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My Scrapbook: Caroline Wöstmann

Auditor and mother of two, Caroline Wöstmann, the first South African woman in 17 years to win the Comrades Marathon and the first in 14 years to win the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, talks about books, her first run and Tim Noakes.

I COLLECTED ALL THESE SHELLS, STONES AND DRIFTWOOD on a 4×4 holiday in Namibia. I’ll never forget the stars in the sky, the desert sand…I’m happiest in the outdoors. That sense of peace and stillness is the same as how I feel running in the morning before the hustle and bustle begins.

I CALL MY DAUGHTERS GABRIELLA AND ISABELL Gabby Wabby adn Bally Boo. Everything we have is because I changed my life after my pregnancy with Gabby. I was only 24 years old, but after the first scan I was in awe of that little life. We decided to have Isabell soon after and be young parents. 

I’VE ALWAYS LOVED READING. Both these books Great South African Teachers by Jonathan Jansen and Lore Of Running by Tim Noakes, contain individual messages from high-profile people about making life work. And I do still believe in eating some carbs as Tim did then.

I BOUGHT THIS BOAT WHILE ON HONEYMOON IN MAURITIUS with my husband, Haiko in 2006. We met when I was 16. He proposed while we were in the Drakensberg one holiday and I said, ‘Are you being serious?’ because I was still studying. And then I quickly said, ‘Yes!’

I RECEIVED MY CA (The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants certificate) in 2009. I’m proud I’m good at maths. I think in numbers. But I left my job at Deloitte & Touche about four years ago to lecture at Wits after a male client walked in while I was expressing my milk for Isabell! Those firms can be very male-dominated. 

MY ‘FAT’ PANTS ARE A CONSTANT REMINDER that I took up running six years ago to lose the extra 10kg I was still carrying a year after giving birth to Gabriella. I started with a run around the block. Two months later, I could run 5km comfortably and without really thinking about it. I made a New Year’s resolution to run my first Comrades that year!

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