Archives for Running category

Fun Run Challenge at Two Oceans Marathon

Posted on Mar 02, 2009 under Running | No Comment

Over 600 children took part in the first of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Fun Run Challenges on Saturday, February 7, at Downville Primary in Manenberg.  This was the second year the event was held in Manenberg and the schools with the most participants were Downville, Red River and Rio Grande Primary.

The 4 km fun run, organised by Farnese and Top Form Athletic Clubs, was won by Redah Abrahams in the boys event and Rowena Wilson in the girls event – both pupils at Downville Primary.  The top fifteen boys and girls win free entry to the main fun runs on Good Friday, April 10, as well as transport to and from the event.

The fun run challenges are a collaboration between Western Province Athletics, local running clubs and the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon to promote the main fun runs on Good Friday, to develop race organising skills and to encourage and increase participation.  These events will also be used to identify and develop the talent that exists in the local schools.  The remaining challenges are scheduled for February 21 in Mitchells Plain, March 7 in Blue Downs and March 14 in Khayelitsha.

Entries for the Old Mutual Two Oceans fun runs will be handed out at the challenges.  The main fun runs on Easter Friday are open to everyone and runners’ friends, family members and supporters, especially the children, are all welcome to join in the fun and experience the event spirit.  There is loads of fun for the whole family and participants can choose from a 56 m Nappy Dash for kids under 3 years, a 300 m Toddlers’ Trot for kids aged 4 to 6 years, a 2.5 km and a 5 km.  Entry forms for the main fun runs will be available at the Expo at the Good Hope Centre and on the UCT rugby fields on Friday, April 10

For more information contact 021-699 0615, email or visit or

Comrades Marathon prepares 89.3km route for runners

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 under Running | No Comment

The Comrades Marathon Association has confirmed that there will be no changes to the route for the Comrades Marathon “down run” which will be run on Sunday 24 May 2009.

It will be run on precisely the same route as the most recent “down run” in 2007 in which Leonid Shvetsov set a new best time of 5:20:41 for the “down run” having shattered Bruce Fordyce’s 21-year old previous best time of 5:24:07 set in 1986,

The distance for 2009 is confirmed as 89.3km.

Comrades Marathon has seen the implementation of numerous route changes since the race was first run on Thursday 24 May 1921, with the distance of the race having varied by as much as 5km from shortest to longest during the course of its history.

The earliest Comrades Marathons were run alternately between the City Halls of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, a distance estimated to have been approximately 56 miles.  The race was run largely on dirt roads, with the route passing through several gates and crossing at least one stream, while refreshments for the 30 – 100 competitors were provided by the few hotels situated on the route and supplemented by local farmers.

As population growth and development of the two cities and the rural areas between them progressed over a period of decades, the character and landscape of the province of KwaZulu-Natal obviously also changed dramatically.

Over the years, major and minor changes to the Comrades Marathon route consequently ensued – whether implemented as a natural outcome of infrastructural development, to alleviate traffic congestion, avoid temporary road construction or to accommodate the ever-increasing popularity of an event which grew to attract thousands of participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators.  Some changes were necessitated simply owing to the change of finishing venues.

From year to year, the exact route is subject to the outcome of negotiations conducted between CMA and traffic authorities.  In recent years there have been no changes implemented, with the route for the “down run” having stabilised at approximately 89km and the route for the “up run” at 87km.  The course is recognised as being extremely challenging in either direction, undulating with infamous hill climbs on both the “up” and “down runs”.

Comrades Marathon Race Director Renee Jordaan has confirmed that the organisers will be providing 48 refreshment stations for this year’s “down run” to cater for an anticipated 12,000 – 13,000 participants.  They will also provide extensive medical and emergency services, as well as a runners rescue service for those runners unable to complete the distance.

A reminder that the Closing Date for Entries is 31 March 2009.  Runners MUST submit their entries by Closing Date, but may still qualify up until 28 April.

On a historical note, according to Comrades Marathon “records”, the shortest Comrades Marathon run in recent years was an “up run” in 2002 measured at 86.5km and won by Vladimir Kotov in a time of 5:30:59.   The longest was a “down run” in 1982 measured at 91.4km and won by Bruce Fordyce in a time of 5:34:22.

