[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)”
[MARATHON #236 / Unique Marathon #136 / 25 January 2020]
After running like an idiot for most of the year, I took things easy with ‘sensible running’ over the festive season. Despite running 34 marathons in 2019, I ended the year four kilograms heavier than I was at the end of 2018. In an effort to curb additional gains to the midriff, I decided to switch to Lite beer but I should have heeded the, “If It ain’t broke don’t fix it” mantra. Lite beer and sensible running are a lethal combination to the serious marathon runner and resulted in my first injury in over six years.
Following the extended bout of end-of-year marathon abstinence, I look forward to mid-January when I finally get a chance to butter my Mielie again in Welkom at the first marathon of the year. Unfortunately, the injury meant I had to wait all the way until the end of January before consummating my running year. I did however, save my legs for someone special – the Red Hill Marathon in the south of Cape Town. Continue reading “Red Hill Marathon (Fish Hoek, line & sinker)”
South Africa hosts the two biggest (and greatest) ultra marathons in the world: Two Oceans and Comrades. I’ve been asked many times about the difference between the two. My philosophical view is that if you are a teenager in love, Two Oceans is the sweet, charming, beautiful girl that you should marry. Comrades is the girl that’s way out of your league but is malevolent enough to string you along, thinking you have a chance – only to break your heart (and your body) after crushing your spirit and ripping out your soul.
Growing up in Cape Town, Two Oceans was my “girl next door” – and it was as a teenager that I fell in love with her. I had just started high school at Rondebosch Boys and they asked for volunteers to hold up kilometre boards over the first 15km and man (or in my case “boy”) the last support table on the route. This seemed like a really good idea since I could support my Dad (The Old Running Mann) and we were told we could drink as much Coca-Cola as we liked on the day. In future years Rustenburg Girls School were invited to partner us at the table (which made the proposition even more attractive!). Continue reading “Two Oceans (A Love Letter To My Favourite Ultra)”