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In Praise of Park Runs

We live in the Mecca of long distance running. If you’re into spending upwards of three hours trotting along quiet Sunday morning roads, you could not pick a better country than ours in which to live. In the two and a half months from late January to Easter, Gauteng alone boasts more marathons than most countries put on in an entire year. Last Sunday, my local club had over two hundred people show up for the weekly 28km club run. That’s probably more than the global average field for organised races.

Giving Back

Some stern faced bureaucrat once thundered that with every right, comes an obligation. Similarly, in running, if you enter races, you owe it to yourself and everyone else to volunteer as a helper once during the year.

The Play's the Thing

“The play’s the thing, in which to catch the conscience of the King” - Hamlet

Sprinting Towards the Light at the End of the Tunnel

It’s a funny sort of period for running, this. We’re still too early to get our teeth into the new year’s training programs, work is getting busy and our focus is far more likely to be on the December holiday than our next track session.

Short Blankets

I was asked a curious question the other day. “Do I, like ‘normal people’, run along solving the world’s problems and looking at the scenery, or am I always analysing clouds?” I didn’t really know where to start with this.

I Love to Timetrial

I love to timetrial. Nothing better defines everything that is good and noble and true about running than the weekly club night at your local AC. A group of athletes, ranging from some serious speed merchants in their provincial squad colours, all the way down to a couple of ladies, a pram and two small dogs.

Bus Boys

One of the massive disadvantages of being a good deal slower than I would have expected to be at this age, is that I am now running in among the pacing buses. Now I like a good sing along and a natter with my mates as much as the next guy, but there is something about the organised groups with the flags and the song sheets that set my teeth on edge.

Lose the Watch

A few weeks ago, I found myself having breakfast at an hour to midnight. Chicken soup, bananas and a Snickers bar, washed down with an award winning east African filter coffee, heretically mixed with hot chocolate for the occasion.

Braam

I’m quite impressed with Braam Malherbe. For those of you who aren’t sure, Braam will have made it onto your radar in one of two ways in the last couple of years. At the moment, he is 50|50’s resident action man, traipsing barefoot around the Peninsular, saving puffadders from little old ladies and being nice to spiders

Commuter Revolution

It’s 6am in London and I’ve just got back from an epic morning run. The reality of business travel is that you land up living in two time zones at once, so I had been up since 3am Greenwich Mean time in order to cover my radio commitments back home, and then trotted out for a run without fully realising quite how early it was

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What must it be like to be an Idols contestant? I’m not talking about the Kelly Clarksons of the world or the guys who know they’re hopeless but are keen to see whether the rude one, Adolph, or whatever his name is, is actually a human being or not. The folk who captivate me are the people who march in there, absolutely convinced that they are God’s gift to Sony Records when in fact they are… how to put this nicely… crap.
So I'll have fun, fun, fun...
I’m fundamentally lazy. In fact I’d go as far as to say that of the sub-set of ‘3:30 in the morning’-rising, multiple job-holding, ‘2 kids and a house’-missioning guys, I am easily the laziest. Well, was. About a year ago, I was out running and came across a family on mountain bikes, meandering along the river path on what was clearly a social ride. I had to confess my admiration for families who are prepared to engage in such activity of a Sunday morning when any sensible person is in bed with the paper and a bacon roll. 
Ignorance of the Lore is not a Defence
One of the clearest memories of a training run that I have is one that I ran during matric finals. We had just written Chemistry II and the only thing left between us and the endless summer was English Creative Writing so the books were essentially closed. My high school training partner and I laced up and went out on the school cross country course for the last time together.
Turtle Steps
Up here on the highveld, April smells like cross country season. It’s a hard-to-pin-down mixture of dust, Antarctic air and fear that pervades the running community and makes you realize that now is the time to haal uit en wys. I love the smell of April.
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