The Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) is so privileged to have close to 30 Comrades Marathon activists" who have chosen to run for hospice. Today we meet one of them, Pieter Botha.

Could you please tell us a little about yourself?

I am from a small town, Somerset East and moved to Cape Town to pursue an education and a career. Today, I am a lecturer at UCT, doing research into expanding access to and awareness of palliative care and its benefits when it comes to end-of-life care options and decisions. For sanity, I run.

What got you started into running – was there anyone close to you that inspired you?

Well, after University, I started getting a "beer boep" (fat tummy) and it most definitely did not suit me!I thought I'd give running a bash, and it turned out that I really loved it - and now the boep is gone, too!

How long have you been running for in general and for comrades?


I started running in 2013, literally just around the block at first and this has over the years grown to more than just running around the block - in fact, this year I will be doing my 4th Comrades Marathon.

What do you enjoy about the event?

The camaraderie - everyone suffering together, and crossing that line together. No one runs comrades alone!

How do you prepare for an event this big?

Carboload with lots of beer! ha ha

What is your favourite food before and after a run?


Before a run, I love to indulge in a steak and juicy burger and for obvious reasons,beer! ( Carboloading is key!)

Do you enjoy running alone or prefer a group?


A bit of both - generally love the social aspect, but every now and then just running at my pace with my own thoughts and not a care in the world is what I need to clear my head and get some perspective.

How has running changed your life?

I think it has helped me deal with a lot of anxiety/stress that I would not have been able to deal with without hitting the tar or the trails. I now always have somewhere I can escape to and, I can wear a Speedo again!

Is there any particular reason you chose Hospice as your preferred beneficiary?


So many reasons! Hospice provides services of immeasurable value to the indigent and seriously ill people to maximize their quality of life right up to the very end. Hospice cares for the people who society is afraid to acknowledge, and who have become abandoned as a result; people who have contributed to society for their whole lives and now have nowhere to go or no one to care for them.

Hospice educates us about the value and the meaning of life, right up until the very end. Hospice provides care and compassion and support to those who need it most in their darkest of hours. Can any service be more noble?

Please help Pieter reach his target of R5000 by making a donation here