Lodelia Kombrink’s passion for the outdoors saw her become one of South Africa’s top Ultra-Endurance runners. Recently she won the Ladies category at the Addo Elephant Trail Run while placing 2nd overall. Despite her remarkable achievements, Lodelia is a down-to-earth farm girl who works full-time and enjoys challenges.

Let’s find out what makes her tick:

1. Who is Lodelia Kombrink ?

I am a 38-year-old outdoor lover who grew up on a farm in Riversdale. I am happily (newly) married to Divan who is also a sporty and outdoor person which makes this match just amazing – Divan is into rehab, sports therapy, and training having studied Sport Science and worked as a master trainer in the UK for 17 years and myself having studied Sport Science. I have 2 boys, 15 and 13. As a finance manager for the Department of Health (George Hospital), I am unfortunately stuck in an office for 8 hours of the day and therefore I am even more grateful when I get outdoors. I was involved in a big car accident when I was young and had to undergo extensive surgery, so I always worked hard to overcome that. For a long time I was involved in netball as a coach for schools and seniors and umpiring at the top level in South Africa. The impact of the umpiring movement just got too much. Covid came and it was the right time to call it a day, and I turned my focus to trail running and haven’t looked back since.

2. Where is home?

I have lived in the beautiful Garden Route town of George for almost 5 years now.

3. When did you fall in love with trail running?

Growing up on a farm in the Riversdale district, there was just veld and gravel roads. My first trail run was in 2012 after 12 years of road running. The openness of nature, challenges, and surroundings just appealed to me. You experience emotions during trail running physically, mentally, and emotionally that mirror those of life itself, like climbing mountains, falling, and picking yourself back up. I can take so much from it and learn from it to improve myself.

4. What attracts you to sport?

The fact that you get to experience places very few people will experience! The once-in-a-lifetime view of sunrise from a mountaintop. The people you meet and the sport’s growth. Trail running challenges (elevation and terrain) are still being put out there to challenge athletes and that really attracts me.

5. As the current 100 Miler Addo Elephant Trail Run winner, what was your biggest challenge during the race or in the build-up to it?

The biggest challenge was that I had 2 operations prior to the race which caused a bit of doubt. It was difficult to shake off the anaesthetics and get race mode into action after 2 months of hard training. Standing on the start line, I focused on getting to the checkpoints as I had planned. What I didn’t plan for was the immense thunderstorm we ran in and the rain that poured down for hours and hours. My heart sank every time I turned a corner and I saw water. Also, going through the Sondags River while it was coming down, was a big fear that I had to overcome.

6. Most valuable life lesson learned from Trail Running?

To adapt to change. That you need to be calm and go to plan B when things suddenly happen or change, for example, the elements of nature.

7. Your goals for 2023 and/or 2024?

There are definitely 2 ultras lined up for 2024 with high goals!

8. Strangest food you thought of while running?

Oh my, basically anything. But whilst running I crave takeaways, but when I finish that is the last thing I want!

9. Lucky charm?

I do not really have a lucky charm. I do however not race without my bush hat – which is my trademark.

10. What do you always take on a trip?

I never leave on a trip without a buff. And tissues. NEVER!

11. Your favourite Squirt Cycling product?

The Barrier Balm. It really helps with the chafing and is long lasting. It also helps to protect my feet.

12. Best tip for beginners?

Make sure that you get the basic gear, but make sure it is proper quality. One can quickly fall into the trap of getting so many nice to-haves which add up to a lot of expenses. AND take care of your body from the start – your feet, your legs, your health, and your mind!

Please complete the following

1. I like my coffee… milk first 😊

2. I would love to go ride with…my husband and do long, remote trips like ‘going nowhere slowly’.

3. The secret to happiness… to be at peace with yourself and the decisions you make.

4. My greatest exhilaration…To go run with new shoes on a single track somewhere with my friends.

5. I fear…I do not really fear anything though, but I do fear a bad fall which might have long term implications. Not only for me but for inexperienced people going on trails and not being really fit for it.

6. Passion…To encourage people that anything is possible if you work hard – I really have a passion for people!

7. When I wake up… I check YR weather! And the loadshedding schedule.

8. I wish…I could run all over the world in the most remote places for a year or two.

Athlete Profile

1. Name: Lodelia

2. Nickname: Lodeels, Dila

3. Age: 38

4. Birthdate 16 October

5. Birthplace: Riversdale

6. Height: 169cm

7. Shoe size: 8 or 9 (I am sure the sizes are getting smaller….)

8. Social media handles: Instagram: @lodeels_7 ; FB: Lodelia Kombrink