Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon Entries Open 1 November

The much-anticipated news has broken that entries for the Western Cape’s most prestigious road race and Africa’s biggest running event, the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon (TTOM), will open at midday (12pm) on 1 November 2022.

To enter, runners can go to the event website,, when entries open for their category or event draw, and click ‘enter here.’ Runners must first create a user profile, if they do not yet have one on the system, and then follow the prompts.

Fees, Licences and Tees

The 2023 entry fees have been ratified by the TOM Board, take note all South African runners for the Ultra need to be licenced athletes and belong to a running club. All TTOM 2023 Ultra and Half Marathon runners will receive a complimentary, high quality running T-shirt courtesy of title sponsor, Totalsports.

The pricing structure for entry fees will be the following:

Entry Type Ultra Half
Licensed SA Athletes R735 R390
Unlicensed SA Athletes n/a R390 + temp licence fee, to be confirmed by WPA
African Athletes R900 R725
International Athletes R2700 R1890


Ballot System for SA Entries

The ballot system will be retained for both the Ultra and Half Marathon for South African runners, in line with international best practice. Runners may enter only one event. The ballot opens on 1 November 2022 at midday and closes on 14 November at midnight. At certain stages of the ballots, the draws will be weighted in favour of various categories of runners, including Blue Number Club members, Yellow Numbers (those doing their 10th, 20th, etc) and club runners. The various rounds of the ballot draw all take place on 15 November 2022.

Runners entering via the ballot pay only once their name has been successfully drawn. Runners have until 5pm on 15 December 2022 (one month) to make their payment. Otherwise, the runner forfeits their entry and it will be allocated to another runner.

International and African entries open on 25 October 2022 and close when capacity is reached. International and African runners do not enter via the ballot system, and can pay for and secure their entries straight away. Last but not least, charity entries open on 18 November 2022 (at midday), and fees will be uploaded once final charity partners have been confirmed.

Qualifiers and Seeding

For the Ultra Marathon, runners need to run a standard marathon (42.2km) or a longer distance race on an officially timed and measured course, and any time posted from 1 July 2022 onwards can be used. The maximum allowed qualifying time for a standard marathon is five hours, and the race website contains a list of qualifying times for longer distances, at

The time submitted by runners will used to seed them into starting batches, with faster runners in the front and slower runners at the back. The cut-off date to submit your qualifier is 6 March 2023 at 5pm, and take note that the Race Office will be conducting spot-checks to verify qualifier information submitted. If you do not see your race on the TTOM entry system, you can e-mail for assistance.

In the Half Marathon, qualifying times are also used to seed you, so that faster runners start at the front and slower runners further back. We strongly advise you to provide a seeding time, otherwise you will unfortunately start at the back. Seeding is based on a previous 10km, 15km or 21.1km run after 1 July 2022, and again, the Race Office will be conducting spot-checks to verify qualifier information submitted. More info at

If You Have Questions…

For more information on entering or other race information, you can read the list of FAQs on the event website at, or you can contact the event office on 021 2000 459 (general queries) or 087 133 2285 (race-related queries), or email

New Era for Two Oceans Following Move Off Easter Weekend

The long-standing tradition of the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon taking place on Easter Weekend has come to an end, following today’s announcement by the Two Oceans Marathon NPC (TOM NPC) that the next edition of the Western Cape’s biggest road running event will take place on 15 and 16 April 2023.

This marks the first time since the fourth edition of the Two Oceans Marathon in 1973 that the race will not be held over the Easter Weekend, but on the following weekend instead. The race will be held over two days, with the 56km Ultra Marathon scheduled on Saturday 15 April 2023 and the Half Marathon taking place on Sunday 16 April 2023. (More thoughts on this below from the Modern Athlete team.)

Two-Day Format

The TOM NPC says its long-term plans to grow the capacity of both the Ultra and Half Marathon have made it necessary to adopt a two-day format. This was first implemented during the 2022 Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon, and will once again be the case for the 52nd edition of the Two Oceans Marathon in 2023. This provides the only feasible framework for accommodating the upscaled logistics requirements, with runner safety at the core of these considerations.