The 38th Laingsburg Karoo Ultra-Marathon

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 under Running | 1 Comment

The Karoo Ultra Marathon took place on Saturday 27 September 2008 and started and finished in Laingsburg.

The athletes participating in the 38th Karoo Ultra-Marathon came from all over South Africa to run what all of them say, is the best “Small Town Marathon” in South Africa. A total of 11 runners travelled by train from Roodepoort in Gauteng, while Irene Running Club had 6 representatives and Mitchell’s Plain 7. There were also participants from the Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape and the Boland.

Although there were only ninety-five entries for this year’s event it was a sixty percent increase on the fifty-eight runners of 2007. The Organisers’ objective is to increase the number of entries to 150 in 2009. This is the dream of the Race Director and Municipal Manager of Laingsburg, Mr. Pietie Williams, who after the demise of the local running club decided to take over the organisation of the event and make it a municipal responsibility. He then requested the assistance of the Comrades Marathon Association to advise and assist him with the marketing and strategic planning for the event.

With the help of the CMA Bruce Fordyce was flown to Cape Town to be the guest speaker at the official launch of the 2008 Karoo Ultra-Marathon on 23 August. The CMA has also facilitated the first ever television coverage for the event – highlights of the event will feature on Tseleng, SABC2’s running programme, shortly. It is hoped that the increased exposure of this fantastic event will contribute to the growth in entries over the next few years.

The mix bag of runners is also indicative of the wide appeal of the race. The eventual winner, Mxolisi (Principal) Fana (Nedbank Club George) has done two Comrades Marathons and won in a time of 6:08 a full 13 minutes ahead of the second placed Hylton Dunn from the Springs Athletic Club, Gauteng. The women’s race was won by 38 year old Martha Pretorius in a time of 7:14 followed by Maretha de Kock twenty one minutes later.

Being an 80km Ultra race it was no surprise to find that almost every runner that ran the event had run the Comrades Marathon. Third placed Kleintjie Van Schalkwyk in the women’s race, has completed 24 Comrades Marathons while Hercu Hofmeyr, placed third in the men’s race, did 27 Comrades Marathons. Shirley Middlemost from Rand Athletic Club, now based in Cape Town, spoke at length about the race and its appeal and how it has always been a race that she wanted to do. She was full of compliments for the organisers who despite a lack of sponsorship still managed to have 45 water points along the race route – remarkable since the water points were allocated to a few businesses in town, local councillors and the political parties represented in the town council. The town’s hard working mayor also had a water point and rushed off immediately after she started the race at 06H00.

Barrie Botha from the Fit 2000 club in Randburg raved about the hospitality dished up by the local community and the special atmosphere and crowd that line the streets when runners enter the town. This was also the view of Julian Karp (Mt. Edgecombe KZN), a veteran of 16 Comrades Marathons and a runner who has already completed ten Ultra- Marathons this year. He confesses that since his first visit two years ago he was hooked and will continue to come back for more.

The record for the most Laingsburg Karoo ultra- marathons is presently jointly held by Richard Butcher (Swartland) and Daniel Van Eck (Bellville) who has both completed 24 marathons and both of them shows no signs of stopping soon. Elias Klein is the local runner with the most Karoo Marathons namely, 12.

It is evident from the 38th Laingsburg Karoo Ultra-Marathon that the event has received a new lease of life and that it is indeed here to stay. Talk is that next year will see the introduction of a 5km Fun Run for kids and a 21.1km or even an alternative relay-event over the 80km route. Whatever happens, there is a core of loyal Karoo Ultra- Marathon runners who has a standing commitment to this unique event and town and who will be back to help it grow.

South African team gearing up for Red Bull Giants of Rio de Janeiro 2004

Posted on Nov 12, 2004 under Nutrition, Running | No Comment

South African team gearing up for world’s first urban extreme relay race

Red Bull Giants of Rio – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 5 December 2004

Four top athletes, including Olympic gold medallist Ryk Neethling, have just been announced as the South African team who will compete in the Red Bull Giants of Rio in Brazil, on Sunday 5 December 2004.

