So what do you do when you’ve shattered the Comrades Marathon women’s record, won the Two Oceans Marathon in near-record time, and posted the fastest marathon by a South African in years? You go after the SA Marathon record… and you don’t let a global pandemic get in the way. That’s what Gerda Steyn did in the recent London Marathon. – BY SEAN FALCONER
They call it South Africa’s toughest mountain race, a life-changing adventure, and that’s why the K-Way SkyRun 100km is on many a trail runner’s bucket list, and winning it is one hell of a feather in the cap of any runner. And that makes it all the more impressive that Lucky Miya will be going after a third win this November. – BY SEAN FALCONER
Under Armour is looking for an elite group of long distance runners to join their families of athletes. They know that the rules of engagement have changed, and get that it takes a lot more than sponsorship to build a champion. Submit your application and you could be part of an inspiring group of runners to help you stay motivated and in the lead.
“If distance is your calling, speed is your stride and the podium your destination, you are an Elite Runner.
Apply here to become a part of Under Armour’s Elite group of runners who enjoy the benefits of product and support from one of the best performance brands in the world.
IS RUNNING SOMETHING YOU WERE BORN TO DO?
Is it the beat of your heart, the sharp point of your being?
Do the Kilometres build-up effortlessly in order to define the sweet moment of victory?
Because only you know what it takes to be the best, and being in the front is the only place to be.
Under Armour is Looking for an ELITE group of runners to join our family of athletes.
Because the rules of engagement have changed and it takes more than a sponsorship to build a champion.
WHAT DO I NEED TO QUALIFY IN ORDER TO BE AN ELITE RUNNER?
WHAT WILL I RECEIVE AS A PART OF THE UA ELITE GROUP
WHAT IT TAKES:
Do you qualify to be one of Under Armour’s Elite Athletes? This is what it takes:
Athletes must have run in a minimum of four official South African marathons per calendar year for the past two years. Be registered to an official running club.
Able to run in accordance with the following distances and times:
- Half Marathon:
- Female – sub 1h20
- Male – sub 1h05
- Full Marathon
- Female – sub 2h50
- Male – sub 2h25
- Ultra Marathon (Comrades Time or Similar)
- Female – sub 7h00
- Male – sub 6h10
What You Get
Successfully appointed Elite Athletes will receive the following:
- R20 000 worth of Under Armour gear per running calendar
- R5000 worth of race entries and support per calendar year
- Ad hoc seeding to the latest Under Armour Run technologies for product testing
- An athlete card which gives access to all Under Armour gear at MVP prices (45% off of the retail price of Under Armour Footwear and 50% off the retail price of Under Armour Apparel/accessories)
Not only have we revamped our look and feel in our September edition, we have also included a new ‘Live Well’ section, providing amazing advice from phenomenal trainers, nutritionists and life coaches! This section is all about living your best life, and we have specifically brought in contributors that offer something relatable to all people. (And we still have all the inspirational ‘people stories’ that you love.) Check it out by reading the magazine below!
The newest edition to the Huawei smartwatch family, the HUAWEI WATCH FIT, offers a device that really has something for everyone. Our Marketing Director Roxanne Martin, a sporadic 5km runner, cycling lover, mom of a three-year-old, working 10-hour days entrepreneur, put the watch through its paces to see how it faired in her busy lifestyle.
I’ll be totally honest: I love getting something before anyone else. It’s like getting a pass to a secret party that no-one else knows about! So, when the new HUAWEI WATCH FIT landed on my desk a month before it ‘officially’ launched in SA, I was more than excited to put it through its paces.
Unboxing is ‘Almost’ my Favourite Part
I think it’s part of the human psyche to get excited when you get to open something new, and it was no different unboxing this watch. First impressions on any product are important, so here is what stood out immediately for me:
- The watch design is sleek – it makes an immediate statement – and being rectangle with rounded edges, it gives you the advantage of having a ‘bigger’ screen without taking over your whole wrist. I appreciated how ‘understated and stylish’ it is.