In turn, the two-day format necessitated the move away from the Easter Weekend, as agreed with various public, hosting and supplier stakeholders. Following consultations, negotiations and an agreement with the City of Cape Town, business stakeholders, and sporting affiliations, the date for the 2023 Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon has now been finalised as the 15th and 16th April 2023.

“After extensive consultations and negotiations, it is good to be able to provide the many runners – not least our international athletes – with the clarity they have been seeking,” says Two Oceans Marathon Chairperson, William Swartbooi. “Moving to a new date is never easy. While we can’t please everyone, we have tried our utmost to factor in all considerations – and there certainly were many. Building on the success of the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon 2022, we look forward to delivering an even better edition of our globally iconic race in 2023.”

He adds: ‘The move away from the Easter Weekend is a watershed moment for Two Oceans Marathon. It was not an easy decision, but a necessary one, in order to future-proof the event and gear it for growth. When the sum of all factors is considered, we believe we made the most practical decision we could in order to achieve best outcomes not only in 2023, but over the medium-term, and indeed the long-term future of the race.”

Mixed Reactions

The Easter Weekend trip to Cape Town has been a much-loved tradition for half a century, even more so since the Half Marathon and Fun Runs were added to the event programme in the 1990s, making it possible for the whole family to participate. Judging by comments on social media as well on within running club WhatsApp groups, the announcement of the new date has met with both strong approval and disapproval from the South African running community.

Some who approve say they are glad to see that the event will no longer clash with one of the most religious weekends on the Christian calendar, but some in the Muslim community have expressed disappointment that the 2023 date still places the Two Oceans within the Festival of Ramadan, making it extremely challenging to train for and participate in the event.

The most outspoken criticism has come from up-country runners, many of whom have said that the Easter long weekend made it possible to travel to the Cape for the race without it impacting too much on work commitments, whereas a normal weekend may prevent them from travelling next year. On the other hand, some have said the cost of flights may be lower if the race is not on Easter Weekend, which is traditionally one of the busiest periods for travel across SA.

Our Take on Things

The Modern Athlete team believes that in spite of some negative initial reactions, the running community will adapt and get used to the new norm for Two Oceans – just as the running community adapted to the Comrades Marathon moving off the 16 June public holiday and becoming a normal weekend event. It remains to be seen where (or whether) the Trail Runs, Fun Runs and International Friendship Run will fit into the event programme. These events used to take place on Good Friday of the Easter Weekend, but have not been held since the last pre-COVID edition of the race in 2019.

Also, we feel that many runners who are against this new date for the event may not comprehend the bigger picture, that the Two Oceans Marathon has to be slotted into an incredibly congested event calendar in the Mother City, and thus finding an open weekend is not as simple as it sounds. Around that time of year, the city also hosts the Cape Town Cycle Tour as well as many other sporting and cultural events, and we have no doubt that it took a lot of hard work for the race to arrive at the decision that the weekend of 15-16 April will be Two Oceans weekend.

From a tourism perspective, the move away from Easter may have some negative effects on the city. Studies in past years showed that the Two Oceans Marathon contributes up to R672 million to the local and provincial economy annually, making it Africa’s biggest running event when measured by this metric. This was partly due to entire families decamping to Cape Town for the Easter Weekend for the race, then spending the rest of the weekend, or even week, enjoying the Mother City’s attractions. We may now see less families travelling to the Cape for the event, especially if the Fun Runs are not reinstated for now, but we think that with time, the people will come back to the event.

Lastly, it has been widely reported that the 2019 and 2022 editions of the Two Oceans faced considerable challenges, on various levels, including widespread objections this year to the running of the Ultra on Easter Sunday. The 2023 edition will be an opportunity for the event not only to avoid a repeat of those objections, but to consolidate and focus on getting the essentials right, then build on that by growing numbers, reinstating supplementary events and activations, and more. In short, Team Modern Athlete is excited to see where the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon goes from here.

