Monday, January 30, 2012


On Wednesday evening I ran the 3rd in the Summer Trail Series, Silvermine West. I was feeling a little better than the 1st 2 legs and started hard, I set the pace, yes I had set the pace in the 1st 2 , but then I was trying to slow the race down. Having run this route before I wanted to hit the first climb in the lead.

Pic from the web sight.
That is me in the lead, with Nic, Ben and Derick. I hit the climb 1st with Ben on my tail, and he climbed well staying with me as the others fell off.

The view behind us
I slowed at the top telling Ben to take the lead and push for a win, if he wanted to beat Nic he had to go early and stay ahead. (He was one of my athletes and still calls me Coach)
Ben took the lead and it didn't take long for him to pull ahead, but that was short lived... He couldn't stay ahead as we climbed another rocky bit... Maybe I should have set the pace till then... That said a little rest was needed as we soon hit the jeep track. I let him go and over the next 1km he opened a gap and with the next turn I saw Allan chasing. I took the turn working up to the single track keeping my in 2nd place. Why had a dumped my hat! we were now running into the sun and I needed it. Fighting the sun and the single track Allan caught and past me. He caught up to Ben and the two of them were about 20 meters ahead when I saw the turn, they had missed it I whistled and called... they had rounded the corner and didn't hear!!!. Nic caught me as I started the climb, I was now in the lead and at the top of the 1st bump I could see the others heading round the mountain, I whistled again and waved... they were now back in the race, but far off the pace.

Working Hard
We were now back on the gravel road and still climbing, but it wasn't till the next single track that I was able to open up on Nic...

The climb was over and down we came, as we reach the gravel road again Derick had past just in front of us, boy the sun was playing havoc...(he had missed the last turn onto the single track) Nic ran me down and I didn't let him get away as I raced after him and Derick who was now in the lead!!!

We caught him as we turned onto an overgrown single track. Nic got past at the first chance, but I didn't have time. The decent started and with me chomping at the bit Derick let me pass...

Nic was gone, but I had to go fill tilt down hill as I didn't know who was chasing. At this point things got a little messy as we start to catch the short course!!! It's not a big problem as with my heavy breathing and a few worlds: 'passing right', 'careful', they always step to the side. Back on the gravel, still pushing hard, then a right turn onto a single track, running to fast and I overshot the turn... dam, a few seconds lost, but I'm back on the path without any-one coming past. What's that, Derick is back on my tail... I just have to hold on till the next climb, left turn and up... this 2nd place is mine. I would like to say I broke him on that hill, but I didn't know I didn't look back, I was just chasing the short course guys and passing one by one.

There it is, the turn off the short course... I can see Nic far up front 60+ sec. Once again we have the sun to contend with, and the trail is sandy, but I have a little time to look back, no-one is following... Last loop to the Dam wall and onto the finish.

2nd pace and 1st 40+ That was a nice run I was able to work most of the time, I think I now have the better of Derick, But what about Allan? I beat him by default this time round...

Wednesday 1 February see the next exciting leg of this series...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Red Hill is a clasic race, and yes while some people line up to win, most of us line up for a training run. At the moment 36.2km is a little further and I would choose to run but it's such a nice 'race' I always find myself on the start line.

Over the years I have never put the hammer down and gone for glory, but since turning 40 it's easy to sneak a prize. Like other years I found myself on the start line with a couple of friends:
Red Hill 2007
Of this group only Stef (far right 476) was there... but he was running slower, so I was with Ake, Damian, Eddie. We set off at 3hour marathon pace 5km 21:11, 10km 43:06 as we climbed the first of the mountain passes!!! 15km down the other side 61:41. At this stage Jimmy (from Bay to Bay 2 weeks ago) and Andries, also with us, but running the marathon, (at 20.5km they run a 6km out and back loop) had to up the pace just a bit if they wanted a sub 3. Andries pulled of the front, he would end with 3h00:22, so close! The rest of us just ticked over for the next couple of km, but then as the climb started (more a gentle pull) Eddie and the others dropped off leaving Damian setting the pace, I was struggling! and Ake was hanging in, and he was also about to turn right on the marathon loop.