The Red Bull Giants of Rio is an urban extreme relay race and first of its kind in the world. Bringing together four very different disciplines – swimming, mountain biking, hang-gliding and beach running – top athletes will combine their skill and strength to battle it out in this extraordinary race. The course encompasses ocean, beach and mountain in the steamy city of Rio de Janeiro .

The South African team boasts:

* Swimming – Ryk Neethling – one of SA’s most successful swimmers and gold medal winner at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Born and bred in Bloemfontein , Ryk has just returned to live in SA, having lived in the USA for the past eight years.
* Mountain Biking – Johann Potgieter – up and coming mountain biking champion and 2004 winner of the Urban Assault Downhill race. At just 17 years old Johann attends Bellville High School , Cape Town but originally flew in from East London.
Hang Gliding – Anton Brown – extreme sports fanatic and one of SA’s top hang gliders. Capetonian Anton’s ability and speed freak tendencies made him a natural choice for the SA team.
* Running – Leeds Mthangayi – current Western Province 10km and cross-country champion Leeds is one of the stronger runners in the country. Originally from Umtata , Leeds is now based in Cape Town where he runs for Mr Price Athletics Club.

The SA team will compete with 80 teams from more than 30 countries at the Red Bull Giants of Rio. With Olympic gold medallists and several world champions taking part the competition will be tough.

“Our team is strong and we’ve got as good a chance as any,” says hang glider Anton Brown. “Some teams have one or two really top athletes but no one has four of the best, so it really is anyone’s race. We are going there to make South African Airlines proud,” he adds.

Ryk Neethling will be first off at Copacabana Beach for a 4km open water Atlantic Ocean swim with a cliff jump thrown in for fun. Next up Johann Potgieter will tackle the 45 km mountain bike route, racing through the narrow streets of inner city Rio, up Corcovado to the world-famous Christ statue, down through the rainforest jungle of Tijuca National Park and up Pedra Bonita. Then Anton Brown will take over, speed flying from Pedra da Gavea to Ipanema Beach , or first catching a thermal around the Christ Statue (depending on weather conditions). Last, but definitely not least, Leeds Mthangayi will run the 15 km sand and city route for a spectacular finish on Copacabana.

The South African team is currently training and will leave Cape Town for Rio on 1 December.

Dis-Chem Half-Marathon 2004

Posted on Jan 11, 2004 under Running | No Comment

Sunday 11th January 2004 – Another year – another Dischem 21

This one didn’t really go plan – although after the festive season and a lay-off from races since March 2003, I shouldn’t have expected anything less.

The first 10km’s were a nightmare. It was one of those days when everything was wrong. The shoes were too tight, my calf was cramping, the right hamstring started up once again, my shin was going into some form of spasm etc etc.

I was battling to keep a 7 m/km pace and it wasn’t looking any better, THEN I had a Enervit Sports Gel at 9km’s or 1 hour.

1. The easiest gel to open,
2. The easiest gel to get all the liquid out
3. The easiest gel to drink – no chewing or water required

It took around 5 minutes for the gel to take effect but when it did:

I ran a 5:13km, then 5:20 etc. Never have a taken any supplement that has had such an effect on my performance.

I finished in 2h:14m when I thought that a 2h40m was on the cards.

One thing, the start again !! The gun went off 2 minutes early and the start was a nightmare again on the narrow road – it just cannot handle 4,500 runners. As for the walkers, which have a place on the road, but create havoc when they start with the front pack.

See you again next year …

KPMG Varsity Kudus 15km race 2003 and 2004 report

Posted on Jan 09, 2004 under Running | No Comment

Sunday 4th January 2004

Just read last years report and although I did the same time as last year, a 1:37, this year seemed a lot easier. The route isn’t as hilly as stated – next year may change my mind – but its really a quite fast race.

This year I went out with John Walland and Bruce Fordyce, for a slow race – they left me at the 2km board. I wasn’t up for a race so early in the year. I caught John with a few km’s to go after Bruce blew him off as well.

KPMG is one of those races that although no medal or t-shirt, just the same old beer glass, it’s a great race to start the year with.