Road to Comrades with Dylan Rogers, part 4

Dylan Rogers is a sports journalist with Johannesburg radio station HOT 102.7FM and part of the Big Joburg Drive Show, which you can catch 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday on either 102.7FM or streaming on He’ll be running his first Comrades Marathon in August, after accepting a dare from a friend, who has pledged to donate R500 to charity for every kilometre of Comrades that Dylan is able to complete. This is the fourth of Dylan’s regular blogs about his journey to the Comrades.

So, a real range of emotions the past week or so, having picked up flu and sitting out training. At first, it was a relatively mild inconvenience and I didn’t mind the rest too much, but then the anxiety set in, before my mind was eased by coach Lindsey Parry, who told me not to sweat it – which is what I was obviously doing, both literally and figuratively.

So, back to feeling okay about missing training and enjoying the lie-ins, but then the weekend hit and my running WhatsApp groups lit up with pics, chats and video of the RAC 60km Long Run that I was due to run, and the fomo set in properly! Fomo, because I knew that all of those who got through that slog would now be so much more mentally prepared for Comrades, and I wasn’t.

That being said, I’ve been blown away by the encouraging words from so many different people, with just about everyone telling me not to fret and to remember the miles I already have in my legs. Sound advice, and it’s just going to take some tweaking from here, as I combine my taper with actually getting back on the road.

Perhaps even more frustrating is that I sit here feeling relatively fine, but with an annoying dry cough that just won’t go away and makes my head explode every time the latest bit of gob lodges in my throat and forces me to cough! (Sorry, I know it’s a bit gross.) It’s also meant I’ve had some ropey nights’ sleep, so that’s not ideal, either. Anyway, I’ve been urged to not rush back onto the road, and I think I’m naturally conservative, so I’ll heed the advice.

A Bit of Sad News

Was disappointed to hear one of my running mates, Byron Hardy, say this week that he’s pulling the plug on his Comrades campaign. I think the ‘Ginger’ has got a great base, but he also got sick a few weeks ago, and that put him out for two weeks, before he was away for another 10 days, and he’s not feeling up to it. So, I respect his decision.

All I can say, though, is that the two idiots who talked me into Comrades in the first place, Byron and Matt Archer, are now both out, leaving me on my own! I will miss Matt’s looks of fatherly disappointment when I tell him of my latest rookie running error, and Byron’s pep talks when I go to my dark places, particularly his reminders that running marathons is easy, compared to being Ukrainian and being bombed by Russians. Thanks, boys.

Road to Comrades with Dylan Rogers, part 3

Dylan Rogers is a sports journalist with Johannesburg radio station HOT 102.7FM and part of the Big Joburg Drive Show, which you can catch 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday on either 102.7FM or streaming on He’ll be running his first Comrades Marathon in August, after accepting a dare from a friend, who has pledged to donate R500 to charity for every kilometre of Comrades that Dylan is able to complete. This is the third of Dylan’s blogs about his journey to the Comrades.

So, I know it’s part of the journey, but it’s tough not getting anxious or worrying about your Comrades prep when you get injured or sick – particularly when you’re a novice. That’s what I’ve been dealing with recently, having picked up a bug the day after a big weekend that saw me clock up 18km on the Saturday and 33 on the Sunday.

That Sunday stretch with my mate, Karl, was tough, and I certainly felt it – I was pretty ‘done’ and rundown for the rest of the day. Perhaps no surprise that I picked up a bug the day after? It was just a reminder about the perils of training for Comrades through winter, which I guess I haven’t really noticed, because it’s my first one and I don’t have anything to compare it with. I think I’m lucky in that regard, because the more seasoned runners out there are probably asking, “what the hell am I doing training so hard in the cold and dark?”

Fortunately, Lindsey Parry talked me off the ledge, as my main concern was not being in the right shape to take on the RAC 60km Long Run, which is obviously a key part in my programme – perhaps more mentally than anything. As it stands, I’m unsure if I will line up, but feel more comfortable now, knowing that if I don’t, I will be back on the horse next week and getting stuck into my programme, with a long one at the end of it.

I see now why these long ones are so important, as not only do you have to get used to running on sore, tired legs, as I’ve alluded to before, but you’ve got to experience, endure and cope with the ups and downs of how you feel on these long runs. Sometimes it feels crap, and sometimes you feel great, but again, it’s the experience of knowing that this is all normal, and you’re not alone in feeling like this.