All still together

Damian, Me and Ake

I stopped for a sec at Dawn on the side of the road and put on my shades!!! I was read for RED HILL!!! I closed the gap on Damian at started the climb passing 21km in 89:59!!!

Yes I pulled away from Damian overtaking 2 other guys (both 40+) but I wasn't running easy, the body felt heavy and awkard! I closed the gap on Cliffy and 2 other 40+ guys, catching 1 at the top.

I don't like to hammer that down hill, you drop 230m in 4km and if you let the breaks off you will end in the OCEAN!!! That said I was running at 3:40 and soon caught Cliffy and the other 40+ guy from Paarl. Bottem of the hill and 7km to go. In the past we have taken it really easy till now and then all hell breaks loose!!! I was on my own and I just wanted to run in and enjoy the coastal road.

I kept thinking I would blow, and slow to 4:30's or even 4:40's, but I just kept on ticking over at 4:10ish. The front of the field is small and I had no-one to chase or the run with, it was really a case of 'The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner'!

Dawn finaly caught me after watching all her friends further back in the race, it was nice to see her and the puppies on the side on the road. She didn't follow me in, but went back out on the route leaving me to run in all alone.NO, not a case for tears, but shouts of joy!!! I was 7th and 1st 40+ in a time of 2h32:43.

So the question is: How do you know you didn't run to hard in the weekend training run?
Answer: You can still cut the lawn and paint the wall...

Yes my weekend was far from over...

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Balance Minimus Trail Zero

Last year a friend of mine arrived at the club with a pair of New Balance Minimus MT10 and after seeing them I wanted a pair...

Now unlike the rest of the world who might just go out and buy a pair I wanted to win a pair. Yes I'm cheap, but I also knew that New Balance sponsor a number of races and there are always shoes to be won!!!

So I ran a half marathon sponsored by them, with 5 pairs up for grabs I had a chance... but no luck (there were about 2000 runner.) Next up I headed to one of the New Balance Trail Races, now having run myself into the ground at the half on the weekend I had no speed at the Wednesday race (don't know if it would have help) so no win for me.

I was thinking I would have to wait a month for the next trail race and be ready for it this time... but with the end of the year came the club party! And yes our club is sponsored by, along with ACSIS, New Balance!!! So what does this mean? Give aways, yes, 3 prizes for the evening. So with everybody sitting down they told us to look under our chair, and can you handle it I found a ticket, and the prize, you guessed it; I pair of New Balance shoes!!!

That happened on a Friday Night, well that Saturday I was at the shop... AAAAAAH no stock, nothing, come back in January...

Guess what? It's January...

So What Do You Think?

OK I don't normally do this, but since this shoe is so light I just had to get out Dawn's kitchen scale and start weighing...

Top Left Montrail Streak 320g
Top Right Salomon Wings 300g
Nike Zoom racer (1997) 205g
KSO 5 Fingers 190g

So what was the New, New Balance shoe!!! 120g

OK so what is the New Balance Minimus Trail Zero, well there are all this new words going around, words like: Barefoot, Minimal, Zero Drop, while all along they are just racing flats. Yes a light weight, zero drop, minimal, barefoot, trail racing flat...

I put them on last night and took them for a 'spin', a 5km warm up and 12 x fast slow 200's. Wanted to get the feel of them before I take them on the trail. I read a lot of write ups on the shoe and to be honest I don't really like the way these so-called barefoot junkies talk. The way it's all or nothing, if a shoe can't role into a ball and doesn't have a zero drop it's no good... well let me tell you the truth:

It's good to get out and run barefoot sometimes, it's also good to run hills and intervals. So what about shoes: If a shoe works, keep using it, if it looks nice buy it, if it works for you it's the right shoe!!! Everyone is different... Now the shoe in question, The New Balance Minimus MT00, well I had no problems, I like the way a "zero drop" shoe runs, and on the warm up (tar pavement) it has a similar feeling to my 5 fingers (maybe like 5 fingers on grass). On the track, an old grass track they were great the grip was amazing, and with them being so light it was almost like running in spikes.

