More than a footrace in Johannesburg

I HUNG UP THE PHONE feeling full of confidence. My daughter, Laura, had persuaded me to run with her in a 10km race in Johannesburg in three months' time. No problem getting in shape by then, I thought. I'll start tomorrow.

As the days went by, however, I didn't actually get in shape. My job as a structural engineer in and around Durban kept me quite busy, along with all the other activities of my life—family, gardening, church. Anything to keep me from serious training for the race!

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