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Durban runner scores silver at SA Championships

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Adam Lipschitz, 27, is soaring high after scoring a silver and fourth place for his races at the South African Championships at Tuks Athletics Stadium last week.

“I’m happy with the positions, but want to improve on times,” the ambitious and driven athlete says, reflecting on his performance at the Athletics South Africa senior track and field national event.

In the 10 000m race, Lipschitz came second with a time of 29:30:40, and in the 5 000m, fourth, with a time of 14:01.

When he is successful in a race, Lipschitz appreciates the long road of consistent effort it has taken to achieve the result.

“Running is an individual sport so what you put in is what you get out. With running, there is no time to rest, you have to give it your all from the get-go. If you aren’t in shape, it will show in your race from your position. When you are fit and winning, you are grateful for the training that you have put in.”

Although no one enjoys losing, Lipschitz says he takes the opportunity when he doesn’t achieve his goals to think about the adjustments he can make. “You reflect, then you act on it in training.”

The born-and-bred Durbanite, who runs his own property investment and management business, says that while COVID-19 has curtailed participation in many international events, his sights are on the horizon – possibly even the Olympics in the years ahead. His dream is to train for the marathon race in this event.

In the interim, he’s looking forward, hopefully, to participation in the upcoming World Athletics Championships in America, then Commonwealth Games, as well as next year’s Maccabi Games – an arena in which he has already had astonishing success.

Lipschitz has been running since primary school, representing South Africa in his high-school years, and continuing at university level.

He trains every morning as part of a disciplined schedule. He doesn’t work with a coach, instead choosing to “use a lot of different programmes that I’ve taken over the years that work for me”.

Running remains a form of meditation for him. “You have time to yourself. I run alone in the morning. It’s when I’m without my phone, no music, just running round the athletics track. It’s time to think about life and any problems, time to evaluate. I enjoy it.”

Ultimately, the sport has taught him powerful life lessons. “It has taught me self-control, self-discipline, and to stay motivated.”

Lipschitz says his family and running club are very supportive, and he is particularly appreciative of his parents’ support over the years.

He comes from a traditionally Jewish family. “I practice the faith, and it’s very much a part of my identity,” and enjoys giving back to the community via the Community Security Organisation and through involvement in Maccabi in KwaZulu-Natal. His other big passion is the administrative side of sport, and he is hoping to be part of making changes provincially in this arena.

Besides having the opportunity to travel internationally, Lipschitz says it has also been amazing to travel to all nine provinces of South Africa through running. “It’s a beautiful country,” he says. The Transkei is his favourite destination so far.

Lipschitz’s message to other budding Maccabean athletes is to “understand yourself and your body first. No one knows your body how you know it yourself. Feel confident and comfortable before you get a coach to tell you what to do or go onto someone else’s plan.”

Lipschitz’s accolades have been celebrated by Maccabi SA, with whom he has a long association. In the 2019 European Maccabi Games in Budapest, Hungary, Lipschitz won the half marathon – “beating the athlete who came second by thirteen minutes!” says Maccabi SA spokesperson Ros Goldin.

At the 2017 Maccabi Games in Israel, Lipschitz won gold medals for both the 10 000m road race and the 5 000m track race.

“To add to that, the 10km was actually the 10km Jerusalem night race, which was open to the public, with the Maccabi race included as a race-within-a-race. He won the whole event, so both the public and Maccabi races.

“He won against very strong competition. In the 5 000m, he came from third to win it. He was brllliant,” says Goldin.

“He’s a great role model for all sports because he’s very dedicated, he trains hard, and plans well. His races are strategic, and he gives it a lot of thought. He sets an outstanding example for our juniors,” Goldin says.

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