Tuesday, May 31, 2011


15 years ago I would still hit 100km on an easy week, now I only reach 100km when I'm training hard for a marathon. So with my Marathon in just under 6 weeks time it's time for a rest week. Over the last couple of weeks I have tried to work hard putting in a couple of good sessions:
  • Long runs in May: 1st weekend, African X = 2h00, 3h21, and 1h45. 2nd weekend 21.5km 20.7km then 21.3 on the Wednesday, that weekend I raced so didn't get a long one in. Last weekend in May 30km and a 14km on the Sunday.
  • 3 hill sessions and two 500m sessions
  • weekly distance has been: 114.6km (African X), 80.9km, 91.3km and 100.9km. After this easy week I hope to be back up at 100+
I love easy weeks, but this easy week is more than just a time for my legs to get there spring back, it's also a taper week for a race on the weekend. The race will tell me how fit I am and how hard I can train in the last block before the marathon.

Till then I won't be running much, but I will be walking the dogs:
can't stay out of the forest...

Monday, May 23, 2011


I had only planned 1 race for this weekend, but then my wife said she wanted to run the half in Darling. Now I'm not going to go to a race and just stand around if I can run...

Let me put it this way, I was always going to run a couple of km on Saturday, so why not do them in a race...

Lucky for me there was a 10km to go with the half, so I lined up for the shorter race and left Dawn to run the HALF. They set off 15min before us and run mostly flat bar one mean hill at the end... The 10km is anything but flat with over 200m of climb in it, but the 1st 2km are mostly down hill and I was "back" in 5th place (3rd 40+) and had a bit of work to do... Now my legs were a bit shattered after Wednesdays run up the mountain and the hill session on Thursday (yes I'm hill mad) but come that first hill I ran down the 2 other old men... With the youngsters out front and the rest of the field falling off the pace the race of on. I pushed the pace onthe flat at the top of the hill bur couldn't really get ahead before the next down hill. Keith took off and I followed only to be past by the other guy. At the bottem of that hill after a 3:15 km I was 20sec behind... Did I tell you I love hills!!!! I caught them both on the next hill opening a big gap on the one guy, but Keith didn't want to die...

4:59 up then another 3:15 and a 3:16 again Keith sped off and left me, but the other guy was still behind. Lucky for me the down hill ended and with another climb to the finish I tried to catch Keith, but the hill wasn't long enough.

I finished 4th and 2nd 40+ in a time of 38:06 not bad for a 10km race with 200m climb.

For most people that would have been enough, but I had a mountain race to run. I didn't drink too much Saturday night and was up early to get to the race. The Helderberg Mountain Challenge

At the start-line I looked up and saw the mountain ahead, yes we were heading to the top... My type of race!!!
I'm not going to write a km for km race report, but I will tell you a bit about how things went: It was a strong field on the start line, and Bernard the Zimbo took off leaving us behind. Now there were a couple of km on the gravel roads to start with and as he pulled away so did I... it seemed as the strong field wasn't all in shape! With Bernard out front and me chasing hard the gravel turned to single track and I could no longer see Bernard (he had decided to go a different way!!!) I was now in front with a mountain to climb...

That isn't me, but that is the way we went up, and at the top we turned left and when up some more... This last stretch was boulder hopping and great fun. It was really windy up there, and there was a view, but I had to watch my feet as I still had to get down, and Ake was chasing hard.
Yes I had the trophy for the king of the Mountain, but there were more prises on the line. I thought I was decending OK, but to be honest I was a little slow racing down the side on the cliffs!!! Ake was now on my tail, but the really bad stuff was behind us and it was running time again. What a race... Mr. Garmin had us running at sub 3min/km at times as we went at each other. I only really got the upper hand as we started to take a couple of those hairpin bends, you know the ones that are so steep you can't walk them...

The last 500m was on a single track and board walk into the gardens, and i past a runner from the 10km race and with him between us was able to keep a 5 sec gap...

1st and yes I was in the Prises!!!!

Tog bag

Trail Shoes

and those big cheques

I do love big cheques, I think I'm going to hang them in the garage...

I couldn't hang around after the race I still had Cross Country to get too:

That is me working hard on the BMX track that made up the last km of the laps we were running. I'm pleased I'm 40+ and only have to run 8km CC (7.6km as per Mr. Garmin) as the 12km of the men is just to far. Yes I was slow, but CC is a team sport and I was needed so I just ran, and if I must say so my self I did a good job running 14:52 and 15:03 for the 2 laps. Even splits is a good sign for any race and it also means I could be fit in-time for my marathon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


That is my voting station at 07h20 in the morning... I didn't stop, I had more important things to do first thing in the morning, RUN.

I was meeting my friends at the Nek for a little run on the mountain. We headed up the from the Nek on the gravel / concrete road to the tap before turning to the single tracks...

I didn't take any early pictures as it was still darkish and yes a little cold up there for my hands to be working the phone camera... but with the sun on it's way up and showing a little face through the clouds I had to start clicking away.

Jayde and Ake reach the ladders first, running with me on the mountain is more of an adventure than just a run...
Jayde looking out over Camps Bay.

They kept running away from me when ever I stopped to take a picture... Some of the paath up there are easy going and you can run...

