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March 6, 1989 | ELLIOTT ALMOND, Times Staff Writer
In 1981, Mark Plaatjes entered his first road race--the 56-kilometer Johannesburg to Pretoria run--at age 18. Ill-equipped with simple sneakers and misguided confidence, he stayed with the leaders for 15 miles before falling back because of painful blisters. Still, Plaatjes finished the race. After that 35-mile ordeal, he took off his shoes and socks, and his toenails ripped off. "My feet were one big mess of bloodied blisters," he recounted.
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March 6, 1989 | ELLIOTT ALMOND, Times Staff Writer
In 1981, Mark Plaatjes entered his first road race--the 56-kilometer Johannesburg to Pretoria run--at age 18. Ill-equipped with simple sneakers and misguided confidence, he stayed with the leaders for 15 miles before falling back because of painful blisters. Still, Plaatjes finished the race. After that 35-mile ordeal, he took off his shoes and socks, and his toenails ripped off. "My feet were one big mess of bloodied blisters," he recounted.
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