Tronox Marathon (The Empangeni sugar rush)

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[MARATHON #251 / UNIQUE MARATHON #148 / 29 May 2022]

It was a bleak May for marathons. After running the Seshego 50k on the opening day of the month, circumstances conspired against me. The 8th of May is Mother’s Day and I am absolutely forbidden from running marathons on this weekend (since accidentally missing Mother’s Day for the Gabarone Marathon in 2018); I’d run all the far-flung marathons the following weekend and thought I’d save the travel budget for runs I’d not done before; The resurrected False Bay Ultra on 22 May is on my “to do” list but my mother was visiting us in Joburg that weekend and she would not have been impressed if her eldest son disappeared to Cape Town for a day. Continue reading “Tronox Marathon (The Empangeni sugar rush)”

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The Running Mann’s Guide to August / September 2022 Marathons & Ultras

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This article provides detailed information on all South Africa’s August and September marathons and ultras including race descriptions, recommendations and travel information.

An August Comrades’ means that there is no much happening over these two months but the few options available are quality runs.

A summary of all your choices is below:

Click to expand.

Continue reading “The Running Mann’s Guide to August / September 2022 Marathons & Ultras”

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Seshego Marathon (Signing out from Polokwane)

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[MARATHON #250 / UNIQUE MARATHON #147 / 1 May 2022]

Having run all their marathons and ultras, I thought that I was done with Polokwane but then this new race popped up on the calendar and sweating out a 50k seemed like an appropriate way to spend Workers’ Day.

The Seshego Marathon is an appropriate way to spend Workers’ Day.

These days I am finding that most of the adventure in running marathons is getting to the start. Point-to-point races always pose logistical challenges and my dire need of beauty sleep (according to my daughters’ forthright opinions, I have a severe deficit in this regard) exacerbates this problem. Continue reading “Seshego Marathon (Signing out from Polokwane)”

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The Running Mann’s Guide to July 2022 Marathons & Ultras

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This article provides detailed information on all South Africa’s July marathons and ultras including race descriptions, recommendations and travel information.

It’s slim pickings in July with just ten confirmed marathons and ultras at the time of writing.

A summary of all your choices is below:

Click to expand.

Continue reading “The Running Mann’s Guide to July 2022 Marathons & Ultras”

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The Running Mann’s Guide to June 2022 Marathons & Ultras

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This article provides detailed information on all South Africa’s June marathons and ultras including race descriptions, recommendations and travel information.

There’s a paltry ten options for the road running enthusiast this June which is surprising since this should be a peak Comrades training month.

A summary of all your choices is below:

Click to expand.

Continue reading “The Running Mann’s Guide to June 2022 Marathons & Ultras”

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Durban City Marathon (Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink)

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[MARATHON #248 / UNIQUE MARATHON #146 / 10 April 2022]

In writing my monthly marathon articles, I normally find that there is high correlation between the responsiveness of race organisers and the overall organisational quality of their race. When I get no response to my enquiries the alarm bells go off.

The organisers of the Durban City Marathon are the Durban City Multi Sport Club. This club seems to have successfully avoided leaving any digital footprint, with a Google search producing zero hits. The club had no entrants at this year’s Two Oceans Marathon and only three finishers at the last Comrades Marathon.

On face value this does not seem like the kind of club that would be given the organisation rights to the flagship marathon in South Africa’s third largest city. However, this is the club that most of the technical officials in KZN Athletics belong to. I am not sure if they have a club motto but if they do, I would not be surprised if it’s, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Things you don’t need to bring to the Durban City Marathon: Fishing rods
Things you do: A straw to suck up some delicious rain water (#CarryYourOwn KZN-style)
There was definitely something fishy with this race…

Continue reading “Durban City Marathon (Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink)”

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Best of the Best Marathon (Surviving Shark country)

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[MARATHON #246 / UNIQUE MARATHON #145 / 27 FEBRUARY 2022]

With bad traffic and a lack of local knowledge, I started the Best of the Best Marathon ten minutes late and two poos short of an empty stomach. It wasn’t for lack of trying either. I had allowed more than enough time to get through to King’s Park from our holiday accommodation in Salt Rock (this particular marathon was sold on the pretext using my daughters’ mid-term break as a long weekend at the beach and a chance for my wife to visit her mom and gran in Pinetown).

I had been assured that there was ample parking and, having joined the queue of cars with about 50 minutes to spare, I thought I was safe. Rookie error number one was following a convoy that split to the right towards a large parking garage – only to be informed that this was for Virgin Active members only. The security guard was in no mood for the “I forgot my card at home” excuse so, after 15-minutes of backtracking, I rejoined the slow-moving queue which was now pretty much at a standstill. Continue reading “Best of the Best Marathon (Surviving Shark country)”

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The Running Mann’s Guide to May 2022 Marathons

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This article provides detailed information on all South Africa’s May marathons including race descriptions, recommendations and travel information.

Unless you’re triskaidekaphobic, the good news is that after a very quiet April there are 13 marathon and ultra options in May.

A summary of all your choices is below:

Click to expand

Continue reading “The Running Mann’s Guide to May 2022 Marathons”

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Peninsula Marathon (Naval gazing in the Cape)

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[MARATHON #245 / Unique Marathon #144 / 20 February 2022]

Running marathons is hard but organising them is much harder – and post-Covid events have additional challenges like reduced field sizes, staggered starts and a plethora of government regulations to comply with.

However, the Peninsula Marathon takes compliance one step further. Most marathons give you an actual map or road names and local landmarks to ensure that you make it safely to the start but Peninsula ensures that there was no danger of breaching Covid regulations on the maximum size of outdoor gatherings by only providing a suburb name (rather than a specific location within said suburb) as the race’s starting point. Continue reading “Peninsula Marathon (Naval gazing in the Cape)”

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