The cracks on the road on the infamous hill are deeply etched into the tar. Years of weathering have deepened them into vivid lines that scar the road. Long ago on a bend in the road someone painted the word “sweethoogte” ( sweat heights) in now faded enamel paint. In autumn the sun sets low and intense over the hill, bathing everything in an ethereal orange glow. The ghostly quality is enhanced by the Read more “CONVERT A RUNNING WEAKNESS INTO A STRENGTH.”
The mornings are cooler, the leaves have started to fall, it’s dark for longer during the morning training runs, the country-road cosmos flowers are in full bloom and everyone is tired. Now it’s time for Comrades runners to contemplate those long training runs that are a very important part of every training programme.
By now Comrades runners will be all too familiar with the regular grind of Read more “THEY SHOOT HORSES DON’T THEY.”
An excerpt from one of my original training diaries.
Exam time during my senior school and university days meant constructing detailed swotting schedules so that, in this otherwise anxious time, I could draw some comfort from the appearance that I had a plan. As swot leave started, the very first task was to sit down and create the plan. My schedules were neatly and painstakingly drawn up on Read more “THE BEST-LAID PLANS.”
We older South African runners miss the Korkie 56 km ultramarathon. Organised by Germiston Callies club, and named after the great Pieter Korkie, this race was the second oldest ultramarathon in South Africa. Over the years the route changed but essentially it started in Pretoria and finished in Germiston. Its flat and slightly uphill route resulted in it being known as the “slow poison marathon “, but it was the perfect training run for the Comrades. We Gauteng based runners valued it highly and the Korkie was an essential part of every training progamme. It was a run that left a runner tired and slightly drained but with very little Read more ““YOU’RE NOT IN CONTROL OF THIS RACE””
Not many people are aware that Gordon Ramsay is a seasoned marathon runner. Yes, that’s Gordon Ramsay of Hell’s Kitchen fame, the legendary chef decorated with 17 Michelin star awards, and famous for his extremely colourful language.
I met Gordon properly at the starting line of the London marathon a few years ago and we ran side by side for a few kilometres in the early stages. Of course, he is a fascinating running companion and in a wonderful conversation, about cooking, chefs, and marathons I was delighted to learn Read more “RECIPE FOR SUCCESS”
The irrational fear that runners hold for the Comrades up run has even become an international concern I noticed last week, when as a guest of the Tata Mumbai Marathon I found myself addressing a throng of eager but worried runners at a Comrades Marathon talk in the bustling race Expo. The audience in front of me was bubbling with enthusiasm and curiosity for our great race. The crowd consisted of runners who Read more “COMRADES MARATHON 2019 -THE INDIAN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM !”
It is an old habit at this time of the year for many of us to make New Year’s resolutions which are designed to discard undesired behaviours in order to accomplish a goal. Most New Year’s resolutions are dominated by health choices.
“I’m going to join a gym”, “I’m going to give up smoking” are two of the more common resolutions. But sadly, Read more “COMRADES MARATHON RESOLUTIONS.”
What connects the USA, a world record holding ultramarathoner, and Nelson Mandela? The answer is parkrun, of course. Our special guest at parkrun USA last weekend made his name for being very fast, over very long distances. But nowadays he’s especially proud of overseeing the world’s slowest Read more “FROM WORLD RECORDS TO WALKERS”
There’s something about the half marathon distance that I’ve begun to enjoy more and more in recent times. Perhaps that’s because I’ve grown older and slower, or perhaps it’s because my dodgy right knee is making racing decisions for me; but whatever the reason the half marathon is now my favourite racing distance. I love the fact that Read more “RACING WHERE THE BIG FIVE ROAM IN SOUTH AFRICA’S KRUGER PARK”
Today has brought back so many memories of the great man – my Twitter feed has been flooded with images of Madiba at different stages of his life along with friends, fellow athletes, politicians and so the list goes on. Some of us were fortunate enough to meet Nelson Mandela and none of us will ever forget the experience. He had the ability to engrave himself indelibly in our memories. Perhaps this was because Read more “#MandelaDay100”