A great day to see the faces after the festive season, some more festive than others…

Sunday 05 January 2003

This is a tough course and specially tough after the festive season’s parties and reduced training.

What we have come to expect from the race is a well organised race, easy access, good water tables and good marshals. The race today didn’t disappoint.

Cool weather made the first half easy running with it getting a little hotter later but certainly not like the scorchers we have been having lately.

There seemed to be larger crowd than last year but certainly encouraging for the sponsors that their race is being well attended.

The person who selected the course must be a sadistic physio. They seemed to have found every hill possible Where they could go flat, they go big. Why a physio – well I’m sure that many will be contacting their physio on Monday with a little niggle here or there.

My right hamstring didn’t want to be left out once again and although not as severe as Soweto, certainly made sure that I ha a slow race. It was one of those races that I felt I was running a steady pace but seemed to be loosing minutes between markers In 2002 I did an easy 1:23, this year 1:37 – why, I don’t know and will put it down to less training over November / December and too much of hosting parties, going to parties and well just parties (and that’s my work – not all play)

See you next year….

Motivation for runners – No excuses!

Posted on Mar 22, 2003 under Running | No Comment

I know it’s hard, running that is.

It’s been written so often that the most difficult thing about running is getting up to run… and boy has this been a real problem lately.

It’s so quick to skip a run here and there and suddenly a month or two has passed. The belly gets a little bigger, my excuse being why should I let my wife be alone in her pregnancy, the legs get a little stiffer, the chest gets a little tighter as well as the once baggy pants. I’m sure we have all been there.

But how do we get out of the gutter and onto the road ?

BE SELFISH and skip the shell-fish.

Examine the excuses you have been using

1. I had a late night
If it’s a once off, fine, don’t run. It it’s the fourth time this week, try a change in lifestyle. If you are in my industry managing two restaurants, find time during the day and still get the “normal” seven hours sleep. My friend John Walland of 5fm, works some days from 1-4am, then the breakfast show from 6am, then the afternoon with Darren Scott and still finds time to run. Still not sure how ? Discuss your “busy” day with someone that is equally busy and finds time to run and they will show you how to make time.

2. I need to help with the kids
There are very few things in this world better than spending time with your children. There is however a difference between spending time and spending quality time. Make a special time twice a week for an hour or two for just you and the kid(s). They will appreciate the quality time and you will be relaxed knowing that you aren’t supposed to be somewhere else. Consider including your kids when you run – find a field and let them play in the middle while you do your laps

3. I need to get the work out
It’s a well known fact – if you want something done, give it to a busy person who plans their day well. The better the body – the better the mind. We all have work pressure and in today’s competitive climate, we all have to perform better than the other person. There is however a limit and one that you have to find. I suggest you read the book by Stephen Covey on the habits of successful people. There is a diagram of how to become “life” centered and not work centered. Read it and do the exercise – it’s so easy and will change your life

4. I’ll go out tomorrow
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you’re always a day away – and will always be.

I have started again. A slow 30min yesterday and another 30min today. It was great to get back out although the quads needed a little pampering today. I’ll get over missing Two Oceans and Comrades this year with the knowledge that I am back on the road.

Best of luck – if you need a kick in the butt, e-mail me, I’ll kick with pleasure.

The perfect running shoe – All feet are different

Posted on Feb 11, 2003 under Running | No Comment

As with most of my articles, this is based on my experience and discussions with other runners. As the heading suggests, all feet are different.

When I decided to start running, I did the logical thing, I bought a pair of running shoes passing through customs on my way back to SA from a holiday and listened to the salesman as to what was the best pair for me.

Five months later I had a severe grade three stress fracture on my left shin. Now one thing about a stress fracture, it could be from over-training, the wrong shoe, your body composition and other variables.

The next logical step is go to a podiatrist for expert advice. The conclusion, anti-pronation shoes with orthotics. Great, off we go. But things weren’t going that smooth and I had further problems with my calves and hamstrings. So, off to a reputable podiatrist. The conclusion, I’m a perfect runner with no need for an orthotic, just a standard neutral shoe. Once again, off we go. However, still not feeling comfortable on the run. Another opinion with conclusion no orthotic but a mild anti-pronation shoe.

