Friday, December 31, 2010


With the year coming to an end I decided to take to the mountain one last time for 2010. To get me out of bed and on the trail early I let a couple of friends know what I was doing and asked them if they were keen. Will was so keen he ran to the start... So while I was sitting in the car, that was been shaken by the wind (which was still pumping) he arrived with his hat in this hand. (to windy to wear.)
The famous mountain had the table cloth on and it was moving in the wind. We walked the couple of meters across the road and looked up to what lay ahead:
I started Mr. Garmin and took the lead, asking Will if he want to go any faster, but his legs were tired from the run to the start. It didn't take us long to catch the first of the early morning walkers who politely moved to the side to let us pass. I watched the altitude climb from about 369m but the distance wasn't working it took us over 13min to cover the 1st km. (and I swear as I watched the meters tick over they were at one stage counting backwards...) As we approached the cloud line the rocks became wet and visibility dropped, mine more-so then Wills is I had to take off my glasses. The wind was so strong I could feel that I could be blown off the mountain if I wasn't careful.
I looked at the time as I took one of the last zig-zag's and with 27min on the clock I thought a sub 30 was on the cards, but as hard as I pushed my legs didn't have anything in them and I summited in 31:07 with Will 20sec back. (2.2km and +_650m of climb with a record of about 27min, we did OK, and now in 2011 I have a target to aim at, that record!!!)
From there we took the trail to the Cable Station
The view down to Camps Bay
The view of Cape Town through the clouds..

The best time down is just under 12min, and with the wet rocks we weren't going to be anywhere near that... 28:06 but, OK no butts we were slow!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Office is closed this week, so I'm on leave and sitting at home... Well I don't sit very well, so I have lined up a few things for me to do while at home; like fixing the dog box (maybe I've been in it to much this year so it's broken), cutting the ivy, running up the mountain, and cycling to Cape Point. Last night I looked at the weather report and decided that today would be the best day for a little cycled. The weather report was important as it told me that today would have the least wind!!!
So last night I moved my bike to the front door and text a couple of friends inviting them to join me for my little ride. Well at 06h30 when I left the house I was man alone... I took off down the Main Rd at a slow, but steady pace. At this point I will tell you that the ride to Cape Point isn't really that far, and only had a couple of real hills on the way back if you kept riding round the Peninsular. I don't do a lot of cycling and only really use the couple of rides as cross training, and since I do Argus year I need a couple of rides. The first 10 or so km weren't that bad, it wasn't till we turned at Lakeside that you really felt the wind!!!

I put my head down and started the fight!!! It was never ending and very unfriendly. Then at Fishhoek I stopped to check my bike computer and was past by a real cyclist (he had a racer and his cycling pants and top matched). I hopped back on the bike and set chase catching him and then, instead of tucking in out of the wind I past him!!! I couldn't drop him and it didn't take him long to take the lead again. This set the tone for the next 10km as I kept trying to pass and drop him with no success. I really didn't have a chance on my Mnt bike with nobbles and shocks. (The fact that I ride in 5fingers doesn't help on speed either.) For the last couple of km into Simon's Town I had given up and was just going to use him. I was hoping he was going to take me all the way to Cape Point. I wasn't in that kind of luck as he stopped at the Square. I was on my own again.

I was now getting tired of the wind:
The pictures don't do the wind justice, but here at Miller's Point (30km into the ride) I was deciding to turn, but in taking these pictures I saw a text from Mark making some excuse about his Dad's birthday as the reason for not joining me, and now nothing was going to stop me.
Cape Point in the distance, lucky for me I wasn't going all the way to the Point, just to the gate...
Made it, but as you can see I'm a little broken... and I've finished my water. I decided against going on around the Peninsular and just headed back the way I had come...
Now I can tell you about the wind (which thankfully was behind me): On one of the down hills I was sitting up and doing 56km/h without peddling! (I felt as if I was in a vacuum... traveling at the same speed at the wind!!!)
Yes the road is still closed and one is should cycled with the cars over Boys Drive, well I was to stuffed for that so I hopped on the pavement and took on the pedestrians, even stopping to take pictures of the sea...
OK so the ride was all of 71km done in 3h39. I know its not very fast, but I turned at 35.5km in 2h08!!! and got back in 1h31 including the km on the pavement...

Next time I borrow Wills bike and get him to ride as well so I can slipstream the whole way...

Monday, December 20, 2010


On Wednesday I ran my first race since the marathon, in fact it was my longest run as well... We went through to the Waterfront for the Sundowner 10km run. Now unlike other year the weather played ball. The wind of the past weeks took a break and the sun popped behind the clouds to break the heat we have had in past years.

With 2000+ people running I was lucky to be standing on the front line just behind my wife, so when the gun went off boy did she have to run!!! She left me standing and it took we almost 500m to catch her. With this being my come back race I wasn't going for a time for myself, but was, if my body let me, going to run with Dawn and see if she could sneak under 44min.
Now I was running with Mr. Garmin and he was telling that we were running fast enough going through the 1st km in 4:11. Now that was 1km one as per Mr. Garmin, but the race marker was a few seconds away. I wasn't worried as a board or 2 are always a couple of meters out. We were running fast enough to break 44, but as the km past it seemed to Mr Garmin that everyone km was a couple of meters to long... Mr. Garmin had us at 5km in 23:30, but the 5km board only past at 22:01. I wasn't worried, even if the race markings were to continue as the first 5 had, as we now had the little wind behind us...

Dawn lost it on the 8th km and lost a little time something we couldn't afford to do with on time in the bag. I was now a couple of meters ahead, and when Mr. Garmin told me it was 10km in 43:09, but I still had 184m to go!!! I finished in 43:55 with Dawn 10sec back just missing 44.

All that is left to race / run is the Boxing Day Manor House race. (I'm going to need that after all the Christmas food I'm planing on eating.)

Now let me leave you with something Daley Thompson use to say: I always train twice on Christmas Day and New Year's Day as I know my competitors won't be training...

Friday, December 17, 2010


So I'm on the 'come-back trail' or at the moment the 'come-back road'... Monday I started where things went wrong 2 weeks ago. But this time I did things a little different, I sent the boys off ahead of me, and where they turned into the forest I went straight up to Rhodes Mem... Not wanting to put too much strain on the calf on my first run back I walked half the 500m hill. I didn't do the 10min of stairs, but did walk up and down a couple of times encouraging the boys as the spring was drained from their legs!!! After my rest I easily made the short run back to the club. Day one and the body was still working.

A quick trip to Pretoria does nothing for my running, but a day off in my come-back was just fine.

Wednesday saw me head out with Will for a 6km run. After a very slow start I was running at 4:30/km on the flat... all I can say is it's a good thing Will turned to run home, because I hadn't planned on running at that pace, and I'm sure my calf wouldn't have taken kindly to much more of that.

Thursday was a public holiday, the type of day I would normally spend on the mountain, so I decided to head to the mountain, but with the wife and dogs for a gentle walk.

I'm wearing a knee guard because I have 'big' veins and it helps with blood flow, or so I'm told.

We walked a couple of the routes I enjoy running

Dawn climbing through a fallen tree.

Me trying to be artistic with the flowers and Dawn...

It wasn't all over grown single track...

I'll run a bit on the weekend and then take it from there, but by the new year I hope to be running well enough to line up for the Bay to Bay 30km...

