After setting a new national 70+ age record last month over 10km, Nedbank running clubs Margie Saunders set a new 70 age World best over 25km over the weekend at the Econofoods 25km in Gqeberha in a time of 2:12:45.
Having started the sport of running at 35 after being a long distance swimmer previously, Saunders has set the record books alight, and there are no signs of her slowing down, even after some setbacks over the last two years. After a major abdominal operation last year, Saunders was on the road back to fitness but a fall off her patio in January this year saw her break her ankle and foot which needed two operations and a lot of rehab.
“I had to do a lot of rehab as well as a lot of swimming to get back to some form of fitness and I only feel like I am getting back to it now,” said Saunders. “I firmly believe that such enforced breaks which require “other” training like core, strength, even walking actually make you stronger in the long term.”
Setting the new world best over the 25km, Saunders had actually not even targeted the time or knew what the time to beat was. “I did not specifically train for the 25km and my actual objective was a slightly up-tempo training run in preparation for a half marathon on the 2nd December,” said Saunders. “I did not even know what the world best time was for 25 until Riel (Hauman) informed me after the race.”
With a World best to her name now, Saunders is running times that could rewrite many more. “My national best last month over 10km was 46:07 and it was run on a very hilly course and the world best is 44:09 so I certainly will look at running that because I ran a 43 last year so I just need to find a fast course.”
A half marathon world best could also be on the cards and most definitely a national record. The national record to best is 1:46 whilst the world best for 70 years is 1:37:38.
Saunders who is a member of the Nedbank Running Club I Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) prefers racing between 10km and the half marathons now but has previously run marathons, with a 2:55 marathon personal best as well as two Comrades silver medal finishes. “I do far less mileage these days with lots of shorter faster runs and I also still swim 2km at least twice a week with a local swim squad.”