American fights off dehydration and cramping to finish strong and raise money for Team World Vision.
Written by: Mario Fraioli
Despite the dehydration and cramping over the second half of the race that quelled his chances for victory, Josh Cox of Mammoth Lakes, California used the motivation of a young child in need to power him to the finish line on Sunday at the 56-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Cox finished the race in 6:51:29 to place 186th overall.
“Tough day but I thank God for it,” Cox posted on his Twitter page. “Gotta have the valleys to enjoy the mountaintops. Walked 14k, bad stomach.”
Cox, one of the pre-race favorites, was running the race as a member of Team World Vision, an organization that helps raise money to supply impoverished children in Africa and other third-world countries with food, water, schooling and medical care. When the going got tough for Cox at Comrades, thoughts of his sponsored child, Philile, waiting for him at the finish line kept him going.
“Thanks for the well wishes,” Cox added. “It’s tough when 6 months of work doesn’t pan out but I’m blessed that my “bad” day involves running a race. Philile, our sponsored child, was waiting at the finish. She kept my head in it.””
Zimbabwe’s Stephen Muzhingi won his second-straight Comrades, finishing in 5:29:01. In the women’s race, Russian twins Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva took first and second, running 6:13:03 and 6:13:04, respectively. The top American finisher was Michael Wardian of Arlington, Virginia in 26th place with a time of 6:02:36.