Next week I'll have to have a look at the year that was and it wasn't a good year by any means.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I had big things planned for this week; like running twice a day, or even cycling in the morning, BUT I’m still not running… So what is going on in my life. Monday saw me leave work half an hour early and head straight to the physio. Have you ever had crucifixions on your calf? Well after half an hour of trying to crawl off th

e table he stopped. Why did he stop? Well he wanted to stick javelins in my calf!!! I should have had my camera with me, I was pinned to the table with about 10 of these things stuck in my leg.

Tuesday's program was 12 x 500m with 60sec rest. I wasn't going to be running, but as coach I was going to be standing on the side of the track taking times. So I cycled up to the club and sent the boys off on a warm-up. I then popped back on the bike and did a couple of laps of the track cycling. With the boys back and ready to run I left the bike and walked to the 500m mark. I set them off and started my walk to the finish line. Now I'm not one for standing around, so I did a couple of lunges on my walk back. OK I did 50m of lunges. Now they did 12 x 500m so you've guessed it... I could hardly walk on Wednesday and I can still fe

el it today. My legs were so sore!!! I guess if I'm not running this Tuesday I'll do it all again…

My Star Athlete had decided to run the Avbob 15km are on Saturday, so I was up early to give my support and take a couple of pictures. It's a flat race out in Tableview, but boy does the wind blow!!!

This is one of the pictures I took.

ps my Star Athlete is also my wife…

Thursday, December 2, 2010


So after my recovery week, I was ready to jump in and get training again... But the coach in me said we needed another week on the come back trail. I was back at the club on Monday and with no more races to aim at this year we are building for 2011. Monday's session was to be an easy run through the forest and up to Rhodes Mem for a couple of stairs!!
We started off slowly and turned into the forest, then with a few seconds over 10min on the Garmin (1.79km) something jumped up and bit me... well that is what it felt like. I had torn/strained my calf!!! I sent the 'boys' on to do the session without me.
I walked/hobbled back to the club and headed for the fridge. I was in search of beer, but the committee had drunk them the week before while painting the clubhouse. No problem I found a bottle of red wine!!!

On Tuesday morning I gave the Psycho I mean Physio a call and got an appointment with Grant on Wednesday. Wednesday was a good day for me as I had taken the rest of the week off, I had planned on running up the mountain, but that wasn't going to happen now. Not one to sit around without doing anything I hopped on the bike and went for a cycle only 75min, but I had plans for later in the day...
I was taking on the pool, not swimming, but running!!!
I put the belt on and tied myself to the fence and set off. I thought about wearing the Garmin but I wasn't going to get very far being tied up!!! After 10min I had done enough... Now what do I log in the logbook, 1.5meters in 10min? Or do I call it 2km saying it was at 5min/km? (was running about 55 steps to the minute).
Thursday morning I was back on the bike, this time for 2 hours and one mountain (Ou Kaapse Weg). Things were going OK till 1h45 when I hit the wall... I didn't hop in the pool as I got home, but waited for the evening before my 11min run.

Enough said, and I'll try running next week, till then it's cycling and the pool!!! Maybe aqua-cycling is the way to go!!!

As for now I have my birthday to plan.

Friday, November 26, 2010


So what is the best way to recover from a marathon, and how have I been recovering from my marathon?

For the best and fastest recovery I would go with the ice bath 10min after finishing, followed by a good sports massage. Now I don't know about you, but my balls would freeze if I ever got into an ice bath, so I picked up a piece of ice at the Coke stand and gave my quads a good ice rub. Then I headed for the VOB (my Club) tent and sat down with a couple to many beers...

I was really quite good and didn't do any exercise on the Sunday (it was raining or I would have been out on the bike.) So Monday I was back at the club for my first recovery run!!! No warm up just 11 x 100m ok I did walk to the start. I wasn't running fast, I was just stretching the legs and all I really wanted to do was break 20sec. (I might have been a little faster). Tuesday was more of the same, but only 10 of them. My legs were starting to feel like normal.
Wednesday called for something different so I popped up to VOB to help one of my athletes break 18min for the 5km TT. I could write a long story about how we went out fast and how he was toast as we climbed the hill, but I finished with 17:55 while he was 2 sec back under 18min, he was happy...

I was going to get back into things on the weekend, but on Saturday I had to go wine tasting at 08h30 so I took the dogs for a walk and ran 2.5km with them in all of 20min... While the afternoon was spent up a tree!!! (pruning) Then in the evening we had our end of year function, and after a couple of hours of cross-training on the dance floor, I took my wife home for a well earned rest.

Tomorrow is the start of a new week, and training will start again...

Sunday, November 21, 2010


03h30 is very early to get up for anything, but I was getting up at that hour in order to put my body on the line, I was running my first marathon for 2010. In years gone by I have run many marathons, but this year I have been plagued with injury. With my injuries behind me and 4 weeks of proper training I stood on the start line. It doesn't matter what you want to run, all your plans come to nothings as you stand there waiting for the gun.
At 05h30 the gun set us off and down the road we went. The 1st km felt easy, but was too fast 3:33. I let the lead pack go and joined up with another 40+ runner. The 2 of us ran together through 5km in 18:20. We started the hill at 7km together as another 40+ guy was catching us, but I powered away up the hill, although not steep, goes on and on, climbing almost 100m to 10.5km I was now running on my own and was still on pace going though 10km in just over 38min. With lots of rolling hills in the 2nd half the next 5km of down hill had to be used to make up a bit of time without taking too much out of your body. I passed through 15km in 56:26 still feeling ok, it wasn't till we turned into the wind 200m later that my hope of a good time went out the window.
I'm not one for giving up so I kept trying to keep the pace up. Lucky for us we turned off that road and that took the wind out of the equation. Now the hills started again, and I was still losing time. I went though half way in about 81min, slower than my last 3 half's, and in all of those races I felt better than I was feeling today. I was still alone on the road with only my Wife supporting me.
We turned onto the R44 for the out and back section of the race. With the wind behind me I was no longer running for a time, but I looking for the 1st 40+ who was still over a minute ahead. As the km's ticked by I wasn't feeling any better, but Owen, who had lead the 40+ since the start, was having a worse day than me and up ahead I could see him walking.
Steve was on the side of the road with a camera, supporting his wife who was leading the ladies race (Jo-Jo would go on and win in 2h55).
We turned at 28.5km for the long road home, into the wind!!! Passing 30km in 1h58 I was still hoping to get home in under 2h50, but that would require a lot of hard work and running fast on sore legs... I was catching a couple of guys who had gone out too hard, but I was also being caught. I saw Dawn on the side of the road and asked her to look out for the next 40+. Word soon came back, and he was catching me fast. Catch me he did, I tried to go with him hiding out of the wind, but could only manage 1.5km before I was dropped. With only 3.5km left I climbed the last little hill and ended with a couple of 4:30's to bring me home in 2h52:29, finishing 12th and 2nd 40+.
This is me trying to recover after the race, it didn't really help as my legs are still sore.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Yes I'm swearing at all you runners out there, but sometimes you just have to swear I mean rest!!!
So the training is done and now all I have to do is get to the start line on time. For Winelands that is easier said than done, as the start time is 05h30 and with the start out in Stellenbosch some 40min drive away I have an early morning on race day.
So how are things looking for marathon number 58, and the fist for 2010? I could tell you that I feel great and am ready to take on the world, but is that really true? The diary doesn't lie, so we had better have a look...

