Proud UP alumna is a champion
Posted on 22 August 2012
Landie Visser (now Greyling) graduated from the University of Pretoria at the end of 2007 with a BComHons (Accounting Science) and a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA). Although she was fit and trained for at least an hour a day while she was a student, she was by no means a serious athlete.
It was only in June 2008 that she did her first trail run, and she was hooked. Soon she became quite good at it, and these days, she usually takes the first or second place among women competing in trail runs. In her last two races in July, the 38 km Hout Bay Trail Challenge and the Winter Trail Series in Paarl, she took top spot among the women runners. She was also the first woman in the Old Fisherman’s Trail Challenge in Hout Bay in June and the Two Oceans’ Trail Run in April earlier this year.
Although Landie did cross-country at school and some road running later on, it was trail running that would become her passion. She explains why it is her first love: “Trail running is all about leaving the noise, pollution and tedious tar that characterises road running far behind in preference to running in the invigorating nature: in forests, through parklands, in valleys and on mountains, across streams and under towering stands of indigenous trees.” Furthermore, trail running has taken her to the most remote and amazing places in South Africa, and she has also taken part in a few races in America.
As with every sport, trail running requires a certain fitness of body and mind. Landie trains 12 to 18 hours a week when she doesn’t have a race scheduled. When the going – and conditions out there – gets really tough, Landie perseveres because of her goal of being the best that she can be and the strength she receives from God. Her sponsor, Salomon South Africa, also assists in fulfilling her trail running dreams. And her ultimate reward after a tough race: a cappuccino on a cold day and a chocolate milkshake in summer, of course!
Her favourite race in the past year was the Oorlogskloof Trail Run near Nieuwoudtville in the Northern Cape. Landie says: “The run took place in such a pristine, remote area with amazing trails and breathtaking views. I teamed up with my husband and we won!” The one she can’t wait for is the Otter African Trail Run in October later this year.
As a Tuks alumna, she is extremely proud to have been part of a professional institution like the University of Pretoria, which is widely recognised as one of the best academic establishments in the country.
As a trail runner, her big goal is to be acknowledged as the top female runner in South Africa, and to compete internationally. Go Landie!