Thursday, May 15, 2014


4 May 2014, it was early Sunday morning with the threat of rain as drove out to Stellenbosch and through to Jonkershoek for the 36+km Mountain Challenge. I knew I was up for the Challenge, but was I up for a race!!!

We ran over that!

With the clouds heavy on the mountain we set off down the gravel road with Bernard setting the early pace. I found myself in the chase pack with 3 youngsters and 2 other old men... The race was on!  I had a great plan and round one was to back off and be running well at the end.

On the start line with Bernard

I let them go on the last 'flat' of the gravel road as they sped up but I found myself closing the gap on the climb. I was feeling great and full of running. We were now on the single track and the guys were flying... Easy does it Coach we will run them down in the 2nd half... Andrew came by in his 5 Fingers, mad I tell you my New Balance 1010's were great for grip and protection!.

Back to the race, and with about 12km gone I had taken one of the kids and it was time to venture into the clouds!!! The climb is only about 2.2km long with 500m climb, now the make things exciting the visibility was dropping with ever meter you climbed. The Kid didn't come with me and it wasn't long before I could see Derrick (a gorilla in the mist!) I past him and set about hunting down the next guy... But I couldn't see anybody! I don't think they were miles ahead, they were just out of sight.

Down load from Garmin

The top of the mountain is anything but flat and we had a couple more tops to reach. I wasn't tired and my legs were sore, they had just stopped working!!! So instead of flying along the flatter bits like the years of old, I run along like an old man. Derrick was running again and caught up again, I let him go knowing that I would catch him on the next climb... (OK I didn't) I was still climbing like a goat, but I could run down hill, and with most of the remaining 17km down hill I was in trouble!

I struggle down to the contour and thought I would pick up the running then, but that didn't happen, all the time guys were catching me. We had now dropped out of the rain and wind. Did I tell you it was like an Arctic storm up there? Well the wind was so strong I had to take off my hat at times! Back to the contour, and while it looked like I was out for a Sunday jog (I hate that word). The short route joined us and they were also passing me at will...

While it was lovely on the mountain enough is enough and I was ready to sit down and call it a day bring on the end. 4 hours 16 min later I was still running (not walking) or should I say jogging as I crossed the finish line!!! I had lost up to 45min in the 2nd half...

Are my days of racing over, is it time to put this old Goat out to pasture?

Now it's the middle of the year and I have lots of races still to run, they have been ended and I have a sponsor to make happy, so one week later I was back in my CONTEGO gear lining up for another Mountain race!!!

The Mast Challenge... 10km 800+m climb, a simply race up. Just how you get down is your problem!

Just Up

Big Steve, and some Kid took off at the start, so AJ, Craig and myself set off after them... AJ soon joined the guys at the front leaving Craig and I too our own battle. We started together till about 3.5km when there is a flattish bit and his leg speed took him clear of me... (the boy is really quick 3:57 for 1500m)

I pushed on up the Monster Hill...

Only half way
Got away from him
Up into darkness

After leaving the Monster behind I saw 'the kid' who had gone to fast and was paying big time...

The 2nd half of the race is tar and through the mist I took a split to Craig and called it 35 sec, but 5km and 400m climb is a long way... He disappeared as we climb higher into the clouds, the cap wasn't coming down I wasn't going to catch him!

Then I rounded a corner and saw Big Steve...(caught him) and I was now closing in on Craig, The road was running out, I needed another km of climbing to catch him, I had worked my way into 3rd (1st 40+) but was still 10sec off 2nd... AJ, well he had miles on us!!!

Fighting to the end
Time to rest before heading down

Steve made it up
After a run down, which in my case turned out to be an adventure on it's own... But I've said enough for one day...

Top 3


  1. no retirement for you Coach! who is going to keep the youth in check?

  2. Coach, if you retire, we're all dooomed!

  3. You won't retire - ever. When it's your time to go it'll be on a trail and probably during a race up a hill.