Sunday, August 28, 2011


So with this being week one I was mend to start the big stuff and get out there and notch up the miles... Well things didn't start off very well as you know I'm sick!!!

Monday I still went up to the club, and after sending the guys off on a recovery run I sat down and drank a couple of beers...

Tuesday I still wasn't running, and again I popped up to the club to ensure the lazy guys were training properly!!! On the program tonight was 2km reps... I didn't hang around the club, but set off home stopping at my parents house to see how my Mom was doing... She fell in the river on the weekend and broke her foot!!!

Wednesday I thought I should put on my running shoes again and jog 5km. We (my wife and I) had plans later, so I didn't go up to the club, but went with Dawn to VOB to run the 5km TT. I didn't run with Dawn I tried to run hard, I did run hard... it was hard but not very fast (by my standards) I was only about to manage half marathon pace, and I was finished.

Thursday I took the boys for a trail run in the forest. I think I'm getting better.

After taking Friday off I was up for an easy race!!! So Saturday we drove out to Atlantis for a 15km race. I didn't want to race it was really part of a longish run... I started off with 4.5km warm up and was feeling good at the start. Then things started to look good, only Shaun was there, I had a good shot at 2nd place. I went out at an "easy" (it is a little down hill) 3:35 3:34 3:34 3:34 3:33. At this stage I was running with another 40+ but he was always going and that 2nd place was mine... In fact he even fell off the pace a bit before we slowed on the flat through 6 and 7 3:44 3:44 very light wind from behind 3:39.
Then from nowhere we were caught from behind!!! Yes he was 40+... Gavin told me to go, so I upped my pace to keep my place. 3:34 3:28... but that was all I had. I had planned on staying with him till we turned for the climb to the finish. He had dropped me before I could drop him. I didn't have my hill climbing strength back! I was now running in no-mans land so I just kept going 3:46 (only half hill) 3:53 3:53 3:53 and the flat km into the wind and finish 3:49. Mr. Garmin only added another 3sec after 15km to take my to the finish in 55:22.
I didn't stand around waiting for Dawn I ran back for her and was about to get in another 3km giving me 22.5km for the morning.

Sunday morning I slept in a bit and only had time for 17.5km before Church. So I might have 40km for the weekend, but I haven't been on the mountain to get the long hours in. And Yes they are needed my next 2 races are going to take me 4-5 hours!!!

Monday we start again...

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Jonkershoek Mountain Challenge was run on Sunday 21 August 2011 and I should have stayed in bed... I didn't so here I am to tell you about the race.

From the day I heard about this race I was in... words like Mountain, Extreme, 30km and Challenge had court my eye. (and there was money up for grabs, which was reachable.)

Things were going well in training and after last weeks CCC result I know my running was were I wanted it. Role on Sunday... Then come Monday (T minus 6 days and counting) I was told I had to be at Head Office on Friday, so I was flying up to Pretoria on Thursday! Problem? Yes, No, Maybe... I took the week really easy till Thursday and then it was time off. This was good. But it looks like I caught something on the plane or just from traveling...

I tried to fight it with Vitamin C, but it was a losing battle. Yes Cape Town is in the middle of winter, but the sun has been out most days and boy it's been great. But great winter weather can only last so long!!! and it turned over night!!! The clouds had rolled in and the heavens had opened.

Now I woke up feeling even worse than I had done going to bed feeling, so I just rolled over and went back to bed. (Like I would tell any of my athletes.) Wrong, I was up at 05h00 and out the door at 05h30 on my way to Jonkershoek.

An extreme race in extreme weather, I had to be there. After my kit was checked I got ready to run... (Compulsory Equipment... yes compulsory equipment, stuff like a first-aid kit fleece and a rain jacket)

At the start it was perfect running weather, for a road race: light drizzle and very little wind, but we weren't running on the road, we were heading up the mountain!

The race started slowly and I took the pace, for about 500m till Allan decided it was time to race. I went with the front guys and soon 4 of us had a nice lead. We were still on the gravel road and the climb was easy. I was hoping that I wasn't really sick and I would be able to run... I lasted 10min and then had to wish them well as they kept the pace. I stopped running hard and settled into a light jog. I was still in 4th as we left the 'road' and hit the single track up the first bit of the mountain.

I was caught shortly after that first climb, and I neatly stepped aside and let him pass, but it was flattish so I could jog again... Letting him do the work I just followed. I didn't have any energy so 'jogging' along behind him was just what was needed. Now it was a little wet on this stretch so I had removed my glasses and on every rough turn I lost a couple of seconds as I had to let him go so I could see the blur ahead (I mean path). At about 7km the real race started... in the next 2km we would climb 450m into the grips of winter!!! Jayde caught us on the climb and went past, so I decided to go with him for a bit. I figured I could climb with him. On the zig-zags as we climbed I could see the likes of Andrew Hagen and Martin Kleynhans chasing...

