Westville Illovo Christmas Challenge (Fifteen festive kilometres)


It’s always nice to get invited to a well-planned Christmas party. My invite came all the way back in July in the following format, “My name is Catherine Dixon and I do the communications, PR and social media for Westville Athletic Club. We host our annual race in December each year that is a bit of an icon on the KZNA calendar. I see that you are open to trying different races and I was wondering if A) you would be interested in running our event in December (Sunday December 10th) and B) What would be required from your end to run/blog about our event.”

I was still an injured runner in July but figured I could commit to a 15km in December. I therefore replied that if Westville were happy to cover my travel costs, I’d love to run their race. The helpers’ run is on Saturday so Catherine suggested that to get the full Westville Christmas experience, I arrive on Friday and participate in both the helpers and official run. I am all for maximising the experience so that is exactly what I did.

Continue reading “Westville Illovo Christmas Challenge (Fifteen festive kilometres)”

Cheetahs Marathon (rocking Mththa’s rolling hills)

[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.
Continue reading “Cheetahs Marathon (rocking Mththa’s rolling hills)”