Deadline for Cape Town Marathon Entries approaching

Posted on Sep 06, 2011 under Running | No Comment

The deadline for online entries for the Cape Town Marathon 2011 is fast approaching with Monday September 12 the cut-off date for pre-entries to the 42.2km and 10km races.

The Marathon, which takes place on Sunday 25 September, has a flat and fast 42.2km route which starts in Adderley Street at 06h30 and takes runners out to Rondebosch before looping back to the new Green Point Urban Park via Salt River, the Foreshore and the Sea Point promenade – showcasing Table Mountain, the ocean and many of the major attractions Cape Town has to offer.

The race has an extended 8-hour cut off time to give novice runners the opportunity to complete their first 42.2km race. There is also a 10km race which starts in Adderley Street at 06h30 and has a two hour cut-off, so walkers will have ample time to earn their medal.

The marathon is expected to attract quality runners as it is the only South African Olympic qualifier for London 2012. It is also a qualifier for the 2012 Comrades and Two Oceans marathons.

The prize money for the marathon winner is R25 000 followed by R15 000 for second and R12 500 for third place. In the 10km race the winner will receive R12 500 with the second runner winning R7 500 and third place R6250.

Besides the Marathon and 10km races on Sunday 25 September, the public can enter a 5 x 4.2km relay race aimed at clubs, companies and schools. The relay starts at the Green Point Urban Park at 14h30 on Heritage Day 24 September 2011. There is also a 5km fun run from 16h30 at the Urban Park on Heritage Day.

 “An event such as the Cape Town Marathon truly highlights the diversity and beauty of our city and its surrounds. We are looking forward to seeing this race go from strength to strength, not only as a race which attracts the world’s best, but also as an event that involves the people of Cape Town,” says Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, the managing director of the Cape Town Partnership.

“As Cape Town becomes increasingly pedestrianised and more accessible, the Cape Town Marathon reminds us that the best experience of our city can often be had on foot. We urge our citizens to show their support and encouragement for this year’s race.”

Runners can get registration details at the Green Point Urban Park tea room on Friday 23 September until 6pm for the Marathon and on Saturday 24 September for the 10km.

Runners should visit for online entries, which close on Monday September 12.

Two Oceans Marathon 2011 route and facts!

Posted on Oct 22, 2010 under Two Oceans Marathon | 4 Comments

With the Two Oceans Marathon Entry date approaching soon, we want to give you an overview for the highlight of the 2011 Marathon season in Africa. We already wrote about the Two Oceans Marathon Entry requirements and limitations in a previous post.

The Two Oceans Marathon Route:

The World’s Most Beautiful Marathon: This year’s route (the PURPLE line on the map) will be the same as the one used since 2004. Runners will veer off left onto Noordhoek Road (Chapman’s Peak Drive) at the foot of Ou Kaapse Weg after passing through Sun Valley, and then head through Noordhoek and Hout Bay to Constantia Nek.

Two Oceans Marathon Route Map

  • Start point : Main Road in Newlands.
  • Quarter way mark (14 km): In Lakeside, just past the Sandvlei turnoff.
  • Halfway mark (28 km): On Noordhoek Road before Chapman’s Peak
  • Marathon mark (42.195 km): Near the cemetery on Constantia Nek.

It is the responsibility of each runner to know the route of their race. Traffic Police and race marshals will take all reasonable steps to ensure runners safety, however runners are responsible for their well being at all times.

56 km: The route remains the same as last year. From the start in Newlands along the Main Road to Fish Hoek, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay, Constantia Nek, Rhodes Drive, and Union Avenue to the finish at UCT. An IAAF graded course measurer has certified the route. A sign will mark every kilometer of the route. The course is 56 km (35 miles).

Route Profile

The Ultra Marathon Route is actually quite flat for the first 28 kilometers, and then starts to climb quickly as one approaches the start of Chapman’s Peak. From Hout Bay, the route climbs again to the highest point at Constantia Nek. Thereafter the route is undulating until the finish at UCT.

Two Oceans Marathon route profile (click on image to enlarge)

Interactive Map

Click here for our interactive map (by MapIT) indicating the route, kilometre markers, refreshment stations and medical points.

Virtual Map

Click here to view the virtual route map as was set up by Bertus van Elburg. One can zoom in and out and see the route in comparison with other landmarks.

Nutrition Tips for race day by Dietician Rowena Curr

Posted on May 23, 2009 under Nutrition | No Comment

Your main nutrition goals for raceday, are to maintain your carbohydrate and fluid stores. This is vital if you would like to optimize your performance, or you just want to avoid “hitting the wall” (i.e. feeling of extreme fatigue, legs of lead, dizziness and confusion – obviously not ideal for any runner hoping to finish).

