Veronica Mthethwa presses the iron through the shirt with a practiced hand, the mundane task dulling her eyes. As her body switches to autopilot, her lines remain perfect. Mthethwa’s imagination takes over, sending her on the same journey it does every ironing afternoon… A stretch of highway materialises along a seam. The room fills with the steady crunch of feet on tar. Her cadence increases, as the road bends around a cotton collar. And, in a crescendo of emotion, Mthethwa flies over the finish line of the Comrades Marathon and straight back into the living room.
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From within the seams of life as a Domestic Worker, the dream felt distant. But it was the only thing keeping her going. Over time reality began to wither away at the outline of Mthethwa’s vision. So she started to run. From reality. Towards the glory of South Africa’s showpiece road race. Mthethwa made a habit of beating the sun to the day each morning, starting with a novice two kilometre route that stretched and stretched until she attempted her first marathon. Multiple events later, the Comrades was hers. But by then her dreams had outrun it and morphed into something new. Mthethwa’s new ambition was to represent her country at the New York Marathon.