Hemel & Aarde Marathon (Leap year running)

[MARATHON #239 / Unique Marathon #139 / 29 February 2020]

For the last few years, my daughters’ mid-term break had provided the opportunity for the family to have a short holiday (and for dad to run a new marathon). This year it was down to the Fairest Cape for the inaugural Hemel and Aarde Marathon, run between Caledon and Hermanus.

For those unfamiliar with Afrikaans, ‘Hemel’ means Heaven and ‘Aarde’ means Earth. Despite what Belinda Carlisle sang in the 80s, Heaven is not a place on Earth, but the Hemel and Aarde is a marathon in the Western Cape.

Heaven might not be a place on earth but Hemel and Aarde is a marathon (and a valley) in the Western Cape.

Continue reading “Hemel & Aarde Marathon (Leap year running)”


Red Hill Marathon (Fish Hoek, line & sinker)

[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)”


Two Oceans (A Love Letter To My Favourite Ultra)

[MARATHON #183 / 16th Two OCeans / 31 MARCH 2018]

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.

It’s got to be a special race when you’re this happy at 38km (and still have 18km – and Constantia Nek – to go).

The Romance

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)”