The year started off well and by June I was looking at running a couple of good times for the year, but an injury knocked me back. July was a write-off and as things were coming right in August, but it wasn't till September that my body let me get training again...
With not much of a base I started training in all earnest on the 4th of October with a week of 90.5km followed by a 95.5km week. After all that training I needed to rest so I took 2 days off and ran a windy 10km race in 35:39. With a long mountain run on the weekend I call it a rest week and logged only 61km.
Now with 4 weeks to race day I had to up the miles and effort. I managed 2 weeks of 100km before I cut a little of the distance only running 70km last week. So we have 4 weeks of what could be enough running, and plenty of sessions and a couple of long runs (2 x 30km 1 x 27km a hard 25km and 3 half's at sub 80 pace).
I've run a hard 10km and a hard half both of which convert to a 2h44 marathon. I don't want a 2h45 I would like a 2h39:59, so that is what I'm aiming at.
The plan is go out at a little faster than race pace 3:40's for the 1st 5k before the hill... I hope that doesn't do me in, but I'm going to need those seconds come the last couple of km. I've run this race 7 times twice helping friends to dip under 3hours and twice in 2h39. So I've looked at the splits and looked at the splits, and looked at the splits. I've converted the 2h59's to 2h39's and looked at those splits.

So what is the long and short of what my log book is telling me... 21.1km bang on time, than down the R44 to Somerset West I think I'll lose a couple of seconds, but will still be on time. Over the bridge and back. I think the road is going to get long, and that last hill at 36km will take to much out of me and I will end up short, maybe running that 2h44 that the conversion table all are telling me.

Come Saturday all that goes out the window and it's then up to the man on the road, the weather, and the competition.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Yes the land of CHOCOLATE is calling us. A couple of months ago Dawn said she wanted an overseas trip in 2011 so we looked around Holiday Time . Well yesterday she was looking at the Zermatt marathon web sight and saw that the places in the ultra had already fulled. (not that we wanted to run the ultra) So we thought we should have a look and see how the number looked in the marathon. Well he next thing I know we had entered...

So I thought I should have a look at the web sight and see what we are letting ourselves in for... Well looking at the profile it doesn't really look that bad, it only has 3 hills. The 1st from the start till about 32km then we have a short down and a short but steep up followed by about 5km of down hill before the last 3km climb. Should be a piece of cake!!!

I think I'm going to have to become a hill running machine!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010


After a hard week of training I lined up for another Half (Landmarks). Having only run 7km on Friday morning and taken Saturday off I was hoping for a faster time than last week. After a short warm up I pushed into the front of the almost 1500 runners and waited for the gun. Last week had been a controlled run and I had only really taken a little strain in the last 4km and I had put that down to the 2 hours the day before, so I was hopeful for a good run. I started with Charlies and the 2 of us settled into a good pace.
With the first 5km been mostly flat it wasn't hard work and I was happy with the time of 18:07. The next 5km is anything but flat as we cross the railway line and climb up the Rhodes Memorial through UCT. I didn't push the hills, and still found myself pulling ahead, but this is to be expected as this is home territory and we run up those hills all the time. Turning at 10km 38:46 (20:39) it was time to see if I could hold it together and maybe even pick up the pace... I did put in a 3:17 km down the hill, but the idea was to be able to run the flat km at sub 3:48 marathon pace. I reached 15km in 56:41 (17:55) and with the down hills over it was running that was needed to get me home. I was alone at this stage but I could hear the feet of the "enemy" behind me, so I had to push on. Pushing as hard as I could I was still run down and past by a Nedbank athlete. I hadn't slowed, but he was flying and my wings were cut so I just had to fight on to the end. I worked hard to the end to finish under 80 (79:29), but for that effort I would have like to have been 90sec faster...
My wife was still on the road, so still needing a couple of km for the week I headed out on the route to watch her come in. She was running like a star and leading her category!!!
one more week of hard work before I can afford to take to foot of the peddle and taper. Training for a marathon is hard work and I really nice the trails on the mountain, but road is road and I need a bit for Winelands marathon.

Monday, November 1, 2010


We ran clockwise starting with the blue - yellow - red - yellow - blue (the short course followed the yellow the whole way.)

With the Winelands marathon just 3 weeks away I had to put in one last big weekend to see how things are going. First up on Saturday I headed out to Hermanus for the Fernkloof 25km trail race. It was a small race with only one other strong runner, so if things held together I would pick up a 1st or 2nd. We started in the gentle rain and high level mist. I took the early lead and Derrick followed along the single track above the house line.
This is one of the photo's off the web sight, with me still in the lead and Derrick hiding in the bushes in 2nd. After about 5km we felt the single track for about 200m and in this time Derrick took the lead and left me for dead... OK he really just slowly pulled ahead. I just couldn't go with him. I did think to myself that if he had any chinks in his armor I'd catch him later (at the finish). At about 7km the climb started, we zig zagged up the mountain till 12.5km climbing 400m. At this point I would love to tell you the views took what was left of your breath away, but lucky for me, as I had no breath left for the view to take away, the mountain was still covered in mist and light rain. At 15km I took a split (last 5km in 31:52) then we hit a jeep track and I was able to stretch my legs running at sub 4min / km for 2.2km. I would have been able to keep the speed up on the single track, but I wear glasses and with them in my pocket (wet from rain and mist) I couldn't really see!!!

The single tracks on this mountain are very rocky and one has to watch were your feet land. I'm not saying I would have closed the gap on Derrick if I had been able to see, but I could have been a few seconds quicker. In 2h10:32 I reached the finish, 2 mins behind the winner, but happy with the solid run and ready for the half on Sunday!!!

Yes I was up early again the next day as my wife and I headed out to Durbanville for their half marathon. With a 07h30 start it was going to be hot out there and the fact that this out and back course was not flat but undulating! it was going to be hard to keep to my pace. I wasn't going to race till the last couple of km, at least that is what I told myself... The lead guys soon got away and I found myself running with Damian Will. We worked nicely together slowly dropping a 40+ who was trying to sit with us. I was in 3rd (40+) and I could see 1 and 2 ahead of me. I had done well till the turn, but then I had to make a move. I could feel Damian had spend his last penny and was running on empty. I set out to catch the 2nd placed 40+ on the first hill. I want to tell you that I was running like a man possessed and running him down was no trouble, but he was taking strain and I was really just holding my pace. 5km 18:28 10km 37:04 15km 56:47 I did have to work a bit harder in the last 5km to keep it together and Johnny (the 1st 40+) was slowing. I didn't catch him, but closed the gap to 10 sec. I was happy with the run, 79:25 was a good time after yesterdays 25km trail race, and if I had to keep it up for a couple more km, I guess I could have.

A marathon still seems like a long way, but I think the first 30km should go as to plan. What about the next twelve? Well I hope these last two weeks of training get me home...

Monday, October 25, 2010


So what is the question? Well we have to be asking about Winelands Marathon and how is week one of the final block going.

I know weeks don't normally start on a Saturday, but this one did... I had to get back into training and long runs are needed as marathons are a long way!!! So on Saturday I met Jayde at the Nek for a little run on the mountain.
This is us at the top of Llandudno before our trek across the Twelve Apostles (we had already run for 78min and climbed over 700m), but the clock was running... A couple of months ago I had run this route with another friend Eddie. Well my friend Jayde is a little competitive so on we pushed. The concrete road from the dams was just an excuse to pick up the pace, and soon we were heading down the single and all Jayde was saying was: "Are we going to beat Eddies time!"

Well we did beat Eddies time by all of 10 minutes, but we were "SHATTERED MOUNTAIN MEN" and that was only the start of the 3 week block!!!

Now I'm going to let you into a secret on how to recover really quickly... Go home have a quick swim, mow the learn and trim the beard. You will not only look a whole lot better, but by the time you sit down for lunch looking over the crystal clear pool at the freshly cut grass you will feel a whole lot better too.

