When I decided to do my own Home Ironman challenge, I checked out the original, pre-Covid-19 date of Ironman South Africa and realised it would have been on Sunday 29 March. With Covid-craziness gripping South African endurance athletes, I wondered whether and real triathletes would be undertaking a Home Ironman on the first weekend of lockdown. It turned out that two did. I was fortunate enough to chat to both – this is the story of the first Home IronMom, Charlotte Raubenheimer.
Charlotte Raubenheimer: The First Home IronMom
Saturday the 28th of March was day two of the South Africa’s original 21-day lockdown period. Whilst many South Africans spent the day getting acclimatised to lockdown conditions (or figuring out where they were going to store all the food and toilet paper they’d needlessly stockpiled), for Charlotte Raubenheimer it was a day of speculation. Continue reading “Charlotte Raubenheimer – The First Home IronMom”
When I decided to do my own Home Ironman challenge, I checked out the original, pre-Covid-19 date of Ironman South Africa and realised it would have been on Sunday 29 March. With Covid-craziness gripping South African endurance athletes, I wondered whether any real triathletes would be undertaking a Home Ironman on the first weekend of lockdown. It turned out that two did. I was fortunate enough to chat to both – this is the story of the first indoor Ironman, Tom Barlow.
Tom Barlow’s world first
Tom is accomplished triathlete who already has eight full Ironmen under his lycra chaps. He had been training hard in the build up to 29 March and, after an excellent half Ironman in East London, was eyeing a 9h45 finish in Port Elizabeth to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
Whilst on his final pre-lockdown farewell run in nature, Tom’s mind drifted to the Frenchman who’d just run a marathon on his balcony. Not wanting many months of hard training to go to waste, Tom Barlow’s world wasn’t going to stop for Covid-19 and he decided that attempting the first ever indoor Ironman was the logical way to beat the lockdown blues – and raise money for a good cause at the same time. Continue reading “Tom Barlow – The First Indoor Ironman”
[Marathon #205 / Unique Marathon #115 / 9 February 2019]
Klerksdorp was never high on my list of marathons to run. I almost ran it last year but then “got a better offer” and ended up doing Potties instead. There are some marathons that I look forward to doing and others I look forward to getting done – and I was expecting this to be one of the latter.
My only previous exposure to Klerksdorp has been driving through the city on the N12 – normally on the long drive to Kimberley for one of their marathons. People slow down to look at car crashes but they avert their eyes when driving through Klerksdorp. The only redeeming factor for Klerksdorp is that her N12 façade is slightly less ugly than that of her close neighbour Potchefstroom.
On top of this, the towns Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom are both are incredibly irritating with lots of slow, exasperating traffic and dozens (may well be hundreds) of infuriating, stop-start segments. Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom are like the mosquito and the fly – everyone tells you that they serve some kind of purpose, but no one can tell you what that purpose is. Continue reading “Klerksdorp Marathon (You Shouldn’t Judge A Town By Its Main Road)”
[Marathon #199 / Unique Marathon #110 / 10 November 2018]
I recently researched the most geographically extreme marathons in South Africa. This quickly led to me wondering which is the most central. It turns out that the geographic centre of South Africa is very close to Bloemfontein. I’ve seen many people use the word ‘literally’ when they mean figuratively (e.g. as in, “I’ve literally seen thousands of people using ‘literally’ incorrectly.”). However, if you were to say, “Bloemfontein is the dead centre of South Africa.” this would be true in both the literal and figurative sense of the term.
[MARATHON #182 / Unique Marathon #98 / 25 MARCH 2018]
After Om Die Dam the previous week and Kosmos (around Lake Umuzi) the week before that, I headed down to Midmar Dam for the Umgeni Water Marathon – in what was quite literally a case of just one dam marathon after another!
[MARATHON #179 / UNIQUE MARATHON #96 / 3 March 2018]
The runners in Mbombela like to go down. They have one marathon (Kaapsehoop) and one ultra – and both are certified quadkillers – plummeting you from the highest points in the Lowveld down to Mbombela (in the lowerveld).
How low can you go? You have the choice of doing the Uniwisp Fast 10, 21.1, 42.2 or 50km. Having just done the 50km option (what else!), I can certify that this is the fastest ultra in country and makes Loskop look like Longtom.