The 29 Minute Challenge

Have Your Say – February 2010


Stop the Litter
I must say that I share Elise’s view on campaigning to keep litter to a minimum at races (Have Your Say, January 2010 – Don’t mess with us!). Much of it is making novices aware and also reminding the rest. But I must admit that it can be quite challenging getting the empty sachet in the bin when racing against the clock for that elusive PB. One practical tip that I was taught at Celtics was to sew my front licence number onto my vest in a U – thus creating a pocket to place empty sachets. Works a treat! Make sure you leave only your footprints behind! – ELLIE COURTS, CAPE TOWN

Ed’s Reply: Great idea – and something all runners should start doing. Carrying that empty sachet to the finish, or at least to the next water table, is not that difficult, and won’t slow you down!


Come Visit Us
First of all I must congratulate you on what I think is fast becoming the leading source of information on athletics in South Africa. Secondly, we at Akasia Athletic Club have seen your reviews on various clubs and would like to invite you to perhaps do a similar review on our club, depending of course on your selection criteria. – FANUS VAN DER MERWE, CLUB CAPTAIN, AKASIA ATHLETICS CLUB

Ed’s Reply: We’re always looking for clubs to review, so rest assured we’ll keep you in mind for a future Club Focus article. Speaking of which, all clubs are welcome to send us info and contact details – go to the Club Focus section on and click on the Become a Contributor link.


Superior Rating
I picked up a copy of the November edition of Modern Athlete at the Tough One. Congratulations on a great magazine. This is so much superior to the other mags available.” – PETER KOEDYK, JOHANNESBURG

Ed’s Reply: Glad you like it.


Dry Runs
Please can you assist? We encounter race after race with no water at the watering points, no Coke, nothing. Just a shrug of the shoulders and sorry, next water point the same. This happened on the 10km road races on 31 December 2009, 1 January and 2 January 2010 in Pretoria. First race, no water at 3km and nothing at 6km. No Coke at 3km, 6km or 9km. Second race, no Coke at any water point. Third race, no Coke at any water point. Tokai 16km, 26 December 2009, lots of water and Coke at the water points… Only one cup of Coke per person at the finish! Strange with entry fees at R30…

We need to sort this out as I feel the runners at the middle or back of the fi eld pay the same as the
frontrunners. The 2010 Comrades is going to be big… some 22 000 people now enter road races every weekend in preparation for Comrades, so why don’t the clubs organising the races increase the water accordingly? Please, please, please! Maybe it is time to stop entering the races and run on your own, or even better, run with a friend and never have to worry about no water or poor watering points? – PETER BADENHORST, VIA E-MAIL

Ed’s Reply: Some organisers have been caught short by the sudden increase in numbers, running out of water and Coke as well as medals, but now that the trend for bigger fi elds has been shown to be consistent, we’re hearing about more and more organisers ordering more water and other race provisions. Hopefully you won’t have any more dry runs.


No More Itchy Feet
For all those who shower after races and are worried about fungal diseases in the change rooms, here is the most effective solution for the treatment or prevention of athlete’s foot. It is better than any over-the-counter tablets or creams and acts extremely fast. Soak your feet for 20 minutes, once or twice a week, depending on the severity of your infection, in apple cider vinegar. You will be amazed at the results. – SIMON, VIA E-MAIL

Ed’s Reply: I think we all feel safer now!


We Want More
A special thanks from all the members at Run/Walk for Life at Rondebosch and Milnerton in Cape Town. This is truly a fantastic and useful magazine, with all the important features for our walkers and
runners. We look forward to the coming editions of 2010. – NAOMI WILLIAMS, VIA E-MAIL

Ed’s Reply: We’ll keep on writing if you keep on reading!


Question Time
I love your new mag, especially all the stories about local runners that I can relate to and possibly even meet out on the road, but I have two questions to pose to the Modern Athlete team:

1. When are we going to have to start paying for it? I mean, you guys are producing such a great read, but it must cost a lot of money to produce it, print it and distribute it around the country.
2. When are you going to downsize it to a standard A4 size, like other mags? Part of me likes the bigger size, but part of me would prefer a smaller magazine. – JAKES, SOMERSET WEST

Ed’s Reply: Thanks for the positive feedback. Now to answer your questions, it’s quite simple: You’re not, and we’re not. In other words, the magazine will remain free, and the size will also stay the same. We like standing out from the crowd!


Generation Inspiration
Brilliant magazine! We, the runners, want a local publication concerning our running achievements, our heroes present and past, as very little is known of them because no publication documented much on our athletes’ lives, achievements, etc.

I loved the article on the Moloney generation runners (Moloney’s Memories, January 2010). How tough athletes were in those days. I have Wally Hayward’s biography, Just Call Me Wally, and loved every word written by the author. Please keep these past and often forgotten heroes in your publication, like Hardy Ballington, Jackie Meckler, Hosea Tjale, etc. I truly look up to these gritty characters of  yesteryear and their stories.

Ordinary runners and their stories are great. I am 34 years old and love the stories and harsh struggles runners of yesteryear had to endure to complete training runs, etc. True storytelling like the Moloney article; I had tears welling when I read about his bicycle travels to work and taking his kid to school. Wow! Would we do that today? What true role models. – DONOVAN GOULD, EDGEMEAD

Ed’s Reply: We were just as inspired by the Moloney article, which is why we gave it three pages in the mag! If you missed the November edition and want to read the article, go to and look for the article under the My Story section.


Inspiring Stuff
Very well done on the tremendous growth of Modern Athlete. Many friends and fellow runners have said very positive things about the magazine, and as you know, us runners never tire of reading good  articles about our sport. Loved the January edition’s Adrian Gore article and his stair-climbing antics at home, when waiting for his wife to fi nish things, and when travelling. Loved his positivity – if we all had that, life would be so great! And the Anthony and Thozama article – stunning, humbling and inspiring. – KATHY, CAPE TOWN

Ed’s Reply: Our goal with this magazine is to provide our readers with inspiring stories about local heroes, and letters like this tell us that we’re hitting the right note with you.