Based: East London

Kim was born in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape in 1972  and grew up on a trading station in a rural area of the old Ciskei homeland. After matriculating she studied Law at Stellenbosch University (studying Latin in Afrikaans is no joke!) and at the University of Cape Town. She spent a while in the UK working to pay back hefty student loans before returning to South Africa to complete her legal articles. She was admitted as an attorney in 1999. She practised law in Cape Town and then in the Eastern Cape, before working as legal advisor for various corporates. Most recently she was employed by Mercedes-Benz South Africa in East London at their manufacturing plant as a legal manager. She is currently associated with Global Business Solutions but is now self-employed as a legal consultant/ corporate trainer, freelance writer and motivational speaker. She works just enough to stay out of the poor house and afford to run amazing races in interesting places. Despite opportunities to have married someone sensible she is happily married to Peter van Kets (2x Atlantic Rower and only African to have rowed solo across any ocean) and mother to 5 year old Hannah (who wants to be an extreme rock climbing ballet dancer when she grows up).

Having established that running requires no particular skill other than the ability to endure discomfort, she has spent a lot of time on the road/trail and has now been running for more than half her life. After having run the the Comrades and Two Oceans and countless road races for many years, Kim discovered trail running and was hooked by the solitude and beauty of the sport. Since then she has run a number of extreme off road races including (in the last 2 years alone), the Addo Elephant 100 mile Trail Run (first woman and 6th overall) , the Rhodes Ultra Marathon, the Amatola 100km Trail Run, the 270km Transkei ultra from Port St Johns to East London (first woman and 4/5th overall), the 250km self sufficiency Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon, the Baviaanskllof Marathon etc. She has also paddled and cycled for many years and taken part in various multi discipline adventure races. Despite her addiction to trail running, Kim insists that she is a very average athlete and that she only ever wins races by deafault when the true athletes break down. She has a tank- like ability to keep going which will stand her in good stead in 2011.

Kim’s quote:

“I wish all women understood that their bodies are machines, not ornaments. It is much more important to be strong, fit and healthy than to look good in hot pants – I have nothing but admiration for my wobbly thighs! They are totally bullet proof and can run up and down mountains non-stop for 30+ hours if they have to! I would take them anywhere! “