Name: Janina Hundenborn
Originally from Germany, Janina has spent the last 4 years in Cape Town. A researcher in the Economics department at the University of Cape Town, her main interests include running, hiking and beaching. In other words, if she’s active and outdoors, she’s happy. We sat down (errr…online) to ask Janina a few questions about the upcoming run, the reason she chose the Rachel Swart Fund, and more. We’re so honoured that she has told us – and now you! – her story, and we’re pulling for her out there on the 15th.
Are you a first timer or have you run the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) in the past? What about other half-marathons?
First ever half-marathon
What made you choose the Rachel Swart Fund?
I liked the idea of running for a charity that provides mobility aids to individuals with severe disabilities. I only started running last year with my first race being the Women’s Day 5k in August. Seeing how far I’ve come, I am grateful for the able body that allows me to do these amazing things like participating in the Two Oceans, pushing my own limits and tackling longer and tougher routes. It only seemed right to use this privilege to give back mobility and independence to individuals with physical disabilities.
How does the work that the Rachel Swart Fund does resonate with you, or affect you, on a personal level?
My family in Germany is quite big on working with people with disabilities, not least due to our own experiences. My cousin’s eldest son is in a wheelchair, and with time, I realized how many small obstacles one faces when one’s mobility is impaired, and how assistance is needed in day-to-day activities. My older sister is disabled, too, and so, I thought I knew how life is for disabled individuals since I’ve seen her all my life. However, my sister is fully mobile, and I realized how easily we take our own mobility for granted when I saw the many things my cousin needs to consider when going anywhere with her son. All members of my family are involved in community projects for people with disabilities, thus going way beyond assisting just the members of our family in dealing with their disabilities. I guess, I took their examples as my role model when I decided that it is now time for me to contribute and make a difference for people with disabilities, but also to highlight the privilege of our own mobility, which we often take for granted.
Any goals for the race? What are you looking forward to most?
First and foremost, my goal is to finish the race. That being said, a friend of mine did the Two Oceans last year and I’m hoping I at least get to beat her time 😉 I’m mostly looking forward to the great vibe that everyone who’s done the Two Oceans is telling me about!
I’m very grateful to the Rachel Swart Fund for giving me the opportunity to run my first half-marathon, and of course, to all the amazing people that have already contributed to my fundraiser. Their support and encouragement are what’s giving me the energy to push further, and I’m excited to know so many people that are willing to support the wonderful work of the Rachel Swart Fund.
And there you have it! Our sincerest thanks go out to Janina and all of those supporting her. So far, she’s managed to raise a whopping R 7 260 on her GivenGain platform, and she is just shy of her R 7 500 goal. To help her (and us!) get there, pop over to her fundraising platform to donate.