By Precious Mupenzi

  • William Koshane, 58, and Martha Randima, 52, are inspiring figures at the Comrades Marathon Expo, showcasing their dedication to health and community through their involvement with the Zwakala Running Club in Pretoria.
  • Their story of transitioning from challenging circumstances to becoming seasoned marathoners aligns with the principles of the Department of Social Development’s Active Ageing programme, promoting the benefits of physical activity and community engagement for seniors.
  • As the couple supports their fellow runners in the upcoming Comrades Marathon, they highlight the importance of perseverance, camaraderie, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, setting a powerful example for active ageing in their community.

Amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the Comrades Marathon Expo at the Exhibition Centre, a couple from Soshanguve stands out for their unwavering support of fellow runners from their Zwakala Running Club, based at the Union Buildings, Pretoria.

William Koshane, 58, and his partner, Martha Randima, 52, though not running in this year’s race, are dedicated to promoting an active lifestyle, aligning closely with the Department of Social Development’s Active Ageing programme. Their commitment to regular exercise exemplifies the principles of active ageing, which emphasise maintaining health and well-being through physical activity, especially as individuals approach their senior years.

“After retirement from the South African Defence Force in 2000, I took up running to continue the active lifestyle I had embraced in my career,” says William. “My motivation comes from my background in the defence force, where physical fitness was crucial.”

William has not only completed the Comrades Marathon an astounding 15 times but has also participated in races like the Two Oceans, Om die Dam, and numerous marathons in Johannesburg, maintaining a rigorous daily training routine. Despite occasionally indulging in junk food, he credits his success to his wife’s unwavering support. Martha Randima, inspired by her husband’s dedication, has completed the Comrades Marathon 13 times herself.

“My husband’s dedication to running inspired me to lace up my own shoes,” Martha shares. “The sense of achievement and camaraderie within the running community is truly remarkable.”

William and Martha’s active participation in running serves as an inspiring example within their community, demonstrating that age is not a barrier to staying active and engaged. Their involvement underscores the importance of community engagement and social connection, integral components of active ageing initiatives. Through their participation in the Zwakala Running Club and the support of fellow runners, they promote a sense of belonging and camaraderie, fostering social inclusion and cohesion.

As the Department of Social Development highlights its services and programmes at the Expo, anticipation builds for the up-run Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 9 June 2024. This year’s slightly shorter route of 85.91km promises an exhilarating challenge for participants.

“Running transcends personal achievements; it is about camaraderie and perseverance. We stand united, cheering on our fellow athletes, embodying the spirit of the Comrades Marathon,” the couple expresses.

William and Martha extend their best wishes to all the runners, emphasising the importance of crossing the finish line and earning a well-deserved medal. Their commitment to staying active as they age exemplifies the Department’s goals of promoting active ageing, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and fostering community engagement. Their example is a powerful reminder that age should never be a barrier to leading a fulfilling and active life.


Leave a reply