I can't tell you any more about the shoe, but when I take them up the mountain and run in them like a real trail shoe I'll let you know if they are any good as a trail shoe, or will they only work as a cross country shoe? I can tell they'll make a great CC.

Now because I run in 5 fingers and wear flat shoes to work I have no problems running in these shoes, just be warned, if you aren't use to flats this shoe could 'kill' your calves!!!!

Saturday I run the Red Hill 36.2km classic and it should be a fun long training run.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I decided to enter and run all 5 races in the Summer Trail Series and Wednesday 11 Jan was race 1. last year I took my bike up to Sivermine as I know parking is a bit of a problem, and would have done the same this year, but my bakkie needed to get to the Mechanic!!! So the plan was to drop the bakkie off on the way and for Dawn to be following me so we could drive on to the race. Nice plan, but after 20min of trying to start the bakkie we gave up and pushed it back into the garage...

Plan 'B' I joined Dawn in her car and we went straight there.

With my legs still sore from the 30km race on the weekend I wasn't wanting to race (like that was going to happen).  I went straight to the front and together with Ake and Eddie we set an easy pace. (very clever of me) The idea was to keep Nicolas and Allan at bay till the single track... Things were going well till a slight up hill and they their move with Eddie following, 500m down the road they had 20-30m on us with Eddie in the middle!! I really was going to let them go and run run easy, but then the race took a turn!!! And for a reason they only know the decided to follow the short course route markers...

I should have let them run on, but I whistled as I saw the way to go, turning and taking the lead!!! It was now single track and time to up the tempo... Derick was right behind me, so I had to make sure the pace was just fast enough so he didn't want to over take. HILLS, I love HILLS...

Route Profile from Mr Garmin

and at 3km there were Hills I was now alone out front and climbing, but Nicolas was chasing... it didn't take him long to catch me, but I was strong enough to keep him from passing till 5km. As he pulled away Allan was now catching...

Pic from web sight
It took him about 1km to pass me, but by now the weekends 30km race was weighing heavy on the legs, so I just slowed!!! Derick caught and passed me, and opened 20seconds, but that wasn't enough as we had one last hill and a very technical down hill to come. I plodded up the hill and the gap closed, but it wasn't till the down hill that I caught and flew past him. But wait, who was now behind me...

Ake was flying down, but he has young fresh legs and I stood aside to let him go. Leaving me in 4th and 2nd old man... my time of 66:38 was 10sec faster than last year.

With Wednesday's trail run behind me it was onto Saturdays 15km...

Honhort 15 run around the Constantia Hill and with the start only 2km from home I always run this race, that said I haven't raced it in a long time. I have often used it as a long run taking a 15km detour to the start, or rerunning the route once I've finished. Today it was and easy run with Will and we finished in 58:28 28th place and 5th 40+.

With the weekend not over yet I headed out to Lebanon for race 2 in the Trail Series. With my body still not working well (maybe a little tired from all the races!!!) I struggled to set a "destroy all" pace over the first 5km as we climb to the highest point of the route. I was still up front with Nic, but Derick was only 10sec back and Allan a further 10 sec back. With the legs not working I wasn't able to fly down and both Derick and Allan past me.

Enough said...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The year started slowly with an easy 5km around the block, but that was plenty after 2hours on the mountain on the 31st. (not to mention the 8km in the evening with Dawn)

The 2nd was a holiday, so I was still running on my own, and with Dawn cycling swimming and walking the dogs, I have a bit of time!!! 90min later I was back at home, with 20km logged.

Tuesday I was back at the club and work, so things turned to normal, with a little session of tempo 1000's. Wanting a bit of a base before we set off with the years training I logged 18km on Wednesday. Hills on Thursday and even a short run on Friday and Saturday.