Dietician Rowena Curr RD (SA) compiled these following helpful tips:

  • The most important thing for raceday, is never to do something for the first time. Make sure that you have your nutrition strategies worked out, and have practiced them as part of your longer training runs or races leading up to Comrades.
  • Unless you have a second that will be providing you with everything you need on the day – practice with the drinks and food that will be available on raceday at the seconding tables.
  • Ideally your pre-race meal should be eaten about 3 hours before the start. However, if this is not possible you can eat a smaller meal 1-2 hours before (this just depends on your usual rate of digestion – make sure you practice, practice, practice!). Whatever you choose to eat must be high in carbohydrate, low in fat, low or moderate in protein, and low in fibre (this is to prevent any discomfort – fat and protein take longer to leave the stomach than carbohydrate). Suitable foods include breakfast cereals or porridge with low-fat milk or yoghurt, toast with jam/syrup/peanut butter, or banana and peanut butter sandwiches.
  • If you struggle to eat solids before a race, it is a good idea to take in something liquid (e.g. liquid meal replacement, fruit smoothie or just an energy drink). Just ensure that you have a substantial meal the night before.
  • Sip on a sports drink in the 2 hours leading up to the start (just allow time to go to the toilet!)
  • Make use of sports drinks during the race – they are very useful to meet both carbohydrate and fluid needs at the same time. Diluted coke also works well.
  • Start drinking early on in the race (within the first 30 minutes). Avoid waiting until later in the race, as you will be more likely to “hit the wall”, and it will be difficult for you to recover.
  • Fluid requirements differ from runner to runner, and are determined by sweat rate, exercise intensity, environmental temperature, humidity, body surface area, gender, and genetics. For this reason, it is important to experiment in training, in order to work out your own fluid requirements, and to prevent both dehydration and overhydration.
  • General hydration advice is to drink little and often. You should aim to drink ad libitum between 400-800ml per hour, with the higher rates for the faster, heavier runners and the lower rates for the slower runners/walkers. If conditions are warm, you will need more fluid as opposed to running in cooler conditions.
  • Aim to take in 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour. Most sports drinks will provide 30-60g in 500-1000ml. Gels contain approximately 30g per gel (make sure you drink 250-350ml water per gel). Most sports or cereal bars contain 20g, 3 baby potatoes contain 15g, 5 jelly babies contain 15g, 1 large banana contains 20g, ½ jam/marmite sandwich contains 15g, and 4 dried apricots contain 15g.

Author Dietician Rowena Curr RD (SA) is a private practicing dietician at the Kings Park Sports Medicine Centre in Durban and at the Victoria road medical centre in Pietermaritzburg. She has a postgraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from UCT as well as an honours degree in Sports Science from the University of Stellenbosch. She has represented South Africa as a junior and elite triathlete and currently competes in various triathlons and multisport events. Rowena Curr can be contacted via 082 4257234 or via e-mail.

20 Facts about the Comrades Marathon you might not know

Posted on Apr 04, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | No Comment

There are some important and not-so-important facts about the Comrades Marathon that you should know:

  1. Gold medals are awarded to the first 10 men and women finishers.
  2. Silver medals are awarded to athletes who finish from position 11 to those finishing in under 7 hours 30 minutes.
  3. The Bill Rowan medal of silver and bronze is awarded to thoses athletes who complete the race between 7 hours 30 minutes and 9 hours.
  4. Bronze medals are awarded to athletes who finish the race in a time of between 9 hours and 11 hours.
  5. Copper medals – known as the Vic Clapham medal – go to those athletes who finish the race between 11 and 12 hours.
  6. Entrants who have completed 25 Comrades Marathons run for free.
  7. To prevent cheating, runners must use a digital technology called Championchips, which they lace into their running shoes. The Championchips have a unique code that is recorded at reading mats placed regularly along the route.
  8. The minimum age requirement is that competitors must turn 20 in the year of the race.
  9. All runners must pre-qualify for the Comrades by running in an officially recognised race.
  10. Entry forms for the Comrades Marathon are sent to every runner who competed in the most recent event. They are also available in sports stores and at running clubs in South Africa, while online entries can be obtained from the Comrades website.
  11. South African competitors must be licensed members of clubs affiliated to Athletics South Africa.
  12. The men’s “down run” record was set by Leonid Shvetsov in 2007 in a time of 5:20.49.
  13. The women’s “down run” record was set by Frith van der Merwe in 1989 in a time of 5:54.07.
  14. The men’s “up run” record also belongs to Leonid Shvetsov with a time of 5:24.48, run in 2008.
  15. The women’s “up run” record belongs to Elena Nurgalieva with a time of 6:09.23, run in 2006.
  16. A figurine of Hermes weighing 100 ounces of gold is on offer to the athlete who manages to better the record.
  17. The first South African man and woman to finish each receive a gold statue of Hermes weighing 25 ounces.
  18. In 2008, Dave Rogers completed his 43rd Comrades Marathon. He was met at the finish line by Clive Crawley, with whom he had shared the previous record for the most completed Comrades Marathons.
  19. The Comrades website allows people to check the history of any runner in the race simply by entering that person’s surname.
  20. Comrades Marathon House at 18 Connaught Street, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, houses the Comrades Marathon Museum that includes photographs of former winners and an accurate scale model of the Comrades Marathon route.

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