My concern remains my overall strength, and the strength of my legs, as I haven’t done as much of this kind of work as I would have liked, but all I can do is what’s possible. Again, another reminder that Comrades is a proper commitment, and it’s certainly not a piece of cake fitting it into other areas and commitments in your life.

Nonetheless, this week has been a sobering experience, and if I’m honest, I have enjoyed taking my foot off the gas slightly, not getting up early, and just parking my running, waiting for myself to get better. Am hoping my body will thank me for it and I’ll be properly back on the horse next week, if I can’t get to the start line at RAC. Onward and upward!


Ed’s World Champs Blog: Terrific 200s – Brought to you by PUMA

Right, I’m sitting down to write this World Champs blog just after watching two incredible 200m finals, which wrapped up the programme for day seven of the Champs in Eugene, and I’m still buzzing. – BY SEAN FALCONER

The 200m sprint often plays second fiddle to the 100m at the big meets, like Olympics and World Champs, because the shorter sprint is seen by many as the premier event of athletics, the one that gets all the media coverage, and crowns the king of athletics. Ask the average Joe spectator of the big athletics meets who won the 100m and they get the answer right, but the 200m? Chances are they won’t know. It’s not that the 200m is ignored or forgotten, it’s that the 100m just gets more hype and coverage. But there is something really special about the 200m.

Where the 100m is about raw speed and power (on top of the intricacies of starting, maintaining form, not tensing up, etc), the 200m brings in a tricky technical aspect with the running of the curve in the first half of the race, followed by the proverbial million dollar question: Which athletes can maintain top speed most consistently in for the second half. For that reason, watching the heat maps of each athlete in the live coverage was fascinating, seeing which athletes decelerated the least as they hit the last 50 metres. While running is (supposedly) a simple sport – you just one foot in front of the other as quickly as you can – there is also a fascinatingly intricate technical side to every event in the sport, from the 100m to ultra-distance races.

Local Hero Does Us Proud

Before I talk about the winners, I first want to say a few words about our own Luxolo Adams. I was absolutely thrilled to see him lining up for the men’s 200m final in an absolutely stellar line-up. As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, he has had an amazing season, breaking through the 20-second barrier and winning a Diamond League title in Paris, and now he’s appeared in his first global final. Just as is the case with Akani Simbine making 100m finals at this level, it’s a far cry from not so very long ago when we didn’t have any South African sprinters performing at that kind of level. Now to have a finalist in both the 100m and the 200m at this World Champs, added to other success the country has enjoyed in sprints and relays in recent years, really warms this South African heart!

I know some may point to the fact that Luxolo finished eighth out of eight finalists, and that his time of 20:47 was a little disappointing, given that he clocked 20.09 in the semi-final and ran that 19.82 less than a month ago, but one has to factor in that finals are super tense, with athletes making extra sure that they do not false start and get DQed after doing all the hard yards to make the final. Also, the final is usually the third race in jus ta few days for these athletes, so there is also a fatigue factor that can affect times. All that said, I choose to focus on Luxolo making his first global final, and I hope it is just the first of more to come.

Winners Totally Dominate

Now to the winners. In the women’s race, Jamaican Shericka Jackson proved that her 21.67 in the semi-final was no fluke as she went still faster in the final, clocking 21.45 to not only shatter her 20.55 PB, set in the Jamaican Champs less than a month earlier, but she became the fastest woman alive over 200m by clocking the fastest time since the late Florence ‘Flo Jo’ Griffith Joyner set the World Record of 21.34 way back in 1988. Jackson has often played ‘bridesmaid’ or supporting cast to her Jamaican compatriots, five-time World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and four-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah – she finished third, behind them, in the 100m final at these World Champs – but today she ruled supreme, and her post-race celebrations were a joy to watch.