There was no easing into this week as we had a hill session on Monday and Tuesday we were up at 05h00 for a morning run.

Now for Wednesday I had decided to run the 10km race in Pinelands. I wasn't racing it like last week, I just wanted a tempo run a little quicker than marathon pace. Just under 37min, one of my athletes wanted to have a crack at a sub 37, so he was going to run with me.

Well if you know Cape Town you know the 'Cape Doctor', and he was out making house calls... Yes the 1st km was a little quick, but the wind was from behind, but turning off one of the main roads in Pinelands into the leafy suburbs I wasn't going to be taking the wind so I surged to a group ahead of us to tucked out of the wind. Yes I ran a little faster than I had planned, but I didn't feel any worse for it. I ended up with a 36:05 while Malcolm ran a 37:09 yes he would have maybe made it if I had run next to him the whole way, but some things he's got to do on his own and this was also my training.

So what answer did I get from the wind? Maybe in good conditions I could hold that pace for a half (+_ 78min) and maybe we are now on target for a 2h45 marathon. Yes the last 10 are still a bit unknown, but I'm going for it I've got a couple of weeks left to see if I can pull it out the old bag.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10km RACE

Yes it is a rest week, but I had penciled in a couple of easy runs and a TT for Wednesday. So come Wednesday evening I lined up for the Silver Queen 10km race at Ysterplaat. At this point I'm going to back track a bit.
Like every other day I left the office at 16h00 and headed home, Dawn was walking the dogs, so when she came home there wasn't much to do but get changed and head out. We were on the road at 17h00 leaving with plenty of time for the 18h30 start. Well the traffic was bad and the 15km trip took over an hour!!! (and that was even after we had covered the 1st 10km in 20min, should have left the car and ran to the start...)
The top 40+ guys weren't there so I was not only lining for a solid run, but a shot at prise money. 1st 40+ was out of the question as Vladimir Kotov had taken off his 50s and was lining up as a 40...
The race started in a hanger out of the wind and with the sound of the gun still echoing around us we took off out the open door and turn with the wind behind us. I struggled to stay with that early pace, but I had to keep in the mix as we were turning into the wind and I didn't want to be left in no-mans land (like my friend Charles). I was sitting in the 2nd group, Kotov was in the 1st group and 1 other 40+ was with me, in fact I was using him to block the wind. I didn't stay behind him for long as he was small and I wanted to be behind the biggest guy in the group. The other 40+ was working hard fighting the wind. Turning down the main runway and having the wind at our backs was great, and for the 3rd km I ran a 3:23. As we turned into the wind again I saw the other 40+ had dropped of our pace. We went through 5km in 17:31 and I was thinking about breaking 35min. That wasn't going to happen as we turned into the wind again at the start of the 2nd lap. I even took the pace a bit to try and speed things up, but was unable to keep the pace. Turning with the wind I thought that km to 8 would be quick, but taxing down the runway I could only reach 3:30 for the km and that isn't enough for take off or to make up the lost time to break 35. I was left to fight the wind on my own for the last 2km and lost more time finishing with 35:39.

I'm happy with the effet and the time, my 11th pace overall was on important, but coming 2nd 40+ was nice as I picked up a couple of bucks...

Monday, October 18, 2010


I know I have only really had the hammer down for 2 weeks, but I feel I need a rest this week or my body might not hold together till Winelands. Since TMC on the 18th of September I have needed a bit of time to nurse the body back into running shape. That first week I did very little as I needed my calves to loosen up and my quads to recover from the race. I ended up testing my body at the Hermanus half just a week after TMC... well if it had been a 15km I would have been a whole lot happier... The last 5km went past as if they were Miles!!!

Anyway I now had a starting point for Winelands and the training had to start. I would like to run a sub 2h40, but that is still a long way off. I'm taking it 1 week at a time and with 3 weeks down it's now time to rest and take stock of how things are going:
Week one was just building back up and trying to get things working well, so after an easy recovery run on the Monday I started with 3 x 1000m on the the Tuesday. Wednesday was 55min on the mountain while Thursday was reduced to just a 5km warm up... Just wanting a bit of time on the legs I headed for the mountain on both days of the weekend. The week was over and with only 66.5km logged I was a little short on the kays, but I was still running and ready for the new week.
The next 2 weeks I was over 90km with 6 x 1000m and plenty of extra km on the track at marathon pace (3:50). I try and run a km or 2 before training or as a warm down to get the body use to running at sub 4 and to notch up those valuable kays. Wait for it I even was up at 05h00 for a couple of morning runs. Last weeks long run was 3h15 on the mountain then this Sunday I took to the road and knocked of 30 in 2h15.

I know I can't keep this up without breaking down, so it's rest week time... Now taking stock I can tell you that if the race was next Saturday I would aim at 2h50. I might end up wanting in the last couple of kays, but that is what marathon running is all about. So the question is can I get there, I just don't know. I will give it my all and taking it one week at a time I'll give it a crack.

Monday, October 11, 2010


So I think I should invest in a Garmin or something. Not one to buy on instinct I've started looking around. I see the 205 is still out there, then there is the 305, and the new 310XT and the 405 and who know what else?
So what should I look at? I don't really like heart rate monitors, so I leaning towards a 205. I like the look of the 405, but I work for the State, and I don't think striking for our increase will give me enough money to afford a 405...
Now all you gadget people out they is there anything else on the market I should be looking at? The rand is strong so there are bargins to find.


Yes Winelands is in 6 weeks and I hope to be on the start line with more than only couple of weeks of good marathon training. My first week of training is a thing of the past and I can call it a success. I got through all the basics like:
2 sessions 6 x 1000m and some hills,
a long run of 30km (picture take at the top of Platterklip 2 hours into the long run.)
and a couple of km in my easy runs at race pace.

With my milage for the week at 90km I know if I can keep this up I will be in sub 2h50 shape. But I must take it one week at a time, for now we are aiming at sub 3. Next week we can call it again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Back in January '10 an ex athlete of mine, down from Jo'burg, popped into the club for a run. I had seen him briefly the day before at the 30km race. Why am I telling you this? Well it was the first time I had really seen a pair of VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS, and as funny as they looked I wanted a pair. It wasn't till my old coach sent an email telling us that he had got a pair and was never going to take them off that I looked into how I could lay my hands (feet) on a pair. To cut a long story short my brother in the USA sent them to me.

The wait almost killed me, my wife had never seen me so excited, but she didn't see me on our wedding day till she walked down the aisle. They couldn't have come at a better time as I was only just starting to run again after an injury and a big race. So like a boy with a new toy I almost went for a second run that evening, but wearing them around the house would have to do. No I didn't go to work in them but once at the club I was transformed into a gorilla, and with my big black feet I was ready to take on the world. (Just a point here, I do run a bit of track bare foot.) So into the forest we went….. Okay I was running slowly and only did a short loop, but boy was it fun.
Now they aren't only a running shoe they are a way for us old farts to run around barefoot like we did as kids.
It was now a long weekend so we packed the car and headed off to Stanford and Hermanus for a few days. Friday saw us walking around the village and going beer, wine and cheese tasting. That evening, after spending the whole day in my new Five Fingers I could tell that they are good for your feet as my feet were tired from having worked all day, Five Fingers have no cushioning or heel raise to allow your feet to rest.
After a couple more runs from the club this last week I was ready to take on the mountain. Come Saturday morning I headed up through the Green Belts to Cecilia Forest and the Contour path. A right turn took me to Nursery Ravine so up I went taking the single track at the top across to the Overseers hut and the concrete road. I headed down turning off at the single track back to Cecilia Forest. 1h 58:03 I was home and I had even been running sub 4min/km at the end.

