Novice rider with a Cause

Sunday, 10 February 2013 21:29


If my mom can beat a disease like cancer, then I see no reason why I can,t do this race. Those of the words of Miriam Mannak, 35, a freelance journalist from Cape Town who will ride her first Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour tomorrow.
Born in the Netherlands, Mannak grew up in Angola and Rwanda before moving to Cape Town in 2007.
She said she had a “paradigm shift” when her mother Marijke Mannak, 55, was diagnosed with breast cancer three days before Christmas last year. Fortunately it was found at an early stage and she was treated with radiation therapy.
“If she can cope with radiation and not knowing, everything else seems minor”, Mannak said. “It makes you think; accidents and diseases happen.
What if it had been me?”
Mannak had always wanted to take part in the Cycle Tour, but in the past found reasons not to. This year she decided to take the plunge, bought a mountain bike in January, and started training. Not content with only participating, she has also set herself a personal target of finishing within five-and-a-half hours. “If you enter, you must push yourself”, she said. Mannak is also riding to support the Bumble Bee Fund’s Daniel Holgate, 8, who suffers from muscular dystrophy.