Just a note, all testing was done on the same machine.

Enough was enough. Time for my own testing and a little self confidence in my own body in that it will tell me what’s correct for me.

My conclusion, a neutral shoe with orthotics. Seems so logical now. An orthotic is there to assist with the pronation, why go further and purchase a anti-pronation shoe and double up on the support. Can only do damage.

Is there a best shoe out there for you. YES. Which one, well ask the shop to lend you a pair for a week to try out. If it feels comfortable, buy four pairs and pay them off. As for whether you need an orthotic or a neutral shoe or a mild anti-pronation shoe or a full anti-pronation shoe – I wish you the best of luck because it seems that not even the experts can agree. Listen to your body and do what’s good for you.

Dis-Chem Half-Marathon 2003

Posted on Jan 12, 2003 under Running | No Comment

Sunday 12th January 2003

Dischem & Bedfordview Athletic Club have done it again.

The field this year seemed more than in previous years but must have been the same due to the 4,000 runner cut-off. In an almost perfect race, the only problem, and I had to look for one, was the narrow start. Starting in the middle of the pack means a 8 minute first kilometer. So if you are going for a PB, start as close to the front as possible. A help would be if the walkers start further back in the pack – with all due respect to the walkers as they are most welcome on race day.

The great thing about the race is the lack of hills. There are slight gradients in the first 10k’s but nothing to really push the heart rate up. The finish is fast and work the quads quite hard.

As for the characters on the road. Everyone seems to know Spiro or “Spi”. This character can run and run pulling all those having a quiet stroll into a steady sub 6m jog. You get the Sports Connection “boys”, the odd Chappie wrapper and the worn-out Germiston Callies ouman, amongst others

My daughter thought Santa had visited again when I arrived home with the goodie bag. A great t-shirt, a great race and well organized event. A definite top 10 for the year.

Time: 2h12m

Training for beginners

Posted on Jan 05, 2003 under Running | No Comment

The decision
Starting to run is a conscious decision to obtain a single goal.

The decision to run can come from a desire to get fit, lose weight, de-stress or any other personal decision. Nobody can convince you to achieve your goal but you. Remember, that your goal is just that, YOURS. It may be different from others but it remains yours.

I’ll try not sound like an accountant when I say “plan your goal”. If you don’t put to paper what you hope to achieve, your chances of success are minimal. You need to know your progress – you need to know when the goal is to be achieved by – you need to know how to achieve your goal – you need information.

Information is generally free with the use of the internet and running specific websites. There are however three items to purchase BEFORE you start.

1.       The Runners Guide by Tom Cottrell

2.       The Lore of Running by Tim Noakes, MD

3.    A subscription to Runners World, monthly magazine

The Runners Guide gives you all the race information you will require in attaining your goals. It won’t help that your goal is a 32km race and you chose the RAC Tough One. You would rather choose the Kellogg’s 32km. The runners Guide will give you a great reference to which race, when. Further to the book, refer to Tom’s website This is most certainly the best of the best when it comes to running in SA.

The Lore of Running is referred to by many as “the runner bible”.  It’s 800 pages long but don’t let this scare you. Tim Noakes is firstly a runner, then a medical doctor and further a professor. Whatever you do, read it. I don’t necessarily mean that you must read page for page before you start, as one never really finishes the book. The book should be used as an encyclopedia for running.

Need motivation, subscribe to Runners World by Touchline Media. If you are a Discovery Health member, you only pay R 50 per annum! I have mixed feelings with regards Runners World as a magazine for novice runners. The reason being is that a novice runner is a sponge absorbing any information handed out, good or bad. Over the years, Runners World has had many articles for the beginner, which had certain contradictions. There were underlying assumption, as to how fit the person was, what age, what weight and many others. The problem is that although as a human we are designed to run, through Westernization we have become lazy. The magazine however, as a whole, is invaluable for the runner. It provides up-to-date information on all aspects of running.