- The light pink strap is a beautiful colour, while being versatile enough that it literally can be worn with anything – and yes, this is important to women.
- Taking it out the box, I was surprised just how light the watch is. In fact, it was so light that when you put it on your wrist, the only way you actually know you are wearing anything is when you look down and see it on your wrist.
I immediately started setting it up, which was as simple as downloading the Huawei Health App and syncing it to my phone, and after a simple update, the watch was synced. Having an iPhone, I was worried about the process, as Huawei is android-based, but I had no issues, and the watch was able to sync with no issues. It even gave me a comprehensive list of notifications that I could select to receive if I wanted to, which I appreciated, as you don’t want every app pinging your wrist every five seconds.
Features and More Features
I love versatility, and this watch offers a lot. In the set-up alone, I did a stress test, measured my SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) and read more about what my sleep actually meant. I wanted to charge the watch fully, as they claim the battery lasts 10 days and being a little sceptical of such claims, I wanted to test this properly. Good news is that the charging took literally no time at all, just over 30 minutes to get to a full charge.
The sleep monitoring really appealed to me, because with a three-year-old and hectic work schedule, my sleep is not great, and my present watch needs to charge at the end of the day, so no chance of sleep monitoring there! Excited to start, I dutifully went to sleep with my watch on my wrist, which thanks to its lightweight didn’t impact my sleep, as I am a light sleeper (no pun intended). After a week of sleep monitoring, I had amazing new insight into not only how many hours I was sleeping, but also how much REM sleep, light sleep and deep sleep, I was actually getting.
The app is incredibly helpful in explaining how much of each type of sleep you should be getting. My deep sleep is low and thus my sleep point score is low, which explains the fatigue I have been feeling. Also, I am now trying to deal better with my stress and anxiety, which is helping my sleep, and this is also thanks to what the watch told me, which in turn prompted me to investigate this important aspect of sleep-management. I would recommend the watch to everybody just based on this feature alone!
Your Own Personal Coach
Gym and exercise have altered a lot since we went into the Lockdown period, with many of us following online exercise programmes, as our ‘normal’ just wasn’t available. So, when I was told the watch featured a workout guide with actual visuals, I was excited – and I was not disappointed when I used it. Not only are there guided cross-fit workouts, but there are also guided running workouts as well as what feels like a million different workout types, covering literally every sport known to man!
The fitness courses are anything from three minutes to 18 minutes, and range from a simple reenergise session to neck and shoulder relaxation for us who sit hunched over our desks for too long. The visual is an animation of a man I now call Steve, who gives you a demonstration of how to do the movements, which was a game-changer for me. Sometimes we are excited to get going with exercise, but we perhaps don’t get the fundamentals right of the correct technique, which could lead to injury. Steve changes that in a big way, as the animation shows the movement clearly, and with enough time to really see how you should be doing it.
The guided workouts give you a demo followed by a countdown, and then a vibration counter to let you know how many reps to do. I did everything from a simple desk exercise to a rather hardcore ab workout. Also, having done cross-fit for six years, I was impressed that you can get in a good workout, safely and with correct technique, without the worry that you may pull something or do damage to joints. There is presently a total of 12 courses, giving you enough combos to work with to get two proper workouts in a week, which is generally my goal.
On the running side it was also great. I have been focusing on cycling on the indoor trainer during lockdown, as it’s not always ideal running alone, and so I enjoyed getting back into running by following the training programmes on the watch. This gave me a constructive guide to get going again without pushing me past where I should have been running as yet. I have gone too hard, too soon in the past, and my knees did not thank me. This watch puts the control on your wrist, and by listening, I found I got stronger a lot faster.
Things that I really liked…
When exercising, the activity screen shows you what heart rate zone you are in, which is incredibly helpful when you should be focused on long slow mileage training and keeping that heart rate down between zones two and three.
I used the GPS tracking during a four-hour bike ride out in the Cradle, it didn’t even use 20% of the battery, so when they say the battery can last up to 10 days, they are telling the truth, and that is even with activities and notifications.
