Running for Two

Two Oceans, Two Runners, Two Goals

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CHASING SILVER

Tim
Low (42) of the Pinelands Athletic Club will line up for the 56km Two Oceans ultra
looking to run at an average pace of around 4:15 minutes per kay, which should
see him home in just under four hours and earn him one of the most coveted
silver medals in South African road running. That will also bring him a PB by
some 30 minutes, given that his best Two Oceans time is 4:28:38, run in 2001,
the last time he tried to go for silver.

 

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“That
year I got to the marathon mark in 2:57, and decided I wasn’t going to make it,
so I had a very enjoyable, easy last 14km. I also managed to win the club’s
predict your time challenge… I had predicted two times, 3:59 or 4:29, so I
completely cheated by stopping to chat for about five minutes at the club tent
alongside the finish straight!”

 

Tim
has 13 Oceans medals to his name, proudly wears Blue Number 3530, and has run
as a pacesetter in the ultra several times. Last year he led the sub-5:00 bus
home in an apparently well-judged 4:58:36, but says it was not so good. “I s
aid I was going to run at
a constant pace the whole way, including the hills, but that meant most people
couldn’t stay with me, because most need to go slower over the hills in the
second half. By the time Constantia Nek came, most people had dropped off the
bus, so when I was interviewed by the SABC at the top, their first question
was, ‘Where is your bus?’ I had to tell them the wheels came off at the bottom
of the hill.”

 

Tim
works as a senior lecturer in the Education Development Unit at UCT,
specialising in statistics and mathematics, and recently won a UCT Distinguished
Teacher Award. Now he jokes, “I’ve reached the pinnacle of my career and it’s
all downhill from here… hence me looking for new goals, including in running. I
want that silver medal.
I am nervous about committing my goal to paper, because at
the end of day, I run for myself, and for my enjoyment, but it’s nice to have
goals to aim for.”

 

THE NERVOUS NOVICE

Matthew
Zoutendyk (37) of Durbanville says his reason for wanting
to run his first half marathon at Two Oceans is quite simple: “The
21st
of December is supposed to be the end of the world, according to the Mayan
Calendar, so I want to know I can outrun a tidal wave. Or a traffic jam!”
Seriously, though, his long-term goal is Ironman 2013, so he is gradually
building up his road running, and the Oceans 21km will be another step in that
process.

 

To date he
has run two 10km races, the first of which proved quite eventful. “I was
running with two married girl friends who took it upon themselves to point out
all the girls I should be meeting, which I thought was quite decent of them.
But while I was admiring the mobile scenery around me, I managed to run into a
park bench, and there was a bit of blood spilled. I prefer telling people I was
attacked by a big dog while trying to save somebody – makes for a much cooler
war story!”

 

Matt is the
owner (and chief coffee-maker) of Vestifusion,
an insurance think-tank company that also brokers policies through a call
centre with some 200 operators. He also spent some years as a semi-professional
road biker, including a stint riding in France,
and has eight sub-3:00 Argus Cycle Tour finishes to his name and has also done
the Cape Epic. He now lives on a wine estate just
outside Durbanville, where he does most of his training, doing three 6-8km runs
during the week and a longer run as well as a mountain bike ride on the
weekend.

 

He says his
goal for the Oceans Half was initially to finish in two hours, but he has now
shifted that back a wee bit to 2:15. “I have never experienced 21 kays before,
and I’m scared of Southern Cross Drive, dehydration, and cramping, and being
attacked by squirrels going past Kirstenbosch. Seriously though, you need so
much more prep for running than riding, and you can’t freewheel or let the pack
carry you along. So I’m just going to go out and give it my best go.

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