So what can I tell you about running with gorilla feet…..
If you haven't done any barefoot running TAKE IT SLOW (and short) or your calves won't take kindly to them.
On grass they're great, especially for us "softies" who can't run barefoot anymore.
Those first 2 points are a bit obvious, so let me go on to tell you that as funny as they look, they are really comfortable and not too many people look at you funny if you just wear them out casually.
Now onto the important stuff, you can run anywhere in them. I haven't run much on tar but I've done a couple of km.
On the flat I find I am running a little softer on my feet. I won't say I'm running any slower or faster, just a little different.
Then on the uphills things get easier and faster as normal shoes are a lot heavier.
Now since I had come down the bridle path from the dams on my long run I can tell you that I was slow. (But I think I will get faster as I get stronger and more used to the Five Fingers.)
Now let me leave the road and tell you about the trails. Every trail is different and I have found myself watching the ground ahead a little more carefully. Maybe this is a good thing
On the firm sand/clay they are amazing but if you are running fast and relaxed along a path and a single stone sticks its head up you are going to know about it (that is if you' stand on it) but no worries.
On tackling the long down hill from the block house the other day I felt the hard gravel road, maybe if I was fitter and running hard down there it would be better. You don't want to be using your heels to break as you go down. (I could feel the road under my feet)
Through the style and the rocky single track takes you down to the car park. Now on terrain like this I think the more you run it the better your gorilla feet will do. I had to take this quite slowly.
I found that those endless forest stairs were causing me a little problem on the downs. You see if you try and land your whole foot on the step you could end up catching your heel on the upper step, so I always like my toes striking just over the edge of the step. Now you can feel that through the thin rubber sole but its okay for a couple of steps but for 100+ its just not pleasant.

So where to from here? Do I race in them? Not at the moment but maybe in the months to come.

Lastly I want to say if you enjoyed being barefoot as a kid and thought that is when you ran best, what are you waiting for….. go and get a pair.

Monday, September 20, 2010

TMC The Crazy Race

Held together by not more than a couple of pieces of tape I lined up for the Crazy Table Mountain Challenge a 35 km race on the mountain trails and paths around the famous landmark. The racing relay teams had set off at 07H00 and then 10 minutes later I set off with the fast individuals. I think the start times stretched back to 08H00. But I was long gone chasing the lead pack; consisting of a skinny black guy, Alan, the little white guy in a S.A. flag vest, a tall triathlon and Bruce almighty (last year’s winner). If I was looking for a win, there was only Bruce standing in the way, but I was only hoping to make it back in one piece.

After the rolling hills of the face of Table Mountain I saw Bruce and the tri-athlete reach the end of leg 1 ahead of me. The other two were long gone. Leg 2 would take me along the contour path to the Nek. Both Bruce and the tri-athlete had disappeared – Bruce had sped off and the tri-athlete had stopped (I didn’t know his fate). The contour path wasn’t empty as I headed to the Nek I was catching the slower racing teams. It was nice to be catching and not being caught. I won’t say I was flying but I was still moving forwards. The thought of running over the aloes on my way through Kirstenbosch never even entered my mind. At the top I passed a ‘little’ girl from a relay team and then there in front of me was the skinny black guy….he wasn’t a trail runner and I passed him at Skeleton Gorge as the trail got technical.

At this stage I should stop and tell you; that as good a job as the tape on my calf was doing, it was only holding my calf together so the rest of my body was getting ready to fall apart (okay maybe that’s not quite right) but my quads were working overtime without pay and you all know what happens when you force someone to work overtime without pay….

I finished leg 2 about 3 minutes off the pace and after an equipment check I was on my way again. The 3rd leg is more than just the 3rd leg, this is where the race is won or lost. Bruce made his move and so did I, Bruce went hunting for a second win and I fell to pieces!!! This stage is divided up into different sections: 1st one took me to the style over the fence, didn’t lose anytime till the steep climb before the fence. This wasn’t a good sign, but I was only worried about my calf and it was holding out. 2nd section starts with a climb through a forest before a left takes you along a contour to the turn at Hout Bay Corner my split time of 19,41 was under 20 mins so this was still on track and I was still in 3rd place. The 3rd section takes you up, up and more up to the fence and the left hand turn to the long road to Kasteels. This is where I knew my game was over, my Chicken was cooked, Elvis had left the building. On the first up I was slow the steps all seemed bigger than I remembered and my pack was getting heavier and heavier with every step I took. (Normally my pack gets lighter as I drink the water, but today I think some-one was busy filling it with lead.) I wasn’t hanging around, but my steps were slow and I could feel the pack of youngsters chasing me down. I made it to the ridge and tried to run the few meters to the next climb… Ha Ha Ha
My arms were still strong so climbing was easy, but the traverse around to Llandudno Corner was slow and as I started the final pitch I could see the pack closing in for the kill!!! I tell you these youngsters showed me no respected (mental note, get fit and kick their butts next race) as I was left standing on the side of the mountain… Then wait for it they still had the cheek to ask me if they were heading the right way. I should have let them head on straight at the fence, instead of turning them left on the long flat road to Kasteels. 32:23, that is slow I was 26:26 a couple of weeks ago on a slow training run.
OK, the long flat road to Kasteels is nether flat or a road; it’s an undulating single track that is almost only used by trail runners. This is the 4th section and should take 45min, but as Leo had now past me I know it would take me closer to an hour. The back table is great to be running on as it climbs over half the Apostles. At Grootkop I looked back and saw a young lady and a guy catching me, I want to say: “so I upped to pace and left them in my dust” but I could do none of that. I did try to hold them at bay by weaving through the fynbos and breakneck speed, but I had no speed and it was only me that was broken…
We did play a bit of cat and mouse as I would get away on the very technical stuff and they would catch me when I had to walk. They were quite a bit ahead come the “cliff” again I should have kept quiet, but I ordered them over the top and off the edge. All that said I still past both of them. My lead was short lived as I was walking again up the next hill. This was the last I saw of them as they powered up the hill and disappeared over the top. I broke an hour to Kasteels, but that wasn’t all that was broken.
My Quads were shattered and now I had to deal with the 5th section, down to the Pipe Track. Each step down was like birth contractions, but “Pain is Temporary, Glory is for Ever” so with the help of gravity I made it down. (16:42 not to slow, only 2 or 3 min off the pace) With only 4km of Pipe Track to go I was almost finished. It’s a good thing the Pipe Track is as flat as it is, because on the one climb I just stopped and looked at the steps that lay ahead of me wondering how I was going to make it up.

It had been a hard day on the Mountain, but I had finished in a respectable time of 4h18 7th finisher and 2nd vet.

Friday, September 10, 2010


So last week I was doing a set of 15 x 400m, and things were going well I had run the first 4:

77.6 77.4 77.9 77.3

So things were going well, that was till about 170m into the 5th when my calf decided that 4 and a half was enough.

I might be the Coach with years of experience and all, but if Mr Calf says 4 and a half is enough, then well it's time to call it a day... I jogged through to the finish in 85sec.

The next day been Friday I took the day of training and with a day of rest I was ready for Saturday. Saturday you might ask, well I was heading up my mountain again... In fact I was taking Eddie for a little run through Orange Kloof and around to Llandudno corner, up over the Apostles to Kasteels and back to the car over the dam wall. Mr Calf put up with this run, but let me know that is was not very happy by not letting me walk for the rest of the day!!!