But the sometimes it looks like the path is swollowed up by the fynbos...
Mr. Garmin called the run 21.3km with over 1000m climb. It wasn't really that bad, most of the climb was on the "road" in the first half and then other than the ladders we could run, so our time was 2h17 just was the doctor ordered...
After a beer at the cars I headed off to the the shops to buy more beer and braai stuff... We had friends popping round for lunch and I still needed things.

Don't worry I did get to vote at about 17h00 and it took me all of 5min17...

Monday, May 16, 2011


With African-X behind me it is time to focus on my marathon...

The weeks are ticking by and I need to get into the marathon training mode and to tell you the truth this scares me! (are you ever scared of the training that lays ahead of you?)

Let me tell you a little about this marathon, yes it is 42.2km long, but I have 1944m of climb to contend with, and all of that at over 1000m altitude!!!

So let me break this down a bit: Let us say I was training for London, New York, Boston or anything fast and flat I would be training to run a sub 2h40... (I believe I still have one of those in me) but in this race I will be lucky to run 3h40. I'm going to be out there for an hour longer than normal. I think I need to up my training...

I've got an OK base with 6 of the last 10 weeks over 80km, and now with only 7.5 weeks till I race I would like to up the distance and see if I could put in another 5 week over 100km. No cheeting on the program!!! That said I was up at 05h00 with the plan to run, but got worried that I might be doing to much, so I climbed back into bed. (it was cold and dark outside) Tonight I have a friend Birthday so I might have to cut a bit of training. (I still need the miles, so I will start early and do a longer warmup).

With Wednesday being Voting day I have time to train... Watch this space, if the weather plays ball I'll take a couple of pictures as we explore the mountain in the morning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Hi there

I know I should have written this days ago, but I've not been very good at been a blogger, but it's time to get back into it, so here goes:

This weekend past was African-X weekend and I was there to see if, together with my partner (Bruce Almighty) we could but put in a good showing.

So this is my side of the story:

Friday morning saw Dawn drive me out to Kleynmond to meet Bruce for the start, he had spend the night there as he had traveled from Pretoria .

A quick rundown of the race goes like this: 3 days 85km of trail run in pairs.

  • Day 1: With Dawn there we she took us to the start and watched us run of down the road, Yes road so Bruce and I fell off the early pace. It was really flat for the first 5km with even the beach which we ran on been hard and easy running. As we left the 'town' of Betty's Bay and headed into the mountain we closed the gap on the leaders. Well on the climb up we started to close the gap, but once on top Bruce's eyes lit up and the slog of the road left his legs and off we went 'bouncing' past one team then another. Down hill on a rocky single track, well I couldn't hold him back, we took 3 teams as they were almost walking down a cliff face (ok it wasn't that steep). For the next couple of km Bruce was like a little kid in a candy store. Then it was over we could see 2nd 200m ahead of us and they had hit the gravel road home (5km of it). The road runners slowly caught us again and we finished the 23.3km in 2h00.33 (6th)
  • Day 2, after taking the bus from the camp sight to the start we set off on the 40.3km stage of mostlygravel road,

  • and with Bruce a little off his game we set out at 5min/km and stuck there. By 7km we were lying 10/11th with Nic and Dom. But as the km ticked by we started passing teams. With only 400m of single track this was not playing into our hands. That said the longer the race went on the more teams suffered and we just kept to the 5min/km and with 3km to go we found ourselves moving into 4th for the day. Our time of 3h21:00 was about 15mins off the pace.
  • Day 3 had a couple of promising bits to it, and uphill start:
  • but it wasn't long enough. The stretch on the top was great, but again I had to run as a team, I was feeling great and wanted to kick butt!!! but that wasn't going to happen today. On the single track down we did open up a gap of one of the teams who had just try to pass us. That was short lived with 6km still to run of the short 21.3km leg it was flat to the end...
  • Bruce was strong, but slow (by his standards) so for the 2nd day in a row we knocked out 5min/km. Finishing in 1h44.58, only 8th for the day and 6th for the event.

We ran well as a team keeping our sponsors Hi-Tec happy and who knows, next year Bruce will be a vet (40+) and then we might stand a chance to clean up against the old men...

Monday, May 2, 2011

A lot has happened since I ran Oceans trail over Easter.

First up I watch the Half and the Ultra on Saturday and it was the most amazing day to run and for us to watch, OK it was a little cold in the morning and by the time the last of our friends were finishing the the 56km it was getting warm.

With it being Easter and all I didn't really run again till Monday when I took the boys (Ake and Jayde) up the mountain 19.5km 680m climb 2h03 just what was needed.

Now on Tuesday it was raining and with African X around the corner I didn't want to get sick.

Wednesday and another public holiday, so that meant another long run: I stayed on the road and ran flat... the aim 20km at 4min/km. At 13km I was going along nicely and had 1 min in the bag... By all means I would have finished the run in about 78min feeling great, but running towards me was a pretty girl!!! So I had to stop and chat, and then I decided to run with her for a bit... OK it was a friend (Lauren) and she now lives in the UK and was out for a holiday. can she run, yes boy can she run... years ago her 1st half was run in about 2h10 min, now she has just run Oceans half in 81mins!!! Anyway my 20km run soon turned into a 2h09:33 30km run (what is 10km between friends, has that ever happened to you?)

Didn't run much the rest of the week, till today (Monday, another holiday) when I took my African X partner (Bruce) out for a run on the Oceans Trail route. 2h17, that sort of time would have placed us in the top 20 in the race!!! let us hope we can carry a bit of that form into our race this coming weekend...