Tuesday, November 20, 2012


With a 05h30 start out in Stellenbosh the alarm at home went off at 03h45!!! Yes that is early, but in hindsight (20/20 vision) we could have left 5 min earlier... Had said it wouldn't have helped. Let me explain: We picked Jana up at 04h15 set off on the trip out to the Cape Winelands in Stellenbosch. No Problem. Then as we left the N2 We had to stop!!! there had been an accident and the burnt out car was still sending smoke signals of Blue and Red flashing lights into the sky (see 5 minutes earlier could have put us in the accident!!!) The in the little town the traffic was heavy with lots of runners heading to the start line.

Can you see me in my Orange hat?

All that said I was at the start line chatting to my friend before the gun went off and while a couple of guys set off round the tartan track as if it was all they were doing we didn't. It didn't take long for a group of guys to join me: OK let me see if I can remember who all was in the bus as we headed out for the 35th running of the Winelands Marathon:
Coach Dion, Richard, Sam, Stef, Ake, Marko, Seppie, Ryan, William, 'Celtics' x 2, 'Strand', and 1or 2 other guys I couldn't really see, Oh so that was about 15 of us, but in any case it was a nice group and with the running easy and the early km slightly down hill we hit the 5km board in 19:47. Stef was the only one complaining about the pace as I had told him 4:00-4:15... He was nicely hidden at the back of the pack and with it down hill he stayed with us as I guaranteed him we would slow at the hills started.

This is at about 20km
But the 2nd 5km was also mostly down and we kept hitting the pace 19:50. I don't think we had lost anyone till that first hill. Now in my books none of the hills are that bad, but when you are running at your limit those climb hurt, and over then next couple of km we lost a couple of guys. 20:47 and 15km were gone. I was relaxed and enjoying the race (run, my race was later in the day). Sam and I puled a little ahead on the one hill and I had to hold myself back, as you all know the 21.1km mark isn't half way!!! We past this in a little over 85min and then climbed the biggest hill of the day, this would be my slowest km 4:32. This was Richard's first marathon and he had done enough running to go all the way at this pace...but he needed reminding that half way was only at 30km and I lot could still happen.

20-25km took us past the turn-around 20:37. The little climb to 24.5km we ran a little fast and I had to pull the guys back, but then it was a nice down hill, and all I could say was don't let it hurt you... Stef and William let us go, and now the group was maybe only 6 big... I had hoped that 5 or 6 of us could run through to the end together, but had wasn't going to happen.

Dawn (my wife) had been on the side of the road taking a couple of pictures and watching the race, and as we over-took a 40+ guy she told me I had moved into 4th! Those 5km had been mostly down hill and our split 25-30 was quick 19:12, but then we turned of the main road onto a side street for a 3.5km out and back loop. That first little bump (don't even want to call it a hill) dropped the guys Seppie, Richard, Ryan, while Sam and I kept the pace...

OUT and back... I could see Dwarsrivier leading the 40+, but he didn't look good, Andries was strong in 2nd and Nedbank in 3rd, I was 60sec back... I was chomping at the bit but the last 10km of a marathon are a long way and with 60+ marathon under the belt I know a few things.

We had just seen the leading lady before we turn back onto the main road and started the last of the big climbs. I told Sam not to work to hard on this hill but then... but then!!! Dawn was on the side of the road and told us that Dwarsrivier was walking.

Time to go...
The Fun Run was over and I turned into race mode, dropping Sam on the hill and changing gears. It felt good, this is what I had wanted out of the race, to have fun, run with my friends and then be able to turn it up a gear if needed. The 5km split from 30-35 was 20:07, but as I was now a man on a mission chasing 1st 40+ I had upped my game... 19;00 took me to 1st 40+ and the 40km mark.

The Winner takes it All

In fact I was now far enough ahead that I could jog in to get my target time of 2h49:36. 13th over all and 1st 40+. 3 guys from my club were really happy to see me, saying: Mr Dion we knew we could count on you! And with that we had won the team prize!

Winning Team
Now of cause before the prize-giving you have to kill a lot of time, So I spend it drinking with my friends!!!

Alan is on the Wine, I'm on the beer and Shandy Dog is resting after a long morning supporting


  1. I like how you celebrate post race! Well done and congrats! I can only hope that I can "jog" my way in and still be in under my target pace! Nice work.

  2. Congrats!!! I was thinking about you this weekend. Great run as always. :)

  3. Awesome run, sounds like it went perfect!

    Thanks on the barefoot running tips, I'll try to do that sometime, maybe at a park near my house.

  4. Next time I will keep up so I can also get mentioned by name! ;) Well run, see you at training tomorrow.

  5. Great race! I love how your target time is so specific - even down to the second. You make it sound almost easy and I know it's not. Congratulations to you and your team.

    1. I have run this race 10 times and I could proberly have run a little faster is I had tried, but that hurts and I don't like hurting.

  6. Nice job Coach. Kicked some serious butt on that marathon. I only dream of times like that(most people do)

  7. You do make it sounds so easy but then I have read some of your training session and know there's a lot of hard work behind these times....right?! I wonder how you keep churning them out time and time again? Are you lucky to be injury free? Are you injury free? Getting hurt terrifies me.
    Ok, I need to read a post from you on how to run a marathon, how do you break it down? You say you've learned a thing or 2 having run a zillion of them, throw us mere mortals some tips and advice please! Yours is a brain that needs to be picked!

  8. I missed out my congratulations! Well done, truly inspirational stuff.

  9. WOW, very nice work! Although I'm not surprised because you are a super strong runner, this was probably a cake walk compared to those mountain races that you usually do. Congrats!!