My first run – 2010 Lighthouse Run in Cape Town

Posted on Mar 04, 2010 under Running | 4 Comments

After some not too serious training but a good amount of excitement today was finally the day. The Lighthouse Ten Run 2010 was happening and for me it meant that my random running was about to become somehow more serious, as I was now measured not against myself or some computer program on my Phone, but  ‘real’ people running next to me. Joining in was my ‘Sportsfreund’ Cecily, who followed my call for company on Facebook only a few days earlier.

Arriving early one hour prior to the scheduled start at 6.15pm was definitely a good idea, as it gave us great parking, no queues and time to chat to other fellow runners who told us about some of the processes with the archaic time measurement, though my only goal was to run the 10km in under one hour…

The run didn’t start on time, but was moved to the odd time of 6.22 to allow even the late birds to participate. Despite warnings from another friend to stand in front of the starterfield, we were just behind the middle of the field but everyone got moving quite quickly, so the delay for the last runners, before they could really start running shouldn’t be much more than two minutes, what I think is very reasonable for a run with much more than 1500 participants.

Race day was one of the hottest days and temperatures in Cape Town went up to 34°C I never found it to be a problem, as the sun was not burning too much anymore. The race itself was really beautiful and I could always manage my relaxed jogging speed of just under 6 minutes per km and did even manage a sprint for the last two kilometers, when I left Cecily behind. But see the Lighthouse run on Everytrail yourself that I recorded with my iPhone:

Only the last hundred-something meters were causing a big problem. Because so many runners arrived at the same time the congestion made people wait several minutes before they collected their finisher-number (mine was 932) and I’m interested to see how the organising club is going to tell us exactly what results we scored, as mine should’ve been somewhere between 56 and 57 minutes…

But this small problem that could be solved with a modern chip-based timing system and it did in no way destroy the beautiful experience that this run was for me – Thank you Atlantic Athletic Club Cape Town for organising such a wonderful event!

Bennie Badenhorst wins Mont-aux-Sources Ultra Marathon Challenge in 5:37 hours

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 under Running | No Comment

SA’s Foremost Ultra-Marathon Swells Conservation Coffers
First Lady Places Third Overall In Full Field, Ideal Conditions

mont-aux-sources marathon

The seventeenth annual running of South Africa’s foremost ultra-marathon, the Mont-aux-Sources Challenge, took place in ideal conditions at Royal Natal National Park in the northern Drakensberg on September 12, 2009. Bennie Badenhorst of Hartebeespoort Marathon Club emerged as the victor in a time of 05hrs 37min 57sec. Filippo Faralla from Savages Athletic Club in Durban placed second in a time of 05hrs 37min 11sec while the first lady, Kerry Koen of Collegians Harriers in Pietermaritzburg, managed a very impressive third overall in a time of 05hrs 40min 39sec.

The race is organised through the Wild Series a partnership between the Wildlands Conservation Trust and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Wildlands CEO, Andrew Venter, said that the 2009 event was possibly one of the most successful in its history. “We had a full field of runners, and once again managed to raise several hundred thousand Rand towards conservation, adding to the more than R3 million that the race has raised in its history.”

While the Challenge is certainly not South Africa’s longest run, it is possibly its toughest, with runners having to climb, and then descend, some 1500m during the 50km course. Venter said the race is also arguably South Africa’s most picturesque, set in the backdrop of the spectacular Drakensberg Amphitheatre, part of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site.

According to Race Chairman Eduard Goosen of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the race’s success was due, once again, to main sponsors Bonitas Medical Aid and Powerade, a large contingent of volunteers and an enthusiastic field of athletes. “The race doesn’t offer the richest purse, but year after year we experience demand from a higher number of runners than we can accommodate in an environmentally protected area.” Interested parties can email for entry details.

Comrades finisher report by Onne de Boer

Posted on May 25, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 2 Comments

Onne de BoerThis is a race-day report from 2009 Comrades Marathon finisher Onne de Boer whom we met on Twitter where he is one of our loyal followers. We thank you for this piece and ask our readers to submit more wonderful articles like this:

Hi, my name is Onne de Boer.  I live in Canada, in the Maritime province of New Brunswick. I’m 45 years old, have been running most of my life. Not competitively, I have been competing in triathlon. My greatest athletic feat to date is the 25th Anniversary of Ironman Canada. Finishing in 11:56 (Pictured on the right)

Qualifying and Training for Comrades
The event I used for qualifying was called “Not the Honolulu” Marathon in November of last year. This event is a self sufficient event, meaning I have to carry everything for the distance there is no support. A good friend accompanied me on the second half of the marathon, which was the  official half for the day. I finished sub 4 hours for a D grouping at Comrades.

I followed the sub nine hour training program from the Comrades site. Training started in January – a little bit of running prior to that, but nothing formal. Please know that training was very difficult, I was usually in temperatures that ranged from -5 to -20 Celsius. On more then one occasion my water froze next to my body under my layers of cloths. Weather improved by April and there were a few days I could run in shorts and a jacket.

Once in PMB my family hooked me up with Christopher Zondi (15566) 14 time, now 15 time finisher of Comrades. We ran together a few days and the benefit of having someone local is that I didn’t have to pay attention to where I was. Thank you Chris! A true Comrade!

Race day
I had a restful sleep in PMB. I was awake at 3am, rested until 3.30 and then got up for a bowl of oatmeal and some hydration. Read the rest of this entry »

Comrades Marathon cut-off extended to 12 hours

Posted on Jan 05, 2003 under Comrades Marathon | No Comment


The Comrades Marathon Association have decided to extend the cut-off for the 2003 and future Comrades Marathon to 12 hours. In Speaking to many runners, the decision has received both positive and negative responses.

The majority of runners who have completed previous Comrades under the 11 hour rule are negative towards the change. They are of the opinion that it takes away the spirit and knowledge that Comrades is one of the toughest races in the World.

The majority of runners who had not yet run a Comrades or who have failed to finish under the 11 hour rule are positive in that they now have the opportunity to complete and finish the race.

The organisor’s reason for the extension is pure economic. Comrades has had a ”negative growth” factor over the past few years. This with the exception of the 24,500 starters in the 75th anniversary / Millennium run. They need to have growth to get continued support from the sponsors. With many sponsors directing their funding towards cycling, the organisors cannot afford to have sponsors leaving Comrades. This will truly be the end of the Marathon.

My personal comments are easy – GREAT. Whatever we can do to encourage more participants into running, the better. But beware, if you couldn’t finish Comrades in the 11 hours, the chances of finishing in 12 are not much greater. At the end of Comrades, the average runner will be running / walking at around 10min per kilometer. This equates to giving the runner a grace of 6 km’s. Over a Marathon of 89km’s, 6 km’s is not material to a good Comrades.

Runners must be warned that the training to finish under 11 hours will not change should you wish to finish under 12 hours. The qualifying time for Comrades has been extended to a 5 hour standard marathon.


This is my opinion based on my experience and the experience of other runners.

Do your training, finish a standard marathon under 4hr30min (still strong), listen to the experts at panel talks, follow Don Oliver’s column in Runners World.

After 60 km’s at Comrades, it’s your mind that takes you to the end, not your body. I further suggest reading The Lore of Running by Prof. Tim Noakes.

Anybody can run Comrades & anybody can fail at Comrades – it’s up to the individual.

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.