What I didn’t like…
The one and only problem – and I really stress that word only – that I had with the watch was the step counter. In comparison with my other watch, there was a considerable difference in steps, with the Huawei coming in lower, but in retrospect, this could simply be down to the watch being more accurate on steps and not an actual fault. I’m giving the watch the benefit of the doubt here because it impressed me in every other way.
Would I buy it?
While this watch offers a similar ‘package’ to other smartwatches in terms of functionality, I believe that the app gives you a lot more insight into important health factors that are helpful in our busy modern lifestyles. And at a suggested retail price of R2999, the HUAWEI WATCH FIT offers a package that is hard to match, let alone beat in terms of what you get for your money. I would therefore buy this watch, as I feel it provides tremendous value for money as well as a host of features that support my lifestyle. It definitely gets my thumbs up for the Christmas List. (That’s a subtle hint for my hubby…)
Click here to check it out for yourself
Win with the Two Cities Ultra Marathon!
The Two Cities Ultra is giving two of it’s runners the chance to win a HUAWEI FIT WATCH! All you need to do to out yourself in the running to win is enter the race! Yes it’s that simple! Click on the banner below to go to the race website and enter today.
Run your way out of Lockdown for a chance to win one of 300 pairs of ASICS running shoes and a trip to the 2021 Paris or Tokyo Marathon, by entering the ASICS x Virtual Run!
Amidst the isolation of lockdown, the world has fallen in love with running – that is, according to the findings of a new, ongoing research study by ASICS. More importantly, the research shows nearly three-quarters of runners around the world plan to stick with their new exercise routine. And out of this study was born an initiative, a series of virtual runs, to help people get moving and guide them in their newfound love for running.
Take note, however, that this Virtual Run is unlike any of those you’ve done before. It’s a six-week programme – see it as your motivation to get back out there and in hot shape for summer – with six levels to unlock as you progress, one each week starting now in September and running into October. And with that comes 300 pairs of ASICS shoes up for grabs, plus a trip to either the Paris or Tokyo Marathon in 2021, plus tons of other gear from our partners, so sign up here to kick your running into high gear!
The World Loves Running
The study, which ASICS is conducting to better understand and support the changing needs of runners, spoke to 14,000 regular exercisers[i] across 12 countries. It found that:
- Since the start of lockdown, more than a third (36%) of regular exercisers are more active now than before – despite most sports being brought to a standstill by social distancing measures.
- 79% of runners say running is currently helping them feel saner and more in control, and 65% of runners say its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise; and
- 73% of runners want to keep running as much as they are now after this pandemic ends.
Meanwhile, figures from the fitness-tracking app, Runkeeper™, show that runners of every level are clocking up more strides, more often. During April 2020, the app saw a 252% rise in registrations globally and a 44% increase in monthly active users compared to the same time last year. It also reported a 62% spike globally in people heading out for a weekly run. Put in context, in the days around Global Running Day during our national lockdown, there was a +47.3% (globally) increase in people running compared to last year.
The study also reveals that for the majority of people, this activity surge is down to more than just physical health. Two-thirds (67% globally) say exercise helps them cope mentally when faced by challenging situations like this pandemic, and eight in ten (79% globally) runners insist that being active is making them feel saner and more in control. A similar number (81% globally) say running is playing a key role in helping them clear their mind while two-thirds (65% globally) insist its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise.
Furthermore, runners across the board are keen to keep their active habits going when this crisis is over. Nearly three-quarters of runners (73% globally) say they want to continue running as much as they are now after the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end while seven in ten (70% globally) people who exercise regularly are determined to hang on to the important role sport and movement is currently playing in their lives. Perhaps most encouragingly, among those who only took up running after the COVID-19 crisis started, nearly two thirds (62% globally) say they plan on sticking with it in future.
