Wednesday, August 29, 2012


So this is what I do most weekend:

Some weekends I run from home, but when I don't it's in the Bakkie and off to the Nek (or where-ever I am starting my run from...

On the way there I warmup Mr Garmin:

Looking for Satellites
So by the time I stop I'm ready to run:

Sunny day = lots of people
I'm often alone, but the mountain is full of hikers and other runners it's not a problem! I do like to run with other guys, but that means setting a time and getting up early... sleeping in can be nice!

On the cards was an easy run up to Maclears beacon a loop and back, I only really plan on time out on the trail, yes Mr Garmin will tell me the distance, but I like to tell Dawn I'm be running for 2 hours and then heading home (8km down the road).

From the car park it climbs straight up to the Dams, on this day I took the gravel / concrete road up wanting to run!!! not climb the single tracks! I also wanted a little more distance for the time. In the back of my head I have set a time of 1 hour to Maclears Beacon, but I know that would be fast and taking the long way up (the road) maybe a little to fast, but the clock is running so I pushed on...

At the top of Nursery
It was perfect day to be on the mountain and I wasn't the only one up there:

Can you see the group of runners I passed in the middle of the picture?
It's been a couple of months since I was last on this route and I couldn't remember the splits, so I didn't know if a sub 60min was on the cards...

The closer I got the more I thought about it... the clock then ran out and I was well short, so I then started to wonder just how much quicker the single track up is... I would find out the next week as I took it up and was about 6min faster.

1hour 6min highest point on Table Mountain 1088m
Didn't just turn round and head back, but took a loop round and headed back through Echo Valley and past the Dams:

Long way to go...
getting closer
With the rain for the last couple of week the dams are full and looking good, I finished the 20.2km in 2h13:24, but with 1000m of climb I was really about the time on the legs. That said I did run 22.5km on the road on the Sunday and that was a little quicker...
 I like the one day on the mountain and one day on the road weekend, and I think it's paying off as I'm starting to feel fitter.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I have been running for a long time and over the years I have collected a lot of medals!!! So many I don't really know what to do with them!!!

In fact I don't take a medal any more, for years I would take a medal and, well they just ended up in a box:

Just too Many
Now the only medals I take are "special" ones, ones I have earned... A couple of years ago I came 3rd in a race and the young lady at the end handed me a Gold Medal, I looked at it and thought a bit... then asked her if there were any bronze medals, I had come 3rd after all! She told me it was Gold for top 10, Silver till 100 them Bronze, I took a bronze.

I also keep medal I get from the couple of overseas races I have run, and a couple of races I think I have earned. So what do I do with all these medals? Well I hang them around my head!!


2 Oceans Medals? No they don't hang round the neck, they have a place all of their own, Oceans is a special race, and back when I ran my first one I was going to run lots of them, and all in sub 4, I had dreams of running 20 silvers in a row... But running the 2nd one with an injury, I couldn't make the silver cut, my total sits at 11, plus a couple of Oceans Trail medals:

Should have stopped at 10!
Now back in the early 90's I picked up a medal at WP champs on the track, but it was in steeplechase, and to be honest I wasn't really that fast, it's just that back then every few people race steeple! So I still wanted WP medals, and turning 40 had opened the door again...

Injury had kept me out of the medals the first couple of years, but (as you know) I ran a good race in the wind at WP half marathon champs and brought home the silver:

Silver looks nice
Then this weekend past was WP CCC and again I was in the mix... With the wind blowing and the threat of rain hanging over us it was going to be a great race. I have only run 1 of the league races and that was after a 29km mountain run in the morning, so I didn't know if I would have the better of the other guys, but I went out hard and let the race unfold...
I'm not going to give you a step by step account of the race, but I will tell you that Graham got away and then Sean was just to fast, but Rusta from Gugs and I had a great race with him catching me with the wind behind and me pulling ahead into the wind! That was till the last lap when I got ahead and stayed ahead for the BRONZE. Sorry I don't have a medal to show you, but I didn't stay 3 hours after my race to wait for prize giving. Don't worry I'll get it sometime.

So just how many medal would I have if...

You know about the 200 x 10km races
then what about the 159 x 15km races
and we also have 188 x half marathons
40 x 30km races (last one was on Sunday after the Cross Country Champs on Saturday)
15 x red hill 36km races
only 60 marathons (2 at the end of an IRONMAN)
11 x 2 Oceans 56km
2 x Comrades +_90km (an up and a down)

what about the:
41 x 16km
13 x 8km
5 x 7km
11 x 6km
110 trail races, but most of them don't do medals, and some have been 5 day races.
I don't have records of all the track and CC races I've done, but they would add to any medal count...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

200th 10km Race!

This goes back to 16 July 1988 while I was still at school, I can remember it vaguely: The Speedo 10km race out in Bellville. My 6th road race and my first 10km... I crossed the line in 38:24 I don't know my position or anything else, but that was one down!!! It would take 2 years before my next 10km race, but then...

