By Asa Sokopo
All his life Darryl Howe was told that he would never walk; now the 30-year-old who was born with cerebral palsy will be competing in the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon after having completed eight marathons in the past seven years.
Howe, from Australia, has travelled all over the world fulfilling his passion for running. He completed his first major marathon in 2001.
Affectionately known as Daz by his friends, Howe and family will be making their first attempt at an ultra marathon in the 56km epic and the money he hopes to raise will be donated to charity.
Daz arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday and was welcomed by award winning athlete, Elana Meyer at a media breakfast where he had everyone in stitches.
Meyer, who heads the Jag Sports and Education Foundation, said Daz’s participation in the marathon would raise funds for Jag and the Two Oceans Marathon’s official charity, Noah.
“We are excited to be working with Daz. His historic story of conquering his disability, as well as other people’s perceptions, is one that all the children in our running programme will be able to understand and gain inspiration from,” she said.
“No one with my condition has ever been mad enough to attempt to run a marathon,” he said.
While he said he had been training for the marathon, he said his disability was limiting him in terms of the amount of intense training he could do, but maintained that he ran between 20 and 30km a week and woke up as early as 3am to train.
|‘Nothing is impossible unless you yourself make it impossible’|
Daz has been granted an hour head start for the race and is confident that he will complete the marathon in good time. “Speed is not important though,” he said.
After conquering the London Marathon, New York Marathon and the Rottenest Island Marathon, Daz felt he was ready to run the Two Oceans.
According to Daz, his father felt he was not ready to complete in an ultra marathon and assumed he would only complete half of the race.
Having coined his own saying, Daz said that people set boundaries for themselves and that those confine the mind.
“Nothing is impossible unless you yourself make it impossible,” he said.