Archive for February 17, 2011

Peninsula Marathon

On Sunday I’ll be running the marathon which kicked off my marathon running career – the Peninsula Marathon.  When I first ran it in 2008 the route was from Green Point in Cape Town, to Simonstown along Main Road.  Said to be one of the fastest marathons in Africa it was quite surprising when the following year they changed the route to start and end in Simonstown which was also very challenging taking you up major hills with the ever-present South Easter keeping us at bay.

This year however, they have decided to change the route back to the old one.    The wind still plays a major role on this route, coming head-on if the South Easter is blowing, as it has been over the past few days – although thrashing would be a more descriptive way of trying to explain just how hectic the wind has been…

I’ll fill you all in on how it goes next week, I’m interested to see how things have changed since 2008 in terms of my running although, as always, I don’t think I’ve put enough effort into training but I guess this is just my default setting when it comes to long runs.

Peninsula 2011

Iron Man vs Ultra Runner

I have a few friends who do Iron Man – given what I went through on the one and only triathlon I did, I can safely say that I will never do it but I have seen that there is some rivalry between the people who do Iron Man and the people who do Ultra distance marathons.  Modern Athlete had this video they found on YouTube in their magazine this week depicting a conversation between the two disciplines – I couldn’t stop laughing!!

This video is a bit crass but very, very funny…

Marathon Checklist

I have quite a few friends running their first marathon this year which is really motivating and exciting for me to be part of.  A couple of questions have come up in terms of what to remember to take, especially if the marathon is not in your home town, so I decided to make a list for beginner marathon runners.  Feel free to add to it if you feel I’ve forgotten anything…



Make sure your laces are tied properly and that if it is a Champion Chip or timed race, that your timing chip is on – you will be surprised to know how many people forget these little things.

Running Shirt and pants/skirt/shorts

Secure your number onto your shirt the night before to make sure you don’t forget.  You should have done some long runs in your gear before marathon day to check for any chafe spots and comfy fits.

Hat and/sunglasses

I always run in a hat, it helps when there is wind and will stop it from raining right in your face if the weather decides to be miserable.


Make sure you smear a thick layer of Vaseline wherever your clothes might chafe you and on your feet in places you usually get blisters.

During the Race

GU or Energy Pack

I usually take one GU every 10km on a long run.  You will need to figure out what works for you.  I almost never take all of them because by the end they start making me feel a little ill but I do know some people who take them every 45 minutes.

Lip-ice (Lip balm)

I get very dry lips while I run so I like having lip-ice on hand.  This also doubles up as  lube if I start feeling my clothes snacking on my skin.


I usually take my iPod incase I can’t find anyone to run with or if I’m having a bad day, it just helps to motivate me and drowns out all the unhelpful noises in my head.


Ok this is something which some people frown upon (all non-runners) but if something comes up which doesn’t feel serious then a painkiller usually just dulls it until the end, like ITB or sore shoulders.  You have to drink lots of water if you take any, so keep that in mind.  I haven’t taken a painkiller in ages but I do take them with me just in case.


Recovery Drink

I have written about recovery drinks before.  At the moment I’m using Hammer’s Recoverite but if I don’t have that then it’s a strawberry/chocolate milkshake.  I have also been known to have a beer but I’d recommend having a proper recovery drink or Rehydrate within an hour of finishing.


This is for any chafe you may have gotten and only realised you had once you got in the shower – you’ll know what I’m talking about if you have every had stealth chafe before.


There are usually massage tables with physio’s at the end of the bigger marathons so try and get in to one of those when you are done – the difference it makes is amazing.  You also want to try and get a rub-down before your legs start getting stiff otherwise it’s too sore.  I usually book a massage for a couple of days after a long race just to loosen the muscles again and to make sure all the lactic acid has drained so that my legs don’t feel heavy.

2011 Knysna Marathon Entries

On your marks…

Get set…

Ok, don’t go just yet the entries only open on the 1st of March this year so make sure you diarise that date and enter on the day if you plan on doing the half marathon.

The Knysna half marathon has become such a popular race that if you snooze you will literally not get an entry, so make sure you set a reminder for yourself.  You can find out more information off of the event website here.

If however you don’t want to rush then do the marathon with me 🙂  We can basically enter the day before (don’t take my word for this) because although this is said to be one of the most beautiful marathons, it is also rather hilly so as you can imagine, not many takers.  I am of course doing it because I’ve been threatening to for ages now so this is the year.

The race is only on the 9th of July so you have ample time to get into shape!!

Here is the half marathon profile for those who want to do the race:

Knysna half marathon

Power Balance Bracelet Conclusion

Last year I wrote about the Power Balance Bracelet here and here.  Since then I’ve heard people knock it and I’ve seen people (some very good friends of mine) wearing it so I’ve basically just kept my mouth shut waiting for what usually happens when something is a scam – of course the proverbial poo hitting the fan etc etc, and of course it did.

In Australia the Power Balance people had to publish on their website that:  “We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims”, and they had to offer refunds to anyone who wanted their money back.

In LA a class-action was brought against Power Balance Bracelet and in Italy they had to pay a 300 000 Euro fine for false advertising.  Of course this is all probably just a drop in the ocean when you look at the profits they must have made off of this.  In South Africa the bracelet cost R500 and a leading sports store said that it was the best selleing item they had.

So what about those who DID feel something?

This isn’t to say that they are lying or all delusional – the Placebo effect is comes into play here.  This is the theory that if you just believe something works, you will feel the effects, so really what the Power Balance Bracelet is, is a lucky charm.  What I’m saying is that if you feel like it works for you then wear it.  If however you don’t really feel anything except the effects of not wearing your lucky knickers then bring those babies back into action, at the end of the day you must do whatever you feel works, just be a little more discerning when it comes to what people have to say about products which apparently have super powers…

Running Super Powers