The Comrades marathon is a race deep and rich in tradition. Some of these traditions are historic: the green numbers, the different medals and the leading male runner carrying the mayoral baton. Many are stirring and motivating: Chariots of Fire and Shohsoloza being played at the start. Some are landmark: Arthur’s Seat and The Wall of Honour. Some are seemingly brutal and cruel: the cut-off points along the route and the final cut-off gun. Some are quite strange and Read more “IGNORE THE DISTANCE MARKERS.”
Bruce Fordyce, Comrades marathon training, pre-Comrades training taper.Bruce Fordyce, Comrades marathon training, pre-Comrades training taper.
Anyone can train. It sometimes takes great courage and wisdom not to train.
Every year, on the morning before the Comrades marathon up run, I gaze down from my hotel window at the spectacular Read more “THE COMRADES TRAINING TAPER.”
LETTER TO JIM WALMSLEY
Congratulations Jim Walmsley on setting a new World record for 50 miles at the Hoka One One race, and for running with such courage and dignity.
I would be lying if I said the news of your success didn’t cause a slight wrench in my heart and a dull sense of regret that lasted some time. Suddenly I was no longer the World record holder for Read more ““WE BORROW WORLD RECORDS, BUT WE KEEP TITLES.””
Photo by Tikkho Maciel on Unsplash
The ultramarathon season is now in full swing and runners from all over the country, indeed the World, are busy running long distances in training and in races. Many novices will be venturing into ‘no man’s land’ for the first time; that vast, scary void that lies beyond 42 kilometres. Here in South Africa, Read more “THE CRITICAL MUSCLE TO TRAIN FOR COMRADES MARATHON”
Bruce Fordyce is about to run his last Two Oceans on it’s 50th anniversary.Bruce Fordyce is about to run his last Two Oceans on it’s 50th anniversary.
A glorious view on the 2018 Two Oceans marathon.
I would be lying if I said that the last-minute news of the route change at the Two Oceans is anything but calamitous. It’s disastrous news, and so sad for all those who dreamt of celebrating the 50th race by revelling in the beautiful views from the top of Chapman’s Peak. Read more “ROUTE CHANGE O.M. TWO OCEANS ULTRA 2019”
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”