So with 2 week to TMC I had to do something to keep fit, so I entered the Argus and did all the training needed... I cycled to the club Monday to Thursday and got faster every day! (With a top speed of 72km/h not bad for a MNT bike with smooth nobbles.) At the club I ran a couple of laps of the track barefoot getting to 4km on Thursday. This is the same day that Stef sent out an email looking for people to do a 30+km run with. So I suggested a route and told then I would cycle as they ran.

My route, over Ou Kaapse Weg turning left past the golf course and back along the Main Road, nice for road runners, but they aren't really road runners, so Stef said great, well go up through the forest and into Silvermine, take the Wagon Trail down and then as we pop out on Ou Kaapse Weg we can turn off past the Golf Course.

There was only one short 500m stretch where I had to get off my bike and push to stay with them. Well I didn't ride through Silvermine with them, but popped down the road and up the Wagon Trail till we met.

It was the most perfect day to be out, and I wish I had taken my camera, so I could have taken a couple of pictures of them running on the mountain. This picture of St James will have to do I took it with my phone...

I couldn't get one of them running, so I captured them recovering round the tap, just before they left me to run on the catwalk.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I got given three pairs of socks to test the other day and after a couple of runs in the week I decided that they worked well enough to test them on a real run. Having been running for many years I know that not all socks are equal... Anyway today's test was twofold I was going to be out there for over 2 hours and it was going to be wet, very wet.
I parked the car at Constantia Nek just before 09h00, yes it's late, but I had to buy wine before I ran so I couldn't make it any earlier.

Back on the 3rd of July this year I had run this route with a couple of friends; Will, Jayde and Ake, on that day we got to Maclear's Beacon in a few seconds over an hour, so today I was aiming at breaking an hour. I thought it would be easy running on my own, but I wasn't taking the weather into account!

Most runs I break into sections, so the first section or leg of this run took me up the single tracks over the bridge past the Overseer's hut and the tap to the turn off to the single track. I thought I was ahead of time, but I was really a minute behind, My splits to Nursery and Skeleton were also a bit slow I hadn't picked it up, I still thought I had time to get to Maclear's in under an hour. Pushing on through the wind, rain and waterfalls (very impressive) I was 3min and 45 sec over the hour, I took the split and turned to Platterklip Without any protection from the wind and rain this was the toughest part of the run. I did try and keep to the rocks, but that was not always possible so I spent half the time in water. My new socks had now been wet for over an hour and they were holding out...

From Platterklip I turned left and headed through the valley of the red gods. This was going to be very slow as there are many wooden walk-ways and in the wind and rain they are very slippery and I didn't want to go bush diving!!! Only had a couple of undulations left and I was at Kasteels. No I didn't turn down I turned to the Dams and headed back to the car at the Nek.

So how had the socks done? Well once back on the concrete road and running like a Machine I can tell you that the socks had held up well after almost 2 hours of running and most of it in the wet... they weren't falling down or crunching up at the toes so I guess I'll be wearing them again when I'm on the mountain splashing through the rain. I still think they might be a bit thick and hence warm for summer, but only time will tell.

PS was also wearing a pair last night (don't know if all 3 pairs are the same) but I had a different shoe on, and this shoe hold water a little bit more than the Rockridge, and I felt that the socks got a bit heavy once I had run through a river...

Monday, August 23, 2010


Saturday saw the running of the WPCCC and having run OK at the start of the season with a couple of 3rd and 4th places I thought I was in with a chance of a medal. Then a number of weeks ago I tore my hamstring and didn't realy run for almost 3 weeks. Now with a week and a half of training done I was lining up hoping to be back in shape...
We were running the same course as league 4, and I think back then I picked up a 3rd place. Now as you stand there on the start line you alway have a little look around to see who is there... Well things have changed since League 4... Graham is now 40 and is favourite for gold, Shaun has also turned 40 a couple of weeks ago and with a 1:51 800m at the begining of the year he should take silver. (maybe he'll go out to hard and come back to us the following pack, we can but hope!)

I had to go out with 3rd in mind, but as we rounded the 2nd corner Isaac came flying past and then John and some guy from Defence who I don't really know. I stayed with the 2 of them into the wind down the long back straight, but then lost them. With 2km down I was going nicely and was sort of stuck in no-mans land. I would like to say that is were I stayed for the next 6km, but 2 more guys caught me and again I could only hold on to them for the long back straight into the wind. I ran the last 4.5km on my own with the 1st 50 year old chasing me. I was pleased to keep him at bay as he had beaten me in League 2 a couple of moths ago... My time of 28:06 was 28sec slower than before and only 33 sec off 4th place and a bronse medal (Isaac, who finished 3rd, is from Boland).

now it's all eyes on TMC

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Planning a holiday can almost be as much fun as the holiday itself.
Back in 1997, Dawn and I planned our first big holiday together. What started out as a little trip to the USA to stay with friends and run their local marathon turned into something out of the “Amazing Race.”
Amsterdam, New York, Boston, East Lyme (where I ran my first international marathon), Houston, Texas – College Station (to visit my sister), Bermuda (ran the local T.T., a cross-country and a 10km road race). Back to Amsterdam, via New York, took a train to the south of France (Belarga) and back to Amsterdam, London for a week before heading back to Amsterdam to run their marathon and head home. All this in just 6 weeks….

I now have 8 overseas marathons and we don’t head over without the chance of lining up for another one. London, Paris, New York, Boston, Berlin just don’t excite me. The last one I did was in Macau (Far East) with only 500 runners. So what next you might ask? Well 2011 is still a long way off and anything can happen but we have a few plans. Dawn has started running in the mornings with a lady from Prague, well need I say more. Out come the Distance Runners magazines and yes Prague has a marathon in May. Now wait for it, my best friend lives just outside Salzburg and they also have their marathon in May, just one week later. So I was thinking about racing Prague and jogging Salzburg with Richard. Sounds like the makings of an epic holiday. Forget about the running, how can one go wrong visiting Prague and Salzburg. Ok Prague is expensive and the Salzburg marathon is boring and not well organized, or so I’m told. So keeping our options open we kept looking. Scratching through old brochures Dawn came across something that has thrown a spanner in the works. Switzerland, the land of chocolate, cheese and snowcapped mountains… She had found the brochure for the Zermat Marathon in the Alps. We love Switzerland and I’ve already run a couple of marathons in the Alps and would love to run another.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I gave up subscribing to Runnersworld a long time ago, why you might ask. Well I had read it all before. For 10+ years RW hadn't had a new article in it The same things had been thrashed out month after month, year after year: Run Your Best 10km, 6 Weeks to Your 10km PB, The Only 10km Program You Will Ever Need, 10 Weeks to Your First 10km Race...

After a 2 week layoff for a hamstring injury I was back running again, and joined Dawn for the 10km race in Pinelands. At the entry tables they were handing out back copies of RW. I was lucky to lay my hands on 5 different months from Dec '09 to June '10. I was keen to see if they had any new articles. Well to my utter surprise not one of the old articles were there. Dec '09's cover boasted articles like: "Shape of Your Life 21 easy ways to get slim & strong", "Get More Flexible 3 easy moves", "Beat stress", "The Heat Factor", "Drop 2 Kilos (or 5 ... or 25)", and that was just Dec '09. The other months weren't any better; "Lose 4kg", "Buy a New Outfit", "Better breakfast", "The Mommy Problem". So it looks like RW has lost it's few articles from the 80's and has found a couple of 'Shape', 'Cosmo', 'Menshealth', and 'GQ' articles to use instead.

