running

Two Oceans Marathon

Pretty much a year ago I completed my first Ultra-marathon – the Two Oceans Marathon, the world’s most beautiful marathon. A gruelling 56km run through Cape Town, including over 1000m of climb. It was a brutal yet exhilarating experience. It is difficult to explain the conflicting emotions between joy and pain that I experienced during the last 15k or so.

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At around 40k – I was in a lot more pain than I was showing

Well, I am running it again this year. Tomorrow to be exact. 10999 people will be joining me on my run, and another 13000 will be running the half-marathon.

But the route is amazing. You start outside the brewery in Newlands, run down to Muizenberg (almost past my house), down the coast to Fish Hoek, across to Noordhoek, then over Chapman’s Peak. This is the first big hill and where some say the race really starts. Then into Hout Bay where you hit the marathon mark, up Constantia Nek (the big scary hill), and then down about 10k past Kirstenbosch Gardens to the finish on the UCT rugby fields.

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Crossing the finish line last year

Last year there was a course diversion over Ou Kaapse Weg – a brutal 7km climb, so in theory this year’s route is a little easier. I hope I am ready; I have certainly done the training. So here’s hoping for a great run.

Olympic stadium

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This is the Olympic Stadium from the 1896 Olympic Games, on the site of the original games. It was also recently used for archery in the 2004 games.

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Of course, I had to run a lap around the track (which you are allowed to do). This is me in my Cape Town Marathon shirt and Luna running sandals, which seemed kind of fitting.

Chapman’s Peak – just before the fire

Earlier this year I posted photos of the fire that devastated our mountains. The good news is that the plants seem to be recovering well, and parts of the mountain have already been reopened.

The day the fire started I was meant to run over the mountains, so I ran this alternate route to Chapman’s Peak instead, little knowing that just a few hours later it would be on fire as well.

You still cannot run sections of this road (well at least you are not supposed to).\

I remember it howling with wind and being freezing cold, but I am glad it is coming right slowly.

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The view to Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak

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At Chapman’s Peak

Silvermine open after the fire

Silvermine West is once again after last year’s fire. So I could finally go running on one of my favourite trails – up the old wagon trail to the dam and back. The devastation from the fire is saddening – there is not a single part of the trail where you don’t see massive fire damage.cds-IMG_2912

But the good news is the regeneration. It will take a long time to get back to how to it was, but regrowth is clearly happening.

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2000km running

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I just hit the 2000km running mark this year, and what better route to celebrate than a run though the trails of the Constantia Green belts up to the mountain and back?

This bridge was just about at the 2000km mark. Although strangely enough I have never crossed it – my route turns left at the bridge to continue down towards Alphen.

More good news on the running front is that the West side of Silvermine has been reopened after the devastating fires last year, so a recon run is definitely in order.

Finally I hope you all had a great Christmas, see you in the new year.

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