I speak to many people attempting to get fit but lead an unhealthy lifestyle. If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, change it! I know that this sounds “easy to say” but change is what life’s all about and what makes life interesting. It’s called living. Without change we are merely robots, surviving each day as it comes and heading nowhere but to a life of “I wish I had done…”

You will most likely do more damage trying to get fit without changing your unhealthy lifestyle. If you are stressed, welcome to life. You are not the only one. Every person I know is stressed, without exception. The difference is how people handle their stress. People who cannot handle stress find stress in everything. What should be a absolute “natural high” of reading to your child when he / she goes to sleep, becomes stressful as you had a bad day, you are hungry, your boss doesn’t understand or appreciate you, you, you, you. Take time to recognize the pure joys of life. Once the day ends, it ends. It doesn’t come around again.

If you are overweight, do something about it.  Don’t spend money on TV products or alike. All the information on nutrition is freely available through pharmacies, doctors, websites and magazines and many more.  You must make the decision to make the change. A simple solution with big results is not to eat carbohydrates after 4pm. Forget about that big meal at dinner-time. Get information and get pro-active. I will gladly offer some advise on my thoughts as to how to lose the weight. Unfortunately, I can only offer advice, you have to do it.


If you scrolled down to this section and missed the first two sections, go back!

When you were a baby, you generally learnt to crawl then to walk, then to run. Don’t compare yourself  to chose you didn’t crawl as a baby or those who didn’t learn to walk before learning to run. I won’t mention any names Bruce.

This is of great importance and a lesson I didn’t learn until it was too late. I was reasonably fit from tennis and soccer and at a perfect weight for my age and height. I started running with a friend who was a runner. It went great for the first four months until a pain on my left shin stopped me from running. A bone scan indicated a grade three stress-fracture. I had no pain leading up-to the injury or any symptoms that an injury was on its way. I had a further six months of recovery to read and learn to which I thank The Lore of Running for guidance. I did too much too early.

Once given the all clear, I undertook to learn to how to walk before getting back on the road. For the next three months, I walked on a treadmill and did strength cross-training. My progress was closely monitored and I became walking fit. Then and only then did I head back on the road. It was a frustrating period as my running partner by now was very fit and running good times at races I couldn’t yet attend.

The following is a extract from The Lore of Running which, in my opinion, is the best advice I have read for a beginner to start the journey of the runner.


THE GOAL: Run a 10km race after 25 weeks

Notice that it takes 25 weeks to train for a 10km (with continued training it only takes a further 11 weeks to progress to a standard marathon) Refer to Lore of Running for further information.

w – walk r – run
Day Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
1 W20 W20 W15,R5 W10
2 W20 W20 W20 W20 W20,R5
3 W20
4 W20 W20 W20 W20 W15,R5
5 W20 W10
6 W20 W20 W20 W15,R15 W15,R5
7 W20
Day Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
1 W5,R5 W5,R5 W5,R5 R10 W15,R5 W10,R10
2 W15,R5 W20,R5 W20,R5 W20,R10 W20,R10 W15,R15
3 W10,R10
4 W15,R5 W15,R5 W20,R10 W20,R10 W20,R10
5 W10,R10
6 W15,R5 W20,R5 W20,R10 W20,R10 W15,R15
7 W15,R10
Day Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18
1 W10,R10 W10,R10 W5,R15 W5,R25 R30 R30
2 W10,R20 W10,R20 W5,R20
3 R30 R30 R30
4 W15,R15 W10,R20 W10,R20 W5,R15 R20 R20
5 R10,W10 W5,R25 R30 R30
6 W10,R20 W10,R20 R30
7 W10,R10 W5,R15 R20 R20
Day Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24
1 R30
2 R30 R30 R25 R35 R20
3 R30 R20 R30 R40 R30
4 R30 R20
5 R30 R35 R30 R25 R45
6 R20 R30 R25 R25 R35
7 R20 R15 R20 R20 R20 R20
Day Week 25
1 R40
2 R20
4 R15
7 10KM

A new family – running for a purpose

Posted on Jan 05, 2003 under Running | No Comment

When I decided to take up running in 1998 it was only due to the fact that I got injured at soccer after some 20 years on the field. It was either go under the knife or retire. Retirement seemed the best route as the younger players seemed to be getting the better of my age.

I didn’t know anything about running or the unity of the running community. In soccer, there was always bitter rivalry between clubs which often was decided by a harsh tackle, a head-butt or even a full player and spectator brawl.

