‘Ulla’ on the move

An ultra marathon runner from the coast says running keeps her motivated.

06 May 2019 | Sports

Ursula Burd; Marathon Runner; Running is not easy at my age, but it is actually the only time I afford myself to relax.

Swakopmud - Otis Finck

Ursula “Ulla” Burd (56) competed in the ultra category over 56 kilometres at the 50th edition of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Easter Saturday, 20 April.

Burd, who owns a cleaning business and is a member of the coastal based Swakopmund Striders athletics club, finished in 5 199th overall position from 12 087 runners. The race is billed as Africa’s biggest running event.

She crossed the finishing line in a time of 06:05:10 and was placed 1 003rd from 3 485 female competitors. She finished 107th among the 473 woman in her (+50 plus) age group.

“Running is not easy at my age, but it is actually the only time I afford myself to relax. It’s my precious time and also motivates me. It’s about setting a target and getting on with it for me. It’s also a way of life and keeps me young at heart and fit.”

The organisers changed the route a day before the marathon from Chapman’s Peak to the Ou Kaapse Weg.

Burd, who previously completed three Chapman’s Peak 56 km race routes, said the new route proved extremely demanding and pushed her all the way.

“It was my toughest race to date. The route change caught me off guard since we do not have any hills in Swakopmund.”

She recorded her best time of 5 hours and 18 minutes in 2009.

“I started running 14 years ago at the age of 42 and want to keep on running as long as I can. My next race will be the 21 km Victory Race in Swakopmund in June.”

She advises young upcoming road runners to start with running 5 km distances, to gradually increase as the body permits and to always enjoy running.

The next Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town is scheduled for 11 April 2020. The event accommodates an ultra marathon (56 km), half marathon (21.1 km) and trail runs over 24 km and 12 km. There are also fun runs in the form of a 56 m Nappy Dash, 250 m Toddlers’ Trot and 2.1 km and 5.6 km Fun Runs.

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