2014 Old Mutual Two Oceans 23.5km Long Distance Trail

First attempt, Second attempt and finally I got it! It took me two years to lift the OLD MUTUAL Two Oceans Long Course Trail Race floating trophy. I was so glad to be in Cape Town again (my second time) after African X and seeing my friend and team mate Kane Reilly waiting for me at the airport. He was over the moon when he saw me because it brought lot of joy to both of us when we raced together.  Spending some time with him was fun and learned lot of things from him.

Came race day we were both nervous, on our way to UCT we were playing Jason Derulo on repeat. Doing high profile trail races in South Africa with former African X champ Ben Brimble, Feather Bed 15km Record holder, Otter African trail race top five finisher, Kane Reilley and Lucky Mapepane from Gauteng, it gives me goosebumps because I knew that our race was going to be fast and furious. I was looking forward to break my previous record but also a little scared at the attempt.

When the gun went off, it was four of us in front, accompanied by Dion Meddelkoop, Christian Gryling and Eddy Lambert for the first few kilometers. Kane was looking sharp and strong. We broke away from Ben and Lucky around 4km towards the donga. We were cruising @3.50-4m/km. As we approached 6km Kane broke away from me on a steep heel till we reached stairs.

I said to myself that I am not going to panic and I kept on dragging myself till I reduced a gap to 10m. When we reached the last long stairs @8km I was forced to walk quite few stairs while Kane was running all the stairs and he manage to increase the gap. It was quite challenging to climb a distance that you've never done before or done a long time ago.

When I compare Pretoria to Cape Town it is comparing speed humps to mountains. At the top of Devil's Peak I increased my pace untill I started to feel dizzy confusing me as my GU nutrition intake was according to my racing chart. I re-motivated myself and stuck to my racing plan. It was very tough but I kept on moving. I said to myself “I’m the master and you’re my body so I’m not going to let you control me you’re are going to listen to me”.  I was forced to take 4 GU Chomps at once with Roctane Drink and gell.
 
@14km towards the Block house, on a rocky cliff I caught Kane because we were forced to walk but we never walked that part. We started to run together again towards Newlands forest, which is my favourate. Kane said to me “good luck Magic Madiba”. I started to feel good but I held back. I decided not to brake away because I was scared that I might blow as I was not feeling to good a few kilometers back. Kane looked very strong. I ran with him till 16km where he had a very big fall after last steep climb. I stopped and checked if he was ok. He stood up and said “let’s go Bra Madiba”

I am so delighted with my Bryton Cardion 60 GPS watch it kept on beeping and vibrating at every kilometer and every 5 minutes. It really helped me with my nutrition intake and to have a good race.  I knew when to take it easy and when to push hard. @17km I felt dizzy again and said to Kane that I’m not feeling to good and he may leave if he wants to. Most of the time when we race together we communicate and work together till the end. He made a very hard move and I felt that I was no longer running comfortably. I was kind of sprinting. That’s when I recalled my coach’s words (Nico Sterk) while we were chatting a few days before the race.

He said to me “you will do well because you have a strong head”. I gained some strength and I chased for about 2km till I closed the gap.  Fortunately we were approaching a long down hill on a jeep track. A new addition to the course.
I felt better because I knew that I have an advantage when it comes to down runs. Especially technical down runs.

I was almost fully recovered so I decided to relax. We were running at a pace of 3min/km and below. We ran together till 3km to go when I decided to make my move as we approaced the last short gentle hill. When I looked back I realized that the gap was increasing but Kane was chasing very hard. I also experienced a very bad fall on top of second last short hill.
I thank lady luck for being on my side and I landed with my right knee and my rhythm was also affected I had to hit a fartlek for few meters after my fall.

I felt that I won when I approached OLD MUTUAL green mile in UCT rugby stadium and at the end 47sec separated me and Kane, with Lucky Mapepane in 8min behind us to take third position.

My goal and dream was to break the previous record but due to 1.5km extra I clocked 1:46:16, 1:33 outside the previous record set by Bernard Rukadza, the added length of the course would have been worth at least 5min for both Kane and I.

I had to dig very deep to take the victory. I was thinking about all my sacrifices and my preparation while racing.
Running home after 10hrs night shift every morning, spending the whole weekend training, long hours on my bike, running to work every morning leaving home in the dark and coming back at night
after cardio work outs in the gym. Those are some of the things that really motivated me while I was drifting behind.

I believe that everything starts with hard work, the rest will follow.
I am also happy and take my hat off for Kane’s performance he controlled 80% of the race while I had to chase almost the whole race.
 
I thank Stanlib SA for giving me the opportunity to race all over South Africa, Salomon SA for making sure that I look unique from head to toe, GU Energy SA with best of the best nutrition, GM Fury Revovia - Bryrton SA for support and small piece of machine that is doing wonders. Bryton Cardio 60 GPS watch, Ballistic Bike Trading with a brand new Ghost 29r Mountain Bike that is really helping me with my long rides , ICEdot Africa for helping me to adventure responsibly with a ICEdot emergency wrist band, Sterk Span Academy with a rock solid training program and moral support from head coach Nico Sterk and cardio coach Jean Pierre Nortjie.

MEGA MEGA THANK YOU for making my running very simple and helping me to live my dream.

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