My name is Roldah Orrie, I am born and raised in the beautiful coastal city of Cape Town in sunny South Africa with its world-renowned natural beauty like beaches, forests, semi-deserts, lush bushveld and the scenic views from the many mountain peaks. Cape Town, my home is also home to the iconic flat top, tourist attraction called Table Mountain, so much to see and do, this really is a country and city for those with an adventurous soul.
With so many beautiful running routes to explore, both on and off the road, Cape Town has given rise to my running journey over the last decade. I have had the opportunity and pleasure of competing in numerous marathons but also ultra-distance road races like Two Oceans Ultra (56kms) in the city of Cape Town and Comrades Marathon (+/-90kms) in the city of Durban and then also some renowned ultra-distance trail events within South Africa like the Ultra Trail Cape Town (up to 100kms), George Mountain Ultra Trail, PUFfeR, 3 Peaks Challenge and Maxi Race to name just a few.
I was also fortunate to experience a handful of international marathons and trail races as well, like Cappadocia Ultra Trail in Turkey, Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 2022 in the UK, Restonica Trail by UTMB 2022 in France and a host of other marathons within Europe.
Oprah Winfrey said, “running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it” and I agree, none of my running success is just pure luck, it does require some effort and commitment. So, when I am not doing these long-distance events, the rest of my year is filled with shorter runs and races and ongoing training. I am a member of a local road running club called Brimstone Itheko and married to ultra-runner Ashraf Orrie, the founder of a local run crew called Strong2Run.
Many facets of my running associations and people have contributed to my running success, being surrounded by friends and family with the same love and passion for the sport makes this all so much easier.
However, as an athlete, there’s only so much your support crew and fellow runners can do for you. Fundamentally, crossing the finish line, is still all me and therefore I must remain consistent and committed to keeping my fitness in peak condition, while constantly refining and developing practices that work for me. The love for good food (not always the healthy kind) is probably one of the harder tasks to get right but managing a good diet and training regularly is all part of upholding the drive and determination to obtain my personal goals and objectives
One run can change your day; many runs can change your life and I can hardly remember a time before I started running. It’s been an amazing journey. Running might be an individual sport, but it can be a team sport too. We are stronger together! It is wonderful to see runners pushing their limits and chasing their goals in different ways and at different events. I am keen to help others achieve their goals too, working together to accomplish these goals while at the same time bringing good vibes back to the running community, the same community that has served me all these years. I love the emotion you see in people when running: the hurt, the joy, the relief and awe while achieving and enduring, being a part of that is just wonderful. Kudos to everyone who takes up any running challenge, regardless of the distance.
Running really can be whatever you want it to be: spirited, easy, social, competitive, therapeutic, whatever it is, whatever your reason for lining up at the start line of the Tata Mumbai Marathon in 2023, I know the importance of a pacer role so to have this opportunity is incredible. Looking forward to seeing you all in January!