I don't know what had happened, but we caught Will (he should have been up front fighting for a win) I now felt I was on a training run as I had 2 of my athletes with me... But this was no training run, it was a fight against the mountain and the elements. I was loving it, the path was a river and my feet were cold. Yes cold, I would have it a guess that it was about 5 degrees up there, and then wind chill... or in some peoples case wind freeze!!!!

I'm going to have to pop up there for a training run in better weather as I would love to see what it is like up there. The death zone was taking it's toll, the guy who had been running with me from 3km had dissapeared and then Jayde stopped to put on his rain proof jacket. OK he stopped just in front of me and shouted for help, Jayde, I sorry I didn't stop, but I really didn't know you were about to die from hypothermia and i was having fun splashing in the water. Lucky for him Martin was not far behind to help him put on his jacket as his hands weren't working!!!

I went through the top check point with no problems, but I didn't really have any energy to bounce down the mountain. I mean we dropped 178m in that km I took it easy letting a number of guys go by. We were still on a single track with 13km to go. We dropped another 100m in the next km before the path got a little flatter. I was jogging the easy bits but when it came to river crossings I took it easy, really easy.

With about 9 to go the path opened up and I wanted to start running properly again, but I wasn't well and slow would have to do... 9km is a long way when running slowly and with 2km to go I stopped for a energy bar chocolate. I was hungry and down on energy, 3h30 is a long time for me to be out on a run.

I finished in 20th place which is a little off what I would normally run. But I'm pleased I ran and didn't stay in bed, it was an awesome day to be on the mountain a real test of trail running skills.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Saturday was Cross Country time, so I packed the wife in the car and set off to PENTEC for the meet. Not just a league, but champs:

I had taken Wednesday and Thursday easy, so my legs had a bit of spring in them, and I was ready to race.

So much for being ready to race we were running late and I didn't really have any time... but Dawn entered for me so I had a bit of time to warm up.

The Race: 40+ 8km around the fields. We started on the track and I felt like a real athlete again, but after 300m we left the track, and it was time to see who was in the mix...

Graham, Johnny and Saun took the lead and opened a gap on Tobias, Seppy and Myself. There were another 2 guys in the group, but after the 2km loop they had fallen off the pace. With 2 loops of 3km to go I was losing ground...

I could see the race unfolding, Graham and Johnny up front, Saun running hard trying to keep pace (he is an 800m guys and I was hoping this would be to far for him, but he has had a good CC session and was holding on.) Tobias was mine and with 2km to go I caught him, passing him on one of the little hills. I didn't look back and went for Seppy (this guys was a 28min 10km boy in the 90's) and I was now chasing him down... Running as hard as I could I closed the gap, but was left wanting he crossed the line 5 sec ahead of me in 4th place leaving me to 5th.

Sunday saw me line up for a 30km race:

30km on the road is a long way... I had planned on a just running easy 4min/km and dipping under 2 hours. Ha Ha Ha that isn't easy anymore...

There is a little hill at 3km that goes on for 6km climbing 250m, so we lost time and only passed 10km in 41:06. With the help on the down hill I was back on track by 15km, but we were now running into the wind and the next hill lay ahead of us. This hill was 'easy' and with a bit of work I stayed at 4min/km dropping the guys I was running with... The 2nd half was a long lonely way, but I had to keep going.

With the next down hill I tried to recover, but I was now running hard and not fast (not a good sign.) with last 10 were along the coast and the wind was now behind us so keeping the pace was easy, but the legs were getting sore. I finished strongly with 1h57:55 and a 2nd 40+ place.

Now it's time for an easy week and then next weekend we are into the mountains for some fun...

see you then.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


This week was week 3 of the block so big was always on the cards, but the old body didn't let me run as fast as I had planned...

Monday's 10km run up to the Block house had gone off without a hitch and the week was started.

Tuesday had 6-8 x 1000m with 60 sec rest on the cards, well even before we started I had changed the rest back to last weeks 90sec. (OK we had a couple of new guys joining us and I didn't want to kill them on their first session.) Without Nelson there to set the pace out front it was me taking the boys out and I was not firing on all cylinders. After 4 I called it quits and took the new guys back to the club leaving the others to finish the session.

Wednesday was the wife's birthday so like any good man I took the day off work to spend the day with her. (This did mean I could run 20km in the morning...)

Thursday Hills, and hills it was 10 x Rhodes Mem hills. The times are slower than 10 years ago but I can still run 10 without getting slower...

They look good don't they...

Friday: REST nice...

Saturday, afternoon cross country. But it was only a league so I ran 16km in the morning... Enjoyed the CC- 3 loops and I got stronger and stronger as the race went on running down most of the guys. (don't know where I finished in the 40+)

Sunday long run... it wasn't really long, just short of 2 hours. I ran from home up the mountain:

Yes, I'm a little shattered....

That said I had a great run along the top and down...