Accounting Academic Runs First Comrades Marathon
UKZN Financial Accounting Lecturer, Ms Salma Vanker, is overjoyed to have completed her first Comrades Marathon – this year’s down run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban - saying it was a humbling experience.
Vanker, a qualified Chartered Accountant, said she was inspired by another CA and academic, Ms Caroline Wostmann, who won the women’s race last year and finished second this year.
Vanker’s training for the marathon started last year and comprised about seven to eight hours of road running every week with the fantastic support of her husband who has completed three Comrades marathons.
‘The passion and excitement we shared energized me and kept me motivated. I am bursting with gratitude to my husband who motivated me and held my hand throughout this journey,’ she said.
She still had time for other pursuits outside her demanding career as an academic entering a team of third year Accounting students at UKZN into the CFOCase Study Competition - an international, annual multi-round business management case study contest organised by the CharterQuest Institute.
As a mentor, Vanker is proud of Team UKZN for making it into the top 12 out of 320 teams representing 1 278 aspirants and 53 universities from 25 countries across five continents. The Team is now competing for the six spots at the global semi-finals and grand finale at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 Expo in Johannesburg later this year.
Vanker says Comrades day was filled with some incredible moments. ‘The energy at the start line, the sound of the beeps on the start mat of hopeful individuals chasing a single dream. The Chariots of Fire song had me in tears.’
She described the race as a voyage of intense self-discovery. ‘I knew my resilience and tenacity would see me through. I kept pushing harder and digging deeper until I discovered that the person I thought I was, is no match for the one I really am.
‘The first 70km were surreal. I felt strong and invincible. However, there were tears in my eyes when I ran past disabled kids, as I thanked God for giving me the ability to run. The total support from the crowds and most especially my family along the way, kept me moving towards my goal.’
Vanker crossed the finish line and received a Vic Clapham medal.