In the early to mid 90's I would line up at the odd 10km race with the aim of running a PR, putting my body on the line and seeing how the weeks / months of training had paid off. Back then I felt if I wasn't hurting by 3km I wasn't running hard enough...

In August 1991 I followed one of the top Ladies (she had a great pair of legs) and dipped under 35min for the first time... At the same race in '93 I was flying and ran a PR of 32:10 a time that would last for 3 years.

June '96 I followed Steve Hollier, the top 40+ back then, in a quest to break 32, and failed by less than a second!!! Looking at my splits taken from the km boards back then I would bet the race was long, but Mr. Garmin was not around, so we will never know. In Jan 1997 I would run the Nando's 10km with Margy, she was coming back from injury, and our time of 46:41 would be my slowest. I've only been over 40min 21 times and most of them I've run with Dawn, both before we got married and since.

I was now racing marathons and on track so the need for speed, pure raw speed was gone... but I never stopped running 10km races... In November 2001 I would run my 100th, and together with 2002 I would run 17 10km races that year.

Now this last weekend I was up early on Saturday to go for a long run with a friend, then I ended up at the Cross Country by accident, and ran the 8km 40+ race. So with the rain falling and the wind blowing I don't know why I got out of bed on Sunday morning!!!

But it's a good thing I did... it was to be my 200th 10km race, The wind stopped and the rain stayed at bay!

I lined up with my friend Roger and the 2 of us ran a solid race:

3:39  3:39  3:42  3:38  3:35  18:16 (18:23 as per the race boards) this was a 2 lap race, so lap 2 went:
3:38  3:41  3:40  3:36  3:27  0:07 Garmin calls it a bit long... 36:24 (placing me 29th and 2nd 40+)

The missing stat... My average time for my 10km: 36:18

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Saturday saw me on the start line of one of Cape Town's toughest trail run: The Hout Bay Trail Challenge It's not the first time I've run this race, but back in 2009 I was coming of an injury and had run a 52km race the weekend before, so I didn't have a great time on the mountain back then.

Bring on 2012 I had put in a couple of km of training and if last weeks half was anything to go by I was in good shape. (Although I have heard that round is also a good shape!!!) In the dark at 07h00 Claire set us off...

The race is brutal and after less than 500m on leg one you start to climb, From the harbour (sea level or should I say 1m above) we climb to about 600m in 5km!!!

Profile from Mr. Garmin
Not really knowing the the first leg I followed Will and AJ up the road and then up KARBONKELBERG, it's not a well worn path and the going is not easy, but I was having fun thinking about leg 2, we made good time up and had a bit of a lead on the next guys as we headed down...

Pic from Facebook at the top of the first climb

On a few of the cliffs I lost a few seconds, but always closed and it wasn't till we jumped onto the road and headed for the checkpoint at the end of leg 1 that the boys got 5sec ahead... It didn't bother me as I headed out we were 5min under record pace and I was sure I would close the gap on the climb... That didn't happen, why was I losing time to them!!! I took a time split at the top of the 1st climb it was about 2min, I pushed on letting them go, I was still planning on catching them later... Another split and I was still in the picture, but after the climb I looked at the clock, I was 1min slower than planned for that bit of the race and I was feeling flat, not a good sign!!! Pushing on I still felt OK but slow, why why why... It's a long stretch on the top of the mountain and with the wind blowing a gale, I could feel I was losing time. On a couple of occasions I felt the wind push me off the path into the bush, but I ran on 47min later I turned, another 5min lost, and I was toast... Worn out, I had no energy left and I now know why... The last 5 weeks of looking after Dawn had taken it's toll and had sapped me... Now as I headed for Nursery, and the single track across I new the other would start to catch me. Indeed on the way down 3 people past me and just left me for dead... Dead indeed, I looked like death warmed up as I came into the end of leg 2. Eddie was there to take a Video of me coming down the mountain for the sponsors... He later deleted it as I looked so bad!!! 1 leg to go , and Will who would win the race in record would cover this leg in 1hour 10 was already 10 + min ahead... On any normal day I'm a climber of note, but not today, the tank was empty!!! Not even the sight of a beautiful young lady could get the legs going... I was climbing like an old man... (wait I am an old man!)  But after what felt like forever I was at the top. I had lost count of the number of people who had past me, I was only in survival mode... After eating a chocolate I headed off the mountain letting another person pass me... When a 50 year old lady caught me I decided that since I was on the road I could run again, and run I did... Oh the lady was in a team!!! But the guy who had just past me was 40+ and had just taken the lead for me... I wasn't going to have any of this... The race was on and yes my legs responded... I caught and passed them on the beach and ran on to the finish... 4h46 8th and 1st 40+ ok I guess, but still 20 - 30 minutes of why I think I should have run... That would have sneaked a 2nd with Will well under the record.

A picture Steve took