What is your background and how did you get involved in the IT industry?
I have always been involved with Information Technology of some sorts. I think it can be traced right back to primary school days when I owned a Commodore 64, which was a big deal in those days! I have just made an effort to keep up with technology as it progressed.
Why are you so passionate about your career?
I enjoy the challenges; I need them to keep me sane.
How did you get into running?
My dad started running in February 1982 and I followed in his footsteps.
You are not only a road runner, but also an accomplished cross-country athlete and a paddler. Tell us more.
I have completed three Comrades Marathons, earning a Bronze, a Bill Rowan and a Silver. I’ve also finished three Duzi’s and three Midmar Miles, and represented KwaZulu-Natal and Transvaal (now Central Gauteng) in cross-country.
Describe a typical day in your life.
I get woken up at 5am by my three-year-old son (if I’m not doing a morning run). I drop him off and then it’s about an hour’s drive to the office for me. I’m in the office round about 7:30. My day to day duties involve administrating SQL and OLAP servers, developing, testing and implementing Large Business Intelligence systems and dealing with user queries on existing systems. Some days are very stressful and I often have to meet very tight deadlines. I tend to do a bit of work at home each night and this is really productive time as I have no interruptions. Most work gets done under big pressure, but that tends to make me more productive, too. I leave work at 4:30, fetch my son and we are home by about 6pm. I usually help my wife with entertaining, feeding, bathing and putting our son to bed by 7:30, before I go for a run of 60 to 90 minutes. After a shower, we have dinner at about 9pm, after which I spend another hour or two dialled into the office. I’m usually in bed between 11 and 12pm.
How do you fit running into your busy life?
I run when it is dark and most people are either getting ready for bed, or are still fast asleep.
What do you see as the biggest obstacle to your running?
My ageing body is losing speed fast.
What is your greatest moment in running/sport?
I ran a sub-50 minute 15km at altitude in 1993 and a 2:40 marathon this year at the Maritzburg Marathon in February. I am very proud of both achievements.
Has running/sport influenced your career and work ethic?
Yes. I believe one can achieve good results from hard work, both in your career as well as in your hobby; after achieving a target result in athletics you are reminded of this.
Why do you enjoy running so much?
It keeps me healthy and out of trouble! I have made very good friends through athletics.
What is the best and worst advice you have been given with regards to running?
I have been given lots of both. Some good advice that is still fresh in my mind would have to be using Yasso 800s for marathon training. With this training method you can predict your marathon time based on how long it takes you to run a bunch of 800 metres. It worked perfectly in my recent build up to the Maritzburg Marathon. The worst advice would be to take painkillers on long races; I have seen it cause big problems for some friends.
What is the first thing you do after a morning run?
If I’m at the beachfront, I take a dip in the Indian Ocean.
What could you not go running without?
Shorts and shoes (if I’m not on the beach or track). I don’t really need anything else.
What are your future running/sporting goals?
I would love to earn my Green number at Comrades. Also, I turn 40 next year and would like to become fairly competitive as a veteran.
What would you say to someone who says that they don’t have time to exercise?
There are many ways to make time; I have tried a few and they all work – it just takes dedication. Here are a few tricks you can try:
• If you are not a morning person, have a late lunch at work and then get your run in around 7 or 8pm.
• Run very early in the morning. Join or start a group of similar running ability and similar time constraints as yourself. When you are committed to a morning run, you won’t want to drop your friends and will therefore show up on time. Before you know it, it will become an easy thing to do.
• Run to work, or back home, or both. This means no traffic stress and it’s good for the environment.
• Sneak in a run at lunch.