Aria Pitham (12 years old)

Crawford North Coast Team Relay 2022

I remember waking up at 5am feeling my heart pounding and during the car ride to Pietermaritzburg, I kept myself busy with imagining how it would go. ‘I am going to drown’ I said to myself but I was making a huge effort to not show my mom how nervous I was.

When we got there, I glanced over to the dam, and my eyes bulged out of my head! I don’t think I could hide it anymore – I was terrified! When the time came for my turn to swim, my coach Dom, had agreed to swim with me which helped a lot. In the water I felt free. I would glance to the right and see a town and when I was not paying attention I would start swimming the wrong way, but my coach helped get me back on track. The last 400m came and went in a snap. I started sprinting my heart out, determined to get a good time. However, I ended up going the wrong way again and ended up on the wrong side of the finish line, so I quickly changed my position. As I was walking back to my mom, I felt this surge of power, determination and pride. I was very proud of myself and happy that I put myself out there. It was my first Midmar Mile, but it definitely wasn’t my last.