Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Everyday Running Heroes: Peter John Moses

Sho - some days are just really, really hard.  I had one of those days yesterday: One that has you bawling by 09:00 a.m. and doesn't ease up until you arrive home in an exhausted, mascara-streaked heap many hours later.  And yet it's often days like those that remind me how blessed I am: Blessed to have loved ones to care about.  Blessed to know good health.  And blessed to be able to be there for someone.        

I came home to an e-mail from a fellow runner who's no stranger to adversity - a runner who's definitely had his fair share of tough times.  But a runner who, despite all of that, chooses to have a positive outlook on life and in doing so inspires many people around him, including myself.  Especially on a day like yesterday.  Here's his story:

Peter John Moses (37) is an unemployed dad of two gorgeous boys who lives in Bonteheuwel in Cape Town's Cape Flats.  He started running relatively late in life and entered his first 10 k race in March 2013.  The rest, as they say, is history: In little over a year Peter has clocked some pretty impressive PRs (38:40 for the 10 k, 01:28:53 for the half-marathon, 03:20:44 for the marathon and 04:40 for the Two Oceans Ultra) and grown to love running.  "I love running because it has opened up a whole new world for me and I can finally find pride in my achievements and revel in my abilities. I have a new purpose in my life and I can show my kids that there is a lot more to this world than what is on offer in our crime-ridden township. The great people I have met and the places I have seen have been totally awesome."


Peter (3rd from the left) with some of his new running friends.  [Photo courtesy of Peter John Moses.]

Peter's running journey has, however, not always been plain sailing: "Most of my obstacles have been financial.  Not having a steady income has seen me enter less races than what I would have wanted to and has lead me to sometimes having to make the tough choice between entering a race or buying food for my family. I have had to be inventive with my solutions to transport problems as well, even at times resorting to sleeping in police stations or on the sidewalk before a race. I have also sometimes had to run double the race distance in the dead of night to get to the start of a race."  


Peter with a fellow runner at a recent race.  [Photo courtesy of Peter John Moses.]

Peter currently runs between 100 and 150 km during the week, with a long run of approximately 45 km on non-racing Saturdays.  His goals are very clear: "I believe that I am capable of running fast enough to get a silver medal at Two Oceans and at Comrades in 2015!  All my training is currently focused on those two goals. I am also training hard to go under 3 hours at the PPC Marathon in July 2014".


Peter (in the blue vest) doing what he loves.  [Photo courtesy of Peter John Moses.]

One of the incredible things about running, is how universal it is.  Even though all of our running journeys are so different, it can be summarised much in the same way as Peter summarises his own journey: "I have found strength in my faith and in new friendships formed around a mutual love and respect for running as a way of life."  

Thanks so much, Peter, for sharing your inspirational story.  Go get those silver medals - we know you can do it!



10 comments:

  1. Sounds like a man after my own heart. But why Silver? Why not go for Gold?
    Thanks for sharing Karien.

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    1. With all the wonderful support Peter is receiving from the running community, combined with his inspirational determination, I'm convinced that gold is a very real possibility too!

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  2. Wow. What an incredible story. Thank you for sharing! I think it's easy to lose perspective and start to complain about things like race entries being expensive after spending money on one, but what we often don't think of is how we should be grateful for the opportunity to be able to pay for one. It's a great reminder to not take things like that for granted. I wish him all the best in the future.

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    1. Thanks so much, Hailey. I'll be sure to pass your good wishes on to him - I know he'll appreciate it very much!

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  3. Wow, that is so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing that. I wish him all the best :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa - I'll be sure to pass your good wishes on to him. How awesome to have such a supportive global running family!

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  4. Great story Karien! We need people like him in our lives to keep perspective and also keep us humble. All the best to him.

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    1. Thanks, Johann. I'll be sure to give him your good wishes!

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  5. A great story of an inspiring man. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much, Stefano. Peter really appreciates everyone's kind comments and wishes!

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