In 2008, Caroline Wöstmann, a chartered accountant and new mother, started running regularly to keep fit and manage her stress levels.
Within a few months, she’d made a New Year’s resolution to run the Comrades Marathon. This she did in 2009, 2011 and 2012. In 2012 she was the 15th woman to finish.
Seeing her name just below the top 10 runners made Wöstmann realise she was good enough to be among them. After a stress fracture kept her out of the next Comrades, she returned, stronger than ever, to clinch sixth place in 2014.
Wöstmann, who was a finance lecturer and studying towards her master’s degree at the time, set her sights firmly on the top spot. In April 2015 she won the Two Oceans Marathon and in May became the first South African woman to win the Two Oceans and the Comrades Marathons in the same year.
She was the first South African Comrades victor in 14 years and less than three minutes shy of breaking the record for the up run. Wöstmann, 33, says marathon running has taught her a lot about life.
“Even when you’re tired or sore or doubting whether you’ll actually make it, you keep putting one foot in front of the other.”