Laxton still going strong

More than five decades after she first strapped on a pair of running shoes, and 42 years since she set her first national record, evergreen Sonja Laxton, above, says she has never lost her passion for the sport.

Laxton, 65, will compete in her 80th Spar Women’s Challenge 10km race in Johannesburg on October 13, targeting yet another victory in the grandmasters’ division.

“I just love running. I really miss it when I can’t do it,” Laxton said yesterday. “It’s such a wonderful thing to do.”

She has won 70 national titles in track, road and cross country events since she bagged the senior women’s 1 500m crown in 1971, and she set 28 national senior records over distances ranging from 1 500m to the marathon. Laxton was also the first athlete to receive national colours in all three disciplines of the sport.

She still competes regularly, but focuses now on the annual women’s only Challenge series.

“Women’s races are a lot of fun. The winner has the satisfaction of being the first across the finishing line, instead of coming after a bunch of men, and there is always a very good vibe at the Spar races.

“They really are something to look forward to. I plan my year’s training around them.”

Own correspondent




today in print

today in print