Two Oceans Ultra Marathon is here !


We are four days away from running the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in Cape Town on Saturday 15th of April 2017.

The Two Oceans Ultra Marathon is the most beautiful marathon in the world and it is definitely a race very close to my heart because it was my first ultra-marathon I did, way back in 2015. I’ve certainly had my ups and downs at this race, but thank goodness there were more ups than downs, band by “ups” I don’t mean Chappies and Constantia Nek.

My best time was 05.50.14 and I am going to try, with the emphasis on “try” to better this time, even if it just with a few minutes. I just want to finish strong, without any issues and also without injury because a week later, on the 22nd of April I will once again line up for another race, this time the Loskop Ultra Marathon.

My plan for Two Oceans is to get out of the bundle as quick as possible without having to sprint necessarily. There are ways to free yourself from the field without having to do the 100m dash. Then I also want to find my rhythm as early as possible in the race. It is important for me to hold back and run easy and in check during the first three to five kilometres because this is where the speed traps are. It is easy to get sucked in by the fast stream and to start too fast will be the wrong thing to do. I maintain what I always say, “Fly now, pay later”. This is also warm up time, to get the blood flowing, the muscles warmed up and breathing settled.

In the first 28km I want to run a bit on the conservative side and see how it plays out because the challenges are mainly for me in the second 28km and those two iconic hills, Chapmans Peak and then the dreaded Constantia Nek. To prepare for this I have up my average pace a little on the first half to make up for the time wasters on the second lap.

The second half is a challenge, mainly because fatigue is kicking in and you have to navigate those constant climbs and also keep enough fuel in the tank not only to get over Constantia Nek but to be strong to endure the last ten kilometers to the end. This stretch is mostly down but what makes this part a challenge is the twists and turns and the camber that really get to your ankles The final three kilometers should be a breeze for any other event but after 53km you usually feel it and just to make sure you face one more little challenge, that final little uphill leading runners to the finish venue at UCT. The support here is usually very good and the cheering really helps to get runners home.

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is one of the nicest finishes for me, coming into those grounds with that sharp turn to the left, a quick straight and then the right turn into the final stretch with the finish line in front of you welcoming everyone home after a long morning on the road.

Well, that is the plan. This is a stepping stone to something bigger, Comrades 2017. It is important for me to just have a good and comfortable Oceans, most of all just enjoy the time on the road with fellow runners from all walks of life, the gorgeous scenery and enjoying the warm support from the side of the road. We love the crowds who come out to support us as we feed of their energy, equally so also all the amazing volunteers making sure we stay hydrated, fed and entertained along the route. Shout out to all of you !

Good luck to all my friends and strangers who will be taking on the 56km Ultra run this weekend. May you all be safe and may you all get the results you were training for. Go out and let’s all Run As One !


On the road again !

We are nearing the end of January and it is great to see all the usual faces on the road again. Since mid-January many had returned to the road to start their Comrades training. February is around the corner and you can see runners are getting serious on the road again.

I noticed that the majority are still where I am, getting into the swing of things, slowly picking up the pace after the slight slowdown most of us enjoyed in December. I did not stop with my training altogether, but I did a little less. Resting the body is also part of preparation and after a busy running diary last year, it was good to take some well-deserved time out.

Left to tight: Mercia, Douw & Naomi #TeamJohnsonCrane

For the past few weeks I’ve been doing some pace runs with two friends from Akasia Athletics Club, Mercia and Naomi. Both these girls want to qualify for Two Oceans and Comrades at this coming weekend’s Johnson Crane Hire Marathon at Sahara Willowmoore Park in Benoni, Jhb. We’ve had a few great runs and managed to do the groundwork for the coming weekend’s race. This past weekend we did the last training run and the plan was not to dip below 06:30 min / kilometre as an average and when we crossed the finish line we were exactly on an average of 06:30 min / kilometre. Those who did the PwC race will know that this is not one of the easiest routes, but these two stuck with me and flanked me all the way from start to finish. I was so proud of them. But I once again realised the truth of the quote I posted on Twitter later. It says, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” This is so true. These two worked hard, they were committed and they want this so badly and it shows in their commitment and dedication and the will to succeed. I am confident that they will reap the fruit of their hard work on Sunday and they will qualify.

When you see us on the road on Sunday, please show your support and love for these two ladies as they realise their dream.

One last thought. While I was on the route at the Modern Athlete Bobbies Half Marathon in Edenvale on Sunday, I remembered these words; “Press on” These words have solved and always will solve many problems. We have to learn to press on, to persevere and this we can only so when we realise that things are not always easy. Some things are harder to achieve than others, but it is always possible. Perseverance is a great element of success and we should never forget this.

As January come to a close and February is knocking at the door, I want to encourage everyone who is training for a goal, whether it is your first 5km walk, your fist 10km run, your first half or full marathon, even Comrades, work hard at achieving your goal and when you come across those little potholes of disappointment, always remember, when the world says, “Give up” it is hope that whispers, “Try it one more time.” This is perseverance. This is what will make the difference.

Remember, if you want to remove that mountain that is blocking your way, you have to start carrying away small stones, one by one.