I'm not saying it's a bad magazine it's just not RW it's Jogger's World!!! But then that might be the way to go as all the big races are about the back runner (shouldn't use runner here) who requires 3hours+ to finish a half...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cross Training

Last week was my shortest week of running since September 1999. Back then I was coming back from an injury that had put me out of action for 9 months, and no I wasn't pregnant!!! Having not been able to run the HBTC on the weekend I had to do something. So before the Tour De France got exciting I decided to clean out a cupboard. This didn't last long as I found my old skipping rope and decided that I could skip, without putting strain on my hamstring. I went outside and started jumping... 200, 300, 100, that was about 5 minutes of jumping. I wasn't that tired, but it's a bit boring as you don't get anywhere.

Sunday morning Dawn went for a run and I lay in bed, but only for an extra 10 min. I then got up and took the dogs to the field for a walk, and decided to run a bit to test my leg. 1km later I called it enough as I could feel the hamstring. Peanut had stuck with me the whole way, while Shandy had taken short cuts across the field. With the dogs walked and Dawn still running I picked up the rope and started jumping. This time it was 5min without stopping another 600 jumps.

Monday I popped up to the club and once I had sent the kids off training I took out my rope and started jumping 5min, 660 jumps. Then I walked across the field to tackle the pull up bar. I think I've put on weight... as I struggled to pull myself up. Once back at the club house I jumped again, another 5 min, 670 jumps. I then tried a couple of push ups before the last 5 mins of skipping 670 jumps.

With 15min and 2000 jumps behind me I called it a day, let us see if I can keep my fitness up with the old skipping rope.

Monday, July 19, 2010


OK maybe not all over, but things are not going as to the master plan.

This is my first year as a Vet 40+ so I had planned on taking on the club colours and seeing if I could get full standers in all distances. As a senior I didn't really have a chance, but as a Vet it is do-able. A couple of weeks ago I went out to Eesterrivier to run the 15km race. Aiming at 52min I went out and ran 51:38, so this Sunday I was aiming at running a 10km in sub 34min. This was there for the taking, well if you look at the training and the time for the 15km I was in shape to run in the 33's.

Tuesday I did a 1000m session on the track and with times of 3:18 3:16 3:13 3:09 and was feeling good. Wednesday I had wanted to run a little shorter than normal, but because of a dog!!! we ended up running about 1km further than I had planned. That shouldn't have caused any problems, but on the way back to the club the boys picked up the pace to about 4min/km (shouldn't be a problem for me) but as they pulled away on the Main rd I had to let them go as my left hamstring was feeling a bit tight.

I did a bit of home treatment and Thursday I only race 1 x 500m and with another days rest I was feeling OK come Saturday morning. Dawn and I took the dogs for a 3km jog in the green belt and I felt good so Saturday afternoon I headed out to Koeberg for the 5th league Cross Country.

I might well have lead the race over the 1st 400m but I wasn't running hard or fast. with the fast 35's and 40's flying by I had settled into a pace than seemed OK with my delicate body. After crossing the start finish line in 15;36 for the 1st 4km I was happy... for only another 100m!

Then, did a snake bit me, was I short in the hamstring, but that was the end of my race. Yes I could have stopped and turned back the 100 or so meters, but CC is a team sport and if you can you run all the leagues so I chose to hobble round and finish. I was 7 minutes slower for the 2nd 4 km.

My leg was so sore I was worried it wouldn't work when changing gears driving home and I would find myself driving home in 2nd... That didn't happen, but I'm now sitting at the office hoping to get a physio appointment.

As for my 10km I was on the side of the road shouting for Dawn who manage to run her time of sub 45min. This coming weekend I had planned on racing and even winning (if things went to plan) Hout Bay Challange Saturday morning. running the CC that afternoon and then for good measure racing the Trail race on Sunday... Well if Grant can't fix me and fast I will have to sit a couple of those races out.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


OK we didn't quite make it to the top of the World, but we did make it to Macclear's Beacon.

Saturday saw me meeting a couple of friends for a run up the mountian from Constantia Nek. Keeping the pace honest we made good time getting to the Cape Town landmark in a few seconds over an hour.

We headed back by heading to Platterklip and turning left through Valley of the Red gods it was a fantastic route to head back on, taking in the views over Camps Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Monday, July 5, 2010


On Saturday Dawn and I decided to head to town to walk with the soccer fans to the stadium... we weren't the only poeple with that idea.

It looked like the whole on Cape Town was out to feel the vibe. They say that over 250 000 people were in town. From the Fan Park to the Warterfront, and like us, just on the Fan Walk.
The vibe was amazing it was well worth the walk. Having parked at the office, we took a short cut back from the stadium and left town at 15h30 getting home in time for the kickoff!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


After Church on Sunday Dawn and I decided to pop down to the Waterfront for lunch. I work in Town and every day that I'm out in town I tell her about the large number of foreigners that are here for the soccer, so a trip to the Waterfront would give her a chance to experience for herself.

Boy was the Waterfront rocking with all English and German supporters getting ready for the match. The vibe was exciting and the food places were packed. Well the places that weren't charging R 150.00 a head were packed, while the over the top places were empty. After looking at a couple place (the ques were to long) we popped into Wollies and bought take-a-ways and sat in the sun to eat, far better idea. It was the most amazing day and one wanted to be outside.
I know I should have taken a picture of the crowds, but I didn't maybe next time!
We left around 15h00 and headed out of the Waterfront turning right as we hit Town. We drove under the foot bridge to the Waterfront and the foot bridge of the fan walk heading to Kloof. At this point I pulled over and left the car to Dawn!!!
Wearing only bright Pink Pollies, a peak and a running back I headed up Kloof Street to Kloof Nek. Now as I headed up the hill something happed that has never happened before... First a lady leaned out of her car (she was the passenger) with her cellphone and took a picture... Then wait for it some-one else pointed a camera out of a van and also took a picture!!! I don't know why, but I would have it a guess that it wasn't because of my dashing good looks...
From the Nek my run home took me on the jeep tracks through Deer Park to the Kings Block House. and the contour path to Kirstenbosh, before taking the Green Belts home. It was a magic run on the most perfect day to be out in the winter sun.
Who knows what I'll be doing next weekend in between the Tennis and the Cycling.


Last Saturday I had Dawn up early and we headed out to Eesterrivier for the 15km race. I had been aiming at running a good time, club colours 52:15. The drive out was interesting as the mist on the N1 and Baden Powell Drive was so heavy we almost missed to turn off.

The heavy mist made for great running conditions; no wind and cool not freezing. I can't say I took off like a bullet, because I was 3 lines back and the start was slow, but I was fast enough to be on pace at the 1km mark (3:24), didn't want to run any faster. Had to work hard for the first half of the race going through 5km in 17:19 (on pace and on my own). Just before the turn around I caught 3 Juniors and 1 other Vet. At the turning Chris told me that I was still behind the leading lady, and if I didn't want to be beaten I would have to pick up the pace... It was good running in a group and we were closing the gap. We hit 10km in 34:20 and we working nicely, then one of the juniors decided it was time to surge breaking up our group as the others chased I couldn't up a gear and chase as I was already running flat out! I was still catching Tanith Maxwel and Johnny (the Vet) as they were now running together. Then with 2km to go the road seemed to get a slippery (like Diesel had been split on it) and I just couldn't keep my sub 3:30 rhythm and the gap open again. Come the last km I didn't have anything left and could just hold my pace to the tape. My time of 51:38 was the fastest I've run in a number of years. I was 33rd over all and 5th Vet so out of the money, need to choose my races better if I want to win some money!!!

