Cheetahs Marathon (rocking Mththa’s rolling hills)

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[MARATHON #254 / UNIQUE MARATHON #151 / 12 November 2023]

I ran my first marathon in 2002 and ended the year with 7 marathons completed (4 standards and 3 ultras). Until now, Covid years excluded, that was my worst year of running. Unfortunately, I will definitely slump to a new low score in 2023 but there was one silver lining – the lack of marathon travel meant that I still had one 75% Vitality discount return flight that needed to be used before the year was done. This justified an otherwise unaffordable flight to Mthatha for the Cheetahs Marathon by knocking R4,000 off the airfare.

The alternate way to get to Mthatha from Joburg at a reasonable cost is to fly to East London, hire a car and do the three-hour drive along the N2. This was the routing Julian Karp had chosen (after running the Jacaranda Marathon on Saturday morning) so I collected his race number for him. Cheetahs would be Julian’s 923rd marathon and 8th in 4 weekends. Based on his diet of ‘two marathons a weekend’, I noted that it was highly appropriate that Julian has been allocated race number 4242.

Julian race number was 4242 – highly appropriate since he was running his fourth consecutive weekend of back-to-back marathons. The race entry fee of R300 includes a high quality t-shirt.
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From Agile to Zombie Apocalypse: The Walking Dead explains Agile Teams & Release Trains

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The final season of The Walking Dead is currently airing so I thought I’d use the show’s premise – surviving the zombie apocalypse – to explain how agile teams and agile release trains (ARTs) work, as well as the difference between the two.

The executive summary is that:

  • An agile team is like your family unit – your survival is integrally linked to how well you work together as a team and utilise your complementary skills to overcome your daily challenges.
  • An ART is like your village – a community of family units who, when working together effectively, can achieve much more (and survive much longer) than individual family units.
  • Moving from a family unit to a settlement requires giving up some autonomy but the benefits of being part of a team of teams in a settlement vastly outweighs the loss of absolute autonomy.

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Run4Cancer Ultra (Sex, Politics & Religion in Limpopo)

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[MARATHON #229 / Unique Marathon #131 / 26 October 2019]

It’s said that sex, politics and religion are the three topics one should always steer well clear of. I am well known for ignoring sensible advice and tackle all three in this race report.

Ultra marathons are hard to come by in the second half of the year in South Africa. As summer heats up, the ultras dry up and by the time you get to the last quarter there is just one road ultra to service your running thirst: Polokwane’s Run4Cancer 48k (which also happens to be the only ultra marathon in the Limpopo Province).

I try to make one running trip a year to Limpopo’s capital city and, since Run4Cancer was the only marathon missing from my Polokwane portfolio, it was the logical place to drag my family over the mid-term school holiday (before anyone calls child services, I did include the sweetener of a couple of nights in a game reserve after the race).

One happy bunny enjoying the only road ultra marathon in South Africa over the last quarter of the year.

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