Elonge runs with passion

WINNER: Francois Elonge and some of the certificates that he has received over the years.

FRANCOIS Elonge’s passion for running started at the mere age of seven, when he was still in primary school. Since then he has won many races and competed in a number of big, well-known events.

“One of my teachers at primary school, Collen McNally, who is currently an Athletic South Africa (ASA) referee, discovered that I love running and am a good athlete,” said Elonge. “Already in Grade Five (2008) he saw that I had talent and introduced me to the running world.”

While at primary school, he had many victories and podium finishes and was one of his schools’ star athletes. Then he attended Hoërskool Die Fakkel. “I decided to take things seriously and I’m so grateful that I was a learner at Die Fakkel, because the school brought out the best in me,” he said. “The teachers were so supportive and helpful and offered the best training facilities.”

The first race he entered, when in high school, was the Spar Grand Prix Women’s race, which was then staged at Old Parktonians in Randburg. He finished in 40th place.

In 2015 he ran the Old Mutual Soweto marathon, after which Nedbank Running Club offered to support him with running gear.

RUNNING IS HIS PASSION: Francois Elonge shows off one of his medals after finishing a race which he ran for Nedbank Running Club.

He achieved colours in athletics and cross country at school, as well as at district and Gauteng level. He also took part in road racing and marathons.

In his matric year he was named the prefect who looked after school sports. After completing school, Elonge carried on running in ASA cross country events and marathons, as well as in other races in and around Johannesburg.

In 2017 he will be participating in two of the South Africa’s most gruelling races, the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town and the Comrades Marathon in Durban, representing Nedbank Running Club.

”But that is not the main reason that I’m going to run there,” he said. “I am going to represent the Southern Suburbs and of course my former school. I want to make them proud and show that they have produced a star in the making,” he said. “I want to show them that their hard work never went in vain; perseverance and dedication are what keep me going in the early hours of the morning when I train.”

Elonge goes out on the road to train at 05:00 during the week and over weekends he does long distance running and hill training.

“Running is my passion. It is my dream one day to participate at the highest level of athletics. I can and I will,” he said.

Community members who would like to support Elonge can contact him on 071 119 1166 or 087 151 4668 or [email protected].

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Annette van Schalkwyk

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