Then came the men’s 200m final, and the USA’s Noah Lyles successfully defended the title he won at the 2019 World Champs in Doha – and probably also redeemed himself, in his own eyes, for ‘only’ winning bronze at the Olympics last year. Like Jackson, he also looked unbeatable as he led home US compatriots Kenneth Bednarek (19.77) and Erriyon Knighton (19.80) for another American clean-sweep of the podium, as they did in the men’s 100m final. But it was Lyle’s winning time that really stood out. Coming into the final, his personal best was the 19.50 he ran in 2019, and his season best for 2022 thus far was the 19.61 he ran in New York in June, but he blew the final away with a new PB 19.31, which moved him up to third place on the all-time list for the 200m. Only Jamaicans Usain Bolt (19.19 & 19.30) and Yohan Blake (19.26) have ever gone faster.

After he won and realised just how fast he had managed to go, Lyle ripped the top of his running suit as he celebrated. To be honest, I am not always a fan of the way some athletes behave on the track, especially the sprinters, and especially the Americans, but this time I was OK with it. The performance merited going a little crazy.

Catching My Breath

Now we have three days of competition left, and there is still a lot to look forward to. Last night Prudence Sekgodiso made it into the semi-final round of the women’s 800m, taking place later today, as will be the heats of the men’s 4x100m relay, where we hope our SA men can do make it through to the final, but the big one has to be Wayde van Niekerk in the men’s 400m final. And the mouth-watering women’s 400m hurdles will round out the programme. So that’s where I will be in the early hours of the morning.

Image: World Athletics

Ed’s World Champs Blog: Personal Highlights – Brought to you by PUMA

So, we’re coming up for day 7 of the World Athletics Champs in Eugene in the USA, and what a Champs it has turned out to be. I’ve seen various colleagues, friends and other fans of track and field on social media talking about goosebumps, and getting emotional, as they’ve watched the action live – even when it required staying up till the early hours of the morning to catch the action live. – BY SEAN FALCONER

There is a nine-hour time difference between SA and Eugene, Oregon, on the West Coast of the USA, so the evening sessions of the World Champs generally start around 2am our time, and continue till 5am or 6am, so I reckon there are a few rather sleep-deprived athletics fans this side of the Atlantic after a week of action.

Yes, there were a few issues with some athletes not able to get to the USA due to VISA issues, but in general, this has been a terrific meet. I’m not even going to try to list all the top performances here, as there have been so many, but I would like to mention some personal highlights that I particularly enjoyed.

  • I take my hat off to Akani Simbine for reaching yet another global 100m final. I know he will be bitterly disappointed to have finished fifth, having also narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2017 World Champs (fifth), 2016 Olympics (fifth), 2019 World Champs (fourth) and 2021 Olympics (fourth), but it shows just how much he has done to raise the bar of men’s sprinting in this country. It wasn’t so long ago that we still didn’t have any sub-10-second runners in this country, and the prospects of a South African making a World Champs or Olympic 100m final was so beyond our wildest dreams. Akani has been a genuine medal contender at every big meet since 2017, and for that alone he deserves huge praise.
  • Staying with the sprints, it has been phenomenal to see the rapid emergence of Luxolo Adams as a world class sprinter this year. He’s been bubbling just under the top level until now, but found his best form just before the World Champs, with his scintillating 19.82 in the Diamond League meet in Paris. Now he is in the men’s 200m final at the World Champs! I don’t think anybody would have predicted that if asked just a few months ago.
  • And of course, at the risk of repeating myself, hasn’t it been fantastic to see Wayde van Niekerk fit and racing again? And even better, back in a global final, where he belongs! That freak knee injury a few years back – in a charitable touch rugby game, of all places – looked like it may have wrecked his career, and many of us wondered if he would ever get back to the shape that saw him win the 2016 Olympic and 2017 World 400m titles, and set that amazing World Record of 43.03 seconds. Even if he doesn’t quite get to that same level as 2016 again – after all, he is six years older now – it remains a privilege to watch him running what is often referred to as the most brutal event on the track.

Anyhoo, enough rambling from me for one blog, let’s look ahead to see what’s coming up next.