That brings us to Sunday and Bay to Bay 30km race having only missed this race three times in the last 20 years I knew what lay ahead...

30km is a nice distance to run as a race, only nice to race if you are marathon fit, which I'm not!!! So my plan was to take it easy and run with a couple of friends.


I like to win money!!! now since I'm 40+ I often have a chance at age-group money, so I like to keep my chances open and start out hard and easy up (Ya right!!!). At the start line I had a look around and all the 40+ guys were there, so I would need Dawn to run a couple of them over in-order steal a podium place!!!

I still set of too hard going through 1km in 3:31!!! and 5km in 18:43. I had been running with a couple of guys, but at 5km we started to climb, and I kept the hammer down... I set my sights on Jimmy up ahead, his brother (Cliffy) was on the side of the road, supporting. I past him before the top of the hill and started to build up a lead. The down was lovely and I was flying 3:26  3:28. 3:45 3:52, the road had flattened, 3:52 to half way, Jimmy had caught me and past me with a sprint. He was running the relay with his brother!!! (his twin brother) Lucky for me the change over was off our route and I got in front again. I past half way in 57:26, but still had to make it back and that is with the little climb of Suikerbossie!!!! 2km is a long hill and I just put my head down and set about running the guys in front of me down!!! I'm really fat at the moment (all of 1.5kg heavier than I want to be) and carrying that weight up the hill wasn't easy, but I crested the top in one piece, 10km to go and I still had about a minute in the bag. So 4min/km was needed to take me home.

With 5km of down hill I was flying, and I wasn't alone, as I had caught one athletes. So down we went...3:50  3:43  3:37!!! Why so fast, well Jimmy was in the car, and Cliffy with his fresh legs was catching... 3:35  3:43. The down hill was over and so was I!!! Cliffy pulled away 3:53 3:59 Nelson (my athlete) pulled away 4:06, Dawn who was also following the race pulled up next to me and told me to hang in there and not let Nelson get to far ahead.

Now we quickly need to go back to the first couple of km when I was telling Marko we were running to fast, he say wait till 28km... It wasn't going to come back to haunt me I had to pull myself together... 3:43 4:04 up the hill to the finish, 1:29 Mr. Garmin called it 400m long.

1h57:57, the race was finish, the weeks training was finished, I was finished!

Easy week ahead, next post pictures...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A LOOK AT 2011

Back in January 2011 I was coming back from injury and was taking it easy. I ran OK in a couple of short trail runs and then in Feb I ran the FREEDOM RACE and if I hadn't taken a wrong turn I would have had a good time for 27km. (I now have a good time for 27.5km!)

In March it was time to race a 10km race 35:30 so thing were going well.

April was a good month with a solid 30km, and a couple of trail wins... I did enjoy winning Oceans Trail and getting my picture in the paper!

In May I started to train for a Mountain marathon and in June I had a good 15km race running 52:00 the day we felt on holiday. And then at the end of the holiday I ran my mountain Marathon, with didn't go as to plan, but I had a great holiday, so who cares...

It didn't take long to get my speed back and I ran a good Cross Country Champs and was looking forward to taking on the world... OK the local trail races! But I got sick and then Mr Spider put pay to the next couple of big races...

The comeback was slow, but I was soon racing again... 10 km after 10km race and by the end of October 10km number 6 in a row I was ready to go hard!!! With the help of my Magic shoes I race 34:56.

Now it was time to train for a marathon so I did a bit of marathon cramming!!! (if you arenew to running don't cram for a marathon!) and it almost paid off. I had a good run only hurting in the last couple of km.

So now for a couple of numbers:

1 x Track race (plan to run more in 2012)
4 x Cross Country (plan to run more in 2012)
12 x trail races (no plans here what happens happens!)
34 x road races!!! (no plans, but I want to run fast!!!)
3862.9km ran in the year with 11 week over 100km
no 0km weeks smallest week 5km

Roll on 2012