I joined Randburg Harriers as it was in between my house and a friends. We were both welcomed with open arms and a friendly smile. A new home – a new family.

In business as an accountant in public practice, I found that people cared for one thing – themselves and their well being. How to avoid this and evade that. Many a task was performed beyond the normal accounting call and only to be “negotiated” on the fee. Further, criminals hiding behind the corporate curtain and lengthy legal jargon left a bitter taste and finally led to me closing shop after eight years.

Throughout the bitter business battles, the one thing I could always rely on was that the road would welcome me every morning with a huge smile and the odd “tears from heaven”.

The question is often asked – why do you run?

My answer – I run for a purpose.

I run to better myself, I run for my family, I run for others via charity, I run for my income, I run to spend time by myself, I run to enjoy natures beauty, I run because I love it – I run for a Purpose.

The Wanderer’s Joe Stutzen Half Marathon 2002

Posted on Nov 10, 2002 under Running | No Comment

Organiser: Wanderers Athletic Club
Date: Sun 10th November 2002

Dischem half – watch out.

Here is a race that I feel could become one of the highlights of the running calender. It’s a great pity that the race was almost without a sponsor and the club had to fund most of the costs of the race.

The route has been changed to a fast, slightly challenging at parts, course. The registration was a pleasure, parking and traffic also no problem. It does help to get to a race a little earlier. I arrived at 06:20am and found parking inside the Wanderers grounds close to the start.

The weather changed drastically before the start. It became windy and cold and looked as though there may have been rain on the way. The cold and wind soon disappeared and the rain stayed away. It made to a cool race for the first hour.

The start went off without the problems of Soweto. The route takes you to Killarney Mall and then along the golf course. The large jacaranda trees lining roads made for a picturesque morning run. There is a danger of slipping on the jacaranda but with a little concentration, you can enjoy the beauty of the trees. It was a change to run through old suburbs so well maintained and lush with tress and flowers.

After the split for the 10km, the route does a detour through the Melrose Bird Sanctuary. A true little oasis and a nice change from the tar. The route goes back on itself and ends off with a mild long climb to the stadium. The last kilometer is very fast.

The race for me was a test to see if I could run a half marathon in OVER 6 minutes per kilometer. My training doesn’t allow me to race until March 2003. So it was a great test to run a race as a training run. I finished on time in 2hrs08min.

A tribute must go to the RAC Grand Master (GG) who ran the second half always ahead of me. He would not permit me to go ahead which I didn’t want to do anyway. I pushed him in the closing kilometer to a sprint to the finish. We ran the final kilometer in well under under 4 minutes.

Soweto Marathon 2002

Posted on Nov 03, 2002 under Running | No Comment

This is for me the toughest marathon of the year. Collection of the numbers was a little chaotic due to many runners registering on the day. According to the race rules, no registrations are taken on the day which obviously changed due to the high demand.

Getting to the venue and parking was easy and well organized, compared to many other races. The start however wasn’t that smooth. The road proved too narrow for many runners who opted for the outer boundary and then a huge cut across the veld after the gun. Many runners were impatient for the gun and went off only to be called back and create more hassles for the organizers.

One thing we can rely on at Soweto is heat. The day prior was cool and overcast which didn’t carry over to race day. The temperature went to at least 20 degrees by the start. This meant that, with the increased field, water points for the first 20 kilometers were under pressure yet again. The same problems of the past few years.

This was my third running of the Soweto Marathon and it proved more difficult than the last. My training was better than ever except for the four weeks leading up to the race due to work pressures.

On race day Sunday 3rd November 2002 I started at a casual six minutes per kilometer which is an easy pace. Then the same hill at around 22 kilometers hit once again. At around 23 kilometers my best friend came in the form of tree which without it, I would have been flat on my back. Both hamstrings went into spasm. With the assistance of another runner then the Old Mutual physio’s, I was back to a walk and later a jog. My first 21 km’s was in 2h05m, the last in 3h05min. A finishing time of 5h10m, my PW (personal worst)

I will most likely be back again next year with a little more hill preparation under my belt. A few new friends made and an overall enjoyable day.