HORSHAM woman Sally Pymer has conquered an ultra-marathon in South Africa for the second time.
Ms Pymer completed the 89 -kilometre course in under 11 hours, earning a bronze medal.
“It was really hard,” she said.
“My legs were just so tired and it was so hilly.
“I just had to draw on all my mental strength to finish the race.”
The Comrades Marathon attracts people from around the world to run through the unforgiving terrain from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.
Ms Pymer finished the race in 10 hours 59 minutes and 42 seconds.
“With about seven kilometres to go I thought I had no hope of breaking 11 hours,” Pymer said.
“I guess it was just determination to get the bronze medal.
“I was just determined to break that 11 hours and all the pain goes away when you do.”
Ms Pymer said she had recovered well from the gruelling race.
“I’m usually fine while I run, but once I got to the end I had to lie down for an hour and half,” she said.
“My blood pressure drops and if you get up too quickly, you’ll pass out.”
She said there was a strong bond between ultra-marathon runners.
“Everyone is so friendly and so helpful, we’re just like a family,” Ms Pymer said.
“There’s so much of a team bond even though it’s an individual sport because everyone’s so encouraging.”
Ms Pymer said people had jokingly questioned her mental health when she told them she went on 89-kilometre runs for fun.
“They usually ask me if I’m okay,” she said. “Most people say, ‘why would you want to do that?’ And, ‘did you know they invented cars for a reason?’”
She said the personal test motivated her to keep running.