Now that I have retired from professional athletics, I intend to use the vast experience I have gained throughout my career to help others (athletes, businesspeople, parents) achieve their own personal goals.
Elana Meyer has been among the world’s elite athletes for over 10 years, competing when she was younger at middle distances from 1 500 to 5 000 metres, and moving on to longer distances as she grew older. She remains one of the world’s best half-marathon and marathon runners.
At home, Meyer has dominated South African athletics, winning over 20 South African titles on the track, in the half-marathon, 15 kilometres, cross-country and marathon. On the international stage she has outlasted many of her former rivals. She has held world records at 15 kilometres and the half marathon, and boasts five of the 15 best half marathon times in history, a consistency unmatched by anyone else.
The defining moment of Meyer’s career, however, came way back in 1992. Competing in the Barcelona Olympics, South Africa’s first Games since 1960, Meyer was the country’s best hope for a gold medal. It seemed the entire nation was glued to their television sets as the athletes set off in the 10 000 metres, a race that would take over 30 minutes to complete.
Reflecting on being allowed to compete at the Olympics, Meyer said: “It was amazing. I kept telling myself, "It is true, it is true, I am here." It was very emotional. I had waited such a long time."
If anyone thought Meyer was slowing down, her performances in 2001 proved otherwise. She claimed race victories in the Cherry Blossom 10-mile, Lilac Bloomsdat 12 kilometre, Miyazaki Ladies Half Marathon and Sendai Half Marathon. These victories went along with a third place finish in the Peachtree 10 Kilometre Road Race, seventh in the Lisbon Half Marathon and sixth at the World Half Marathon Championships.
A devout Christian, the humble Meyer continues to show that hard work and determination can carry an athlete a long, long way.
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