In Your Father’s Footsteps (When You Can Hike But You Can’t Run)

Share:

Inspiring Two Oceans Stories: Karen Brough

When running is in your blood, you can hide – and hike, cycle and swim – but you’ll eventually have to run.

Karen Brough has hiked all over the world. She’s completed the Annapurna Trail in the Himalayas, walked the El Camino from France, trekked across the Pyrenean Mountains to Santiago in Spain (900kms in 20 days) and climbed Kilimanjaro just for the views.

Karen has also cycled thousands of kilometres on her bike – her greatest achievement in this space was raising over a million rand for charity by doing a series of long distance peddles from Johannesburg to Maputo, Johannesburg to Cape Town and Johannesburg to East London.

She’s “always been a very active person” but none of her regular endurance exploits ever broke out into a run – until recently. At the age of 56 Karen set her sights on completing the IronMan – and accidentally fell into running, “I have always wanted to do a full IronMan. I could swim and cycle with ease, but soon realised my dream would never come true if I couldn’t run a marathon.”

Continue reading “In Your Father’s Footsteps (When You Can Hike But You Can’t Run)”

Share:

Novice Two Oceans Marathon Mistakes: When you’ve #RunAsOne, don’t finish as two!

Share:

Cautionary OMTOM Stories: BN4991

This story was confessed to me by a club mate who made a terrible mistake during her first Two Oceans Marathon in 2004. It still haunts her to this day and she doesn’t want other novices to repeat the same grave error of judgement.

She is still acutely embarrassed by her naïve blunder – so much so that she only agreed to share her story under condition of anonymity. Therefore, I have decided to respect her wishes and will refer to the protagonist of this story under the code name BN4991.

Dare (partially) accepted.

Continue reading “Novice Two Oceans Marathon Mistakes: When you’ve #RunAsOne, don’t finish as two!”

Share:

30-year old photo of long-lost family member gets Two Oceans Half Marathon novice to the start

Share:

Inspiring OMTOM Stories: Rikki Hibbert

Rikki’s mom had lost contact with her favourite cousin-once-removed, Wesley Tiedt, for over 40 years until Facebook intervened and facilitated a happy family reunion in Johannesburg.

The blood ties were quickly rekindled and Rikki immediately formed a strong bond with her new-found family member. She says, “It was clear we were all cut from the same cloth and had the same wacky sense of humour.”

They spent the Christmas of 2017 together on Wes’ farm in St. Francis Bay. Rikki was paging through a photo album when she stumbled across the picture below of Wes running the 1987 Two Oceans Marathon. Photo finishes are commonplace in athletics but this photo was about initiate a major change in Rikki’s life.

Wesley Tiedt (left) on his way to a 5:58:14 finish at Two Oceans Marathon 1987. No time to walk up Constantia Nek as the cut-off time was 6-hours in those days.

Continue reading “30-year old photo of long-lost family member gets Two Oceans Half Marathon novice to the start”

Share:

The Admirals of Two Oceans: Tony Abrahamson & Louis Massyn

Share:

Inspiring OMTOM Stories

On the 6th of April 1985 two men completed their 10th Two Oceans Marathon voyage in just under four hours to cap their Blue Number run with a silver medal. Louis Massyn, clocking in at 3:57:30, received Blue Number 35 and less than a minute later Tony Abrahamson, 3:58:18, lined up behind him to collect Blue Number 36.

That was 34 years ago – a year in which Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union, Michael Jordan was named NBA “Rookie of the Year”, a 17-year old Boris Becker won Wimbledon for the first time and Marty McFly went Back to the Future. It was a long time ago but neither of these proud 1985 Blue Number recipients has missed a Two Oceans Marathon since then.

Together, they have a combined grand total time of 211 hours 25 minutes and 54 seconds on the Two Oceans route (that’s about 17.5 days). Although Louis has a faster PB (3:41:15 to Tony’s 3:52:12) and six silver medals (to Tony’s four), Tony ‘s average time of 4:55:01 betters Louis’ average of 4:59:07.

A friendly rivalry – Louis and Tony in the Blue Number tent after their 41st voyage.

Continue reading “The Admirals of Two Oceans: Tony Abrahamson & Louis Massyn”

Share:

When a Push Comes to a Shove, Constantia Nek is the Toughest Hill in South Africa

Share:

Inspiring OMTOM Stories: Hilton Murray & Anita Engelbrecht

I’ve been gathering Two Oceans advice from a number of different athletes of all abilities. There is one common answer across the spectrum – take the first half of the race easy because you’ll pay significant interest charges over the much tougher second half.

Therefore, I wanted to make sure we got some input from the person best qualified to inform us what happens on race day when “a push comes to shove” – and that person is undoubtedly Hilton Murray.

Team Blitsie before the 2018 Two Oceans Marathon.

Hilton will be piloting Anita Engelbrecht in a “wheelchair jogger” that they’ve named ‘Blitsie’ for the fourth year in a row at the Two Oceans Marathon. Team Blitsie have traversed the country but there is one hill they fear more than any other – an “absolute killer” that they dread more than Polly Shortts or any of the ‘big five’ hills at Comrades. According to Hilton, getting to the top of Constantia Nek stands out head and shoulders as the most difficult hill in the country when pushing a wheelchair jogger. Continue reading “When a Push Comes to a Shove, Constantia Nek is the Toughest Hill in South Africa”

Share:

Blue at Two Oceans Marathon? Blame your Mother-in-Law!

Share:

Inspiring OMTOM Stories: Darrin Mail

Darrin Mail never thought he’d be an ultra runner – let alone one who hopes to join the illustrious Blue Number club. Looking back he says, “What was I thinking?” and lays the blame squarely at the feet of his mother-in-law.

Darrin knew that the way to get into his prospective mother-in-law’s good books was through his legs.

Continue reading “Blue at Two Oceans Marathon? Blame your Mother-in-Law!”

Share:

Alison Smith runs the Two Oceans Marathon to become a ‘real Cape Townian’

Share:

Inspiring OMTOM Stories: Alison Smith

Some people have mid-life crises but Alison Smith questioned her entire existence.

One morning 9 years ago Alison awoke with a start and queried her Cape Townianess. Despite living in the city all her life, she realised she had not participated in either of the Mother City’s major sporting events. There is a lot of debate about what constitutes a ‘real runner’ but for Alison is was blatantly obvious that all ‘real Cape Townians’ had to peddle the Cape Town Cycle Tour or run Two Oceans to authenticate themselves.

Since she did not own a bike, running was the obvious choice. Alison has been a competitive hockey player her entire life and figured running would not be a problem. She drove herself down to Sea Point promenade and set out to run as far as she could. Less than one kilometre later she called it a day and drove back home. Continue reading “Alison Smith runs the Two Oceans Marathon to become a ‘real Cape Townian’”

Share:

The Running Mann’s Guide to April/May Marathons & Ultras

Share:

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

April is ultra month, with seven ultras dominating the lonely three marathons on offer. There are just six road ultras in the world with over 1,000 finishers – they are all run in South Africa and four of them are held in April (my own personal favourite ultra is the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon over the Easter weekend).

May is much quieter as the South Africa marathon calendar revolves around Comrades qualification which ends on 1 May. Continue reading “The Running Mann’s Guide to April/May Marathons & Ultras”

Share: