Thursday, June 23, 2011


I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll write again!!!!

Yes I do take holidays and as you might know I off to the land of Chocolate, is there anything else important there? Oh yes, the Alps. What about Cheese, Cukoo clocks, Swiss Army Knives, and Cow Bells!!! (and my wifes favourite: Roger Federer)

We fly on Saturday and I haven't started packing... but how much packing do I need to do?

Holiday highlight?

  • Hope to meet my best friend in Zurich. (been friends since 1984)

  • IAAF Diamond League Lausanne. (look out for me on the home straight, not running, but waving a SA flag, maybe I should take my Vuvuzela as well....)

  • Hiking in the Alps.

  • Zermatt Marathon!!!!

  • How is this for sweet, being alone with my wife!!!

Now it's time to do a little work before home time... Then I need to pack my bags.

If I have access to the net I'll try and write a story or 2 before I get back.


Other the last couple of weeks we have all been training hard with the idea of racing in July.

I'm running the Zermatt Marathon, Dom is running Knysna marathon, Will and Ake are going to World Trail Champs in Ireland, Nelson has already left to run a half and 5000m in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens. So the main focus of our training has been getting strong!!! We started with 3 x 3km the 3 x 2km (4 were on the program, but I was shattered from the weekend) and Tuesday night 4 x 1 mile, with 6-8 x 1km on the cards for next week. While for our other session we have been doing hills and more hills. (OK Nelson has been on the track for 500s)
The miles were fun running hard on tired legs I struggled for the first 2 reps 5:42 and 5:39, then my legs loosened up and I nailed the last 2 (5;33 & 5:29).

Last night we (us brave soles) headed out in the rain, wind and dark for a loop in the forest through Kirstenbosch to the Top Gate and back to the club. Coming back on the road always seems to keep us honest as the pace always climbs close to the 4:05 mark, which is a good way to stretch the legs...

Tonight we have 250s on the program, but if it's raining again I will just go for an easy 10-12km run so let us see what the weather holds...

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Dawn had seen that the Napier Half was on this weekend, so after deciding that her foot would hold out (she has a bruised heel and too much tar isn't good for her) we woke early and drove the 2 hours to the little town of Napier. Now we last ran this race 10 years ago in 2001. Back then she ran a 93min !!! while I had run 77:34. A couple of years earlier I had run a 74:15 coming 4th in the race, and if I can remember we won the team prize great fun back then.

Bring on 2011 and to start with the skinny fast guys took us round the track before heading out on to the route. (add 300m to the course) We started at the school and headed down the hill, the front guys were gunning it and I was left with 2 other 40+ guys in about 15th place. After 2 fast km the road became flat as we headed out of town on a gravel road. I was now on my own counting the km down. Just before 16km to go the 10km guys started coming back and I moved up the placings. Problem was I had no idea how many guys had turned. It wasn't till about 8km that a marshal told me I was 4th... Do you know what that means? I had to race, and try to catch 3rd. I took a split 70 sec and set about upping my tempo, I closed the gap a bit, but it wasn't till the hills in the 2nd half that I made any real inroads into his lead over me. All to soon the hills were over and I might have caught 35sec, but I wasn't going to finish the job of catching him... I finished in 4th with a time of 80:20. (Mr. Garmin called the race 21.7km so it was a little long)

It had been a beautiful day out there and waiting for prise giving was OK as (why didn't I take pictures) there were plenty of country stalls selling stuff and the time flew by.

Sunday was a different story:
A cold front had rolled in and winter was back!!! Again I was up early and off to a race, but this was a trail race on the front slopes of Table Mountain. I run and done well in this race a number of times, but today I was just going to use it as a Sunday long run. I still wanted to support the race and the Volunteer Wildfire fighters.

Trail runners are tough and we started in the wind and rain while it was still dark... (all of this on a trail) A couple of guys took off and I was not chasing this year, so I just ran at my own pace I was in 6th place when Carl caught me and from then on the 2 of us ran together. In the latter stages of the race he got a bit tired so I pulled ahead and ran in on my own. I don't really know how it happened, but I ended up 3rd!!! I think a couple of guys had ether fallen out or ran a couple of extra kms!!! never mind I'll take third.

Only one picture for you guys, this is the finish...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


So after managing to put last week together I don't really want this week to fall apart... Well right from the start things haven't been going as to plan!!!

Thursday is a holiday so that is throwing a spanner in the works. Now I started by moving the session forward to Monday: 3 x 2km, my legs were a bit tired so they were a bit slow, but they are in the log book and will have to take even if the splits aren't were I wanted them to be.

Tuesday Morning I slept in so come the evening I was a few km short. Now I can't aford to fall to far behind with the weekly so I upped the run from 12km to 15km. The week isn't over and with a party on tonight I can't get to the club. I hope I get a good enough run in on my own, we will have to wait and see.

Roll on Thursday and the Public Holiday. I think I will head out for 2 hours of road and forest...

Now I took a couple of pictures on the weekend and those I inclued in the last post, but I also ran the last of Platterklip with my photo on Video!!!

Hope you guys can see it:

Friday, June 10, 2011


So how did week one go:

After the race on Sunday I had and easy 10km on Monday, also go in a couple of situps to work on my core.
Tuesday was anything but easy: it started at 05h15 when I was up for a short 8.5km run before work, but it was the evening session that sorted the man from the boys... 3 x 3km. Nothing like setting off for that 3rd one and fighting all the way to stay on pace. (10:27, 10:24, 10:28)
Wednesday was 12km easy through the forest and steady home on the roads.
Thursday morning called for the next 05h15 start, another 8.5km. Then again it was session time in the evening: Hills... Long hills, 7 x to the top (2:11 ave.) and I wasn't taking it easy on the way down!
Love Friday rests...
Bring on Saturday and the mountain, 3h11.27, 26.3km, 1298.5m climb...

I have some pictures:

top on Kloof corner

The view of where we had come from

Mark climbing the last bit of Platterklip
Ake, Will, Jayde resting at the top

That leaves Sunday: What does one do after 3 hours on the mountain? Well you line up for a hilly 21.1... It's a new race on the calendar, and they stuffed up having a 10km a walk and a 5km and it looked like they all joined up for bits of the route it was a mess for that section of the race. But wait there is more, the marshells sent us the wrong way so we went from 6 to 9 in 6min!!! losing 1.5km (a couple of guys lost another 3km). Now I was running for a time, and while in this mess they stopped us to let the cars go. I was not happy to yes the least as I was lying 2nd 40+ and the 1st 50+ was with me...
Moving on I crossed the finishing line and Mr. Garnim read 19.5km so I grabbed my finishing card and without slowing down I headed out on the road again till 21.1km. I stopped my watch just under 80min so I was happy.

I don't know what happened at prizegiving as I left and headed off to church. I hope they got things right and I hope I get my prize!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


In the dark at Registration:

Me at the top:

That is all we have...

Sunday, June 5, 2011


After a rest week it is always good to test yourself to see how the training is paying off. So after a week with only a couple (4) of easy runs I was ready to take on the world. Sunday morning my legs felt great, which was a good thing as I was lining up for the Table Mountain 16km race for the 22nd time. (since '89 I've only missed '90)

The start was delayed by 30min because the organizers didn't have the key to open the gate onto the mountain to get the few marshals up to their places. (SANP were running late) We sat in the car to stay warm (and dry as it decided to rain for a few minutes.) Then all to soon we had lined up and the gun went. Ake set the yearly pace and was soon joined by a guy running for Nedbank and one running for Bidvest. I was in 4th. I past Ake at about 1km and set my sights on the two guys up front. 1st I caught Mr. Bidvest, then I took Mr. Nedbank. Mr. Garmin told me that 1km was 4:18 and 2km 5:00. I was now out front and had to push home the advantage, 3km 5:28 (117m climb) and then to 4km 6:02 (125m climb). That took us past the bridge and with the hill all but over I had to pick up the pace. 4:31 to 5km (25:21). Only 300m to the king... I was 1st up in a time of 26:41. (my best time to here is 25:48, back in 2002) From here it is a short run to the dams, around and back. I was running hard trying to keep the gap. I was about to get a split as we crossed the dam wall, about 60 sec, would that be enough...

18:54 for the 5-ish-km around the top. I still had a lead, but Mr. Nedbank was catching. Mr. Garmin tells me that I went through 10km in 44:41, and now it was time to go down.

3:24, 3:21, but that wasn't faster enough, I was past just before the bridge and the steep down hill. Now 15 years ago I could run down hill and would have been knocking off sub 3's but not any more... 3:18, 3:12, 3:14, wait for it, I was caught by the 3rd placed guy with 1km to go so I had to settle for 3rd and 1st 40+.

My time of 63:00 was my fastest since 2007 and that was only 5 sec faster.

I'm happy with my form, and feel I had something to work with in my final build-up to my marathon.

Time to go big...