I run back for Dawn who was also after Club colours she was running nicely and was easiely 71min finishing with a time of 68:01 (pitty about the 01!).

Next road race will be a 10km to see what I'm made of!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Got a new pair of shoes the other day and had put off wearing them because of the rain, something to do with the "They are new, I don't want them to get wet," theosophy. Anyway I took them for run on the contour path last Saturday and they did just fine, but then yesterday I took them for a real test!

I met Jayde at the Nek at 08h00 and we set out to test the new Montrail Rockridge. From the Nek we headed up the single track, no heroics as we had a long morning ahead of us. The path up is mostly sandy with wooden stairs and running slowly / walking up there didn't even test the shoes. On the top we took the concrete road to the dam wall and crossed over. Just a point there, 15min on the road went fine, but the shoes would only really be tested on the road on the way back. The rain of the last couple of days was a thing of the past, but the old railway track to Kasteels was a little wet and I found myself running like a fairy hopping from one dry spot to another still trying to keep the shoes dry.

Kasteels was the first real test, but with tired legs and a very wet track I took the down hill easy and yes the shoes were great but I was still taking it easy, that was till the gradient eased and the wet sandy rocks turned into a river!!! There was no more dodging the puddles. The river took us down to the Pipe Track which was also mostly under water. I was now running without a worry in the world the shoes were wet and my feet were cold, but even through the water the ROCKRIDGE was firm under foot and I never missed a step. Now here is something I really liked about the shoe: The river came to an end and we had a bit of dry path to run on, and unlike other shoes that seem to take forever to dry I felt that the ROCKRIDGE just needed a few steps to splash out the water...

From Kloofnek we started to climb again, we took the stairs (there wasn't a escalator and I didn't have money for the cable car) to the contour path. The views would have been amazing but with visibility down t0 less than 20m due to the mist we couldn't see anything. After 15min of climbing and an energy bar we headed to Platterklip. Once again we were running through rivers, lakes and waterfalls. With mountain to the right and cliffs to the left I never once worried about losing my footing.
With almost 2 hours of running we decided that getting back to the cars at the Nek was more important than racing up Platterklip, so our only aim was to run down the tourists, and boy were the English out in force. 28min later we stood on the top with just a little jog on the flat top of the mountain to go. OK Table Mountain is anything but flat, and heading through Echo Valley took us down steel ladders and along wooden pathways, I’m sorry to say this is were the MONTRAILS let me down and my legs slipped out from under me on the slime covered wooden walkway. (Are they trying to kill people, those walkways are lethal when wet.)
The shoes had held up well after 3 hours of the roughest trails I could throw at them, now on tired legs I had 20min of concrete road to run. Let me just say this: I’m not going to be lining up for a road marathon in then any day soon. Something I have done in my STREAKS!

In closing, I have this to say: for real trail put on the ROCKRIDGE you won’t be sorry I’m not.

Friday, June 11, 2010


It is here… The Mother city is alive with the colors of Bafana Bafana, World Cup fever is blowing over the city through the sounds of the Vuvuzela. I have been walking through Town every day this week and it looks like every second person is a foreigner here for the SOCCER. I've taken a couple of pictures to try and capture the feeling...

There are flags hanging all over the place and even some of the buildings has been transformed into soccer mad supporters!

So I guess Cape Town and the rest of South Africa is ready for this month of madness. I'm heading out now to have a look at the stadium before going home to watch the opening ceremony and Bafana take on Mexico.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


On Sunday I lined up for the Table Mountain Race for the 21st time, and this is my story:
In years gone by I thought I was strong on the hills and loved running on the mountain, so it was only natural that I fell in love with this race. Back then I was hungry to do well, win, break an hour, and yes I have been lucky enough to do all of that, but those days are as good as over. That said I still train hard and hope for the best!!!
At the start this year I was first out of the blocks and started opening up a lead. This was short lived as a guy from Jo'burg joined me at the front after the first turn about 2km into the race. This was good for me as it kept me honest and I had to work to stay with him I wasn't going to be beaten up my mountain. With one turn left to the bridge I thought I had him as I was pulling ahead, I hoped he would falter and start walking... But no he pulled back and joined me for the steep section to the bridge. The race now flattens and I felt we really picked up the pace I wasn't worried about winning I just wanted a good time. I had a look at my watch at the tap, and then started scheming about how I could take the King of the Mountain. On the last steep bit he slowed, I think because of the mist he thought the climb was starting all over again. He had no clue, I guess he didn't even know there was a prise to the top. I bolted and set off like a rabbit scared sprinting like Ben Johnson (yes a man on drugs). He was never far off but I went over the line first and then I slowed with the idea of letting him take the wind for a bit, but he had also slowed. Again i thought I had him so I upped my game and pushed for the dam, but no sooner had I started to pull ahead he decided it was time to close the gap. It was turning into a nice race and I was really enjoying to games we were playing. I was the using every game in the book to stay ahead and he just kept fighting to get back in the picture.

I think the top dam was leaking as the road was under water, again I took my chances and went for it hoping that he would tackle it like a fairy... again my lead didn't last long. I had one more chance to break him, the single track to the dam wall. This was going to be fun, was I able to take him to pieces in the mist on the wet rocks...? Almost, I heard him slip in the first couple of steps. I think this is were he realised that he had a race on his hands so he wasted no time in catching me on the dam wall. I want to say he was here to win and had taken it easy till now and now he had a race on his hands. We climbed up onto the road and started to run back, he was now uping the front pushing the pace, but noticed that I couldn't keep up so he backed off to keep the games up!!! It's all ways nice to be in front running past the back markers and having them all cheering for you. I sped past the marshals at the King and started heading down... He stopped and I hoping he was a spend case, but all he was doing was stopping for was sherry!!! He was playing with me and had caught me by the time we past the tap. I was running for 2nd... with about 2 km to go he left me for the last time and finished about 30 seconds ahead. My time of 65:44 was the slowest time I've every raced that race, I think I'm getting old, or did Saturdays Trail race take to much out of me?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cape Town's Big Wheel

First there was the London Eye and now there is Cape Town's Wheel of Excellence...

On my way to the office on Monday I saw this thing glowing in the dark, it looked really good and at lunch today I popped out to fill the bike with petrol and stopped to have a look and take this picture. I hear it's going to cost between R 70 - R 80. I'm not planning on taking a ride, but my wife wasn't against the idea so watch this space.
PS if that cloud wasn't there you would see Table Mountain.


So last night was PIZZA NIGHT. Dawn and I have been out for pizza almost ever week since 5 March 1996. You could almost call that our first date... but we only started going out in September of that year. (That is another story and not for today)

I had planned on taking a picture of the pizza, but when the pizza came through I was in pizza eating mode, and any thoughts of picture taking were gone. But I can post this: my Lunch and left overs...
But that has made me hungry, so I'm going to eat. Till next time Bye!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


So I was on the internet looking at a friends blog, and since he hasn't writen anything for a long time, no wait, make that a very long time... I decided to create my own blog.

Why you might ask, well that is the very question I am asking, so let us just see what happens. I would like to get the time to write weekly, or even more than that.

So what will I be writing, not much, as I don't really have anything to say... That said I might let you know about my plans for the weekend, or what happened on the last weekend. I might just talk running, then again I might feel like talking about the trip to work, the traffic or the weather. You will just have to wait and see.