Helping South Africa Run
With all this wonderful, healthy running momentum, ASICS has launched its ASICS x Virtual Run. You can see it as your motivation to get back out there and in hot shape for summer, and a great challenge to add to your lockdown running programme. Six levels to unlock, running challenges to tackle, and amazing prizes to be won, including those 300 pairs of ASICS shoes up for grabs, an overseas marathon experience, plus tons of other gear from our partners. So sign up here to kick things into high gear, get moving and Feel the Difference with ASICS.
#VersusVirtualRun #FeelTheDifference #ASICS
SPAR Launches South Africa’s Most Beautiful Virtual Challenge!
SPAR is aiming to put some sunshine back in your life during these challenging times with the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge.
2020 has been a strange year, as the world struggles to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In South Africa, large gatherings have been banned until further notice, resulting in the cancellation of the six city SPAR Women’s Challenge races that make up the SPAR Women’s Grand Prix.
However, despite the cancellation of the ever so popular series, on September 26 2020, women who would normally be taking part in the SPAR Challenges are asked to #BeSunshine by taking part in the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. Supported by the SPAR Inland region, women from Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State, North West and Northern Cape will be able to enter South Africa’s most beautiful SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge with limited entries available for interested women in Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal.
Bringing the Sunshine Back
Women of all ages can run or walk any distance between 5km and 10km between six in the morning and six in the evening, and then post about their experiences on any platform, using the hashtags #BeSunshine or #SPARVirtualChallenge.
“2020 was meant to be a year of celebration, as we marked 30 years of our involvement in women’s road running,” said SPAR Group Marketing Executive Mike Prentice, adding, “We know that thousands of women look forward to taking part in the SPAR Women’s Challenge races and their associated Fun Runs each year, and so we have decided to run a virtual challenge to give women something to look forward to and a motive to exercise.”
Taking on World Records!
Mike wants to go big, “We also want to try to set a Guinness world record for the biggest women’s virtual challenge. Our target is 30 000 entries,” while also highlighting an important cause he adds, “We will also be giving hope and assisting survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) at the same time. GBV is a scourge in South African society and appears to have worsened during the national lockdown. We at SPAR want to do something to help the survivors, and all the money received from entry fees will be used to help them.”
Race Ambassador Philicity Reeken (Jacaranda FM presenter, actress and GBV survivor) applauded SPAR in their strong stance against gender-based violence. “I’m so happy to see SPAR turn a spotlight on the scourge of GBV in this country and use their platform to support women.”
This Challenge is for Everyone
Entry to the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is R50, and for every entry, SPAR will donate a food parcel to a GBV survivor. Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels will coordinate the distribution of the food parcels. Each entrant will also receive a limited-edition race t-shirt, a lightweight buff, and a race magazine.
Ambassadors Lend Their Support
There will be thirty ambassadors invited to promote the message and goodwill of the challenge. One of these is Rene Kalmer, who has been running in the SPAR Women’s Challenge 10km races for more than half her life and is also the first to win three SPAR Grand Prix titles. “I love the Sunshine theme,” says Rene.
“The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge colour yellow symbolises happiness, optimism, and positivity. These have been dark days and we all need a little sunshine. It is also time for the athletes to give back to SPAR, who have supported us for the past 30 years. My fellow athletes and I will give the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge our full support,” says Rene, adding, “I am pregnant and will be well into my pregnancy by September 26, so I will be shuffling rather than running, but you can bet my family and I will be taking part and spreading some sunshine.”
Captain of the SPAR Proteas netball team, Bongi Msomi, is another ambassador, “I have taken part in SPAR Women’s Challenge series for the vibe and the party feeling, so I am excited to be an ambassador for the virtual challenge,” says Bongi, adding, “GBV is a serious problem in South Africa and it is time we send messages to everyone, not just men, that it is not acceptable. I am happy to help survivors of GBV.” Bongi said the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge would send a positive message at a time when people needed some sunshine in their lives.
How Do I Enter?
It’s simple, click on this link, www.sparvirtualchallenge.co.za which will take you to the 2020 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge website where you can enter!