least one hour of walking every morning, a 5km time trial on Tuesday evenings, and race on weekends. She has completed more than 170 half marathons and is determined to keep running as long as possible.
A New Social Circle
Berntzen’s running journey has brought her satisfaction and introduced her to a new social crowd. She enjoys the camaraderie of running but is mindful of chatting too much in races, as she once got distracted and lost with a friend during the Silver Queen 10km.
An Inspiration to All
Berntzen’s story is an inspiration to people of all ages and abilities. It shows that age should help pursue one’s passion and achieve one’s goals. Her story encourages people to adopt a positive mindset, determination and focus on overcoming challenges and excelling in their chosen pursuits. Ouma Annatjie Berntzen’s story reminds us that it is always possible to start something new or push ourselves further.