Day 7 (21 July) – Afternoon Session

SA Time     US Time     Event                                          Round

02:05          17:05          Men’s Javelin Throw                    Qualification – Group A

02:10          17:10          Women’s 800m                            Heats

03:10          18:10          Men’s 5000m                               Heats

03:20          18:20          Men’s Triple Jump                       Qualification

03:35          18:35          Men’s Javelin Throw                    Qualification – Group B

04:00          19:00          Men’s 800m                                 Semi-Final

04:35          19:35          Women’s 200m                            Final

04:50          19:50          Men’s 200m                                 Final


Day 8 (22 July) – Morning Session

SA Time     US Time     Event                                          Round

15:15          06:15          Women’s 35km Race Walk           Final


Day 8 (22 July) – Afternoon Session

SA Time     US Time     Event                                          Round

02:05          17:05          Men’s Pole Vault                         Qualification

02:40          17:40          Women’s 4x100m Relay               Heats

03:05          18:05          Men’s 4x100m Relay                    Heats

03:20          18:20          Women’s Javelin Throw               Final

03:35          18:35          Women’s 800m                            Semi-Final

04:15          19:15          Women’s 400m                            Final

04:35          19:35          Men’s 400m                                 Final

04:50          19:50          Women’s 400m Hurdles               Final



Watch for our local heroes in the following events:


Day 7 – Afternoon Session

Men’s Javelin Qualifiers

Group A – Johan Grobler

Women’s 800m Qualifiers

Heat 5 – Prudence Sekgodiso

Men’s 5000m Qualifiers

Heat 1 – Adriaan Wildschutt

Heat 2 – Precious Mashele

Men’s 200m Final

Luxolo Adams


Day 8 – Afternoon Session

Men’s 400m Final

Wayde van Niekerk


Enjoy the viewing, and chat later again.

(Image: courtesy World Athletics)

Rising Sprint Star Signs for PUMA

Global sports brand PUMA has signed 22-year-old US-American track and field athlete Abby Steiner. The rising star’s victory in the women’s 200-metre final of the US Outdoor Championships in 21.77 seconds made her the second-fastest woman in the world over this distance up till that point in 2022, and this week she made it through to the 200m final at the World Athletic Championships in Eugene, going on to finish fifth with a time of 22.26 in her first appearance in a world final.

Steiner currently boasts impressive personal bests of 10.90 for 100m and that 21.77 for 200m, and she holds both the women’s indoor 200m American record with a time of 22.09, as well as the collegiate-level NCAA 200m record (outdoors) at 21.80, which she set at the NCAA Championships in June this year.

In 2018, Steiner was named her nation’s best high school female athlete, having excelled both in athletics and soccer. That year she began studying at the University of Kentucky (UK) on a dual-sport scholarship, but after tearing her knee ligaments on the soccer field, she decided to focus on the track, and Steiner cites this decision as a key to her track development: “Before, with soccer, I’d be training soccer in the fall, then I would come to track. I think really allowing myself to dive fully into the process of the periodisation of training that we do, so fall training and then going into indoor and outdoor seasons, it’s all really important in developing speed and getting to where you want to be.”

Eyes on the Prize

Since focusing solely on the track, Steiner has quickly developed into a world-class athlete. She won the 2021 NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championship 200m title with a meeting record 22.38. Then in 2022, she completed a full sweep of medals at the next installment of the NCAA Indoor Champs, taking gold in the 200m (with a meeting record 22.16), silver in the 60m (with a PB 7.10), and bronze in 4x400m relay.

Next up was the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Champs, where she won gold in the 200m and set that 21.80 NCAA record, added a bronze medal in the 100m with her 10.90 PB, and helped her UK varsity team win the 4x400m relay (in another meeting record 3:22.55). Steiner followed that with her title-winning 200m run at the US Champs, with yet another PB.

Earlier this year, Steiner was named the National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year and the 2022 Honda Sport Award winner for Track & Field, presented annually to the most outstanding women’s college athlete in each of 12 NCAA Division 1 women’s sports. Therefore, PUMA is thrilled to announce that she has signed to run in the company’s shoes and apparel. “Abby Steiner is one of the most exciting upcoming stars in Track and Field,” said Pascal Rolling, Head of Running Sports Marketing at PUMA. “We believe that she will have a brilliant career, and we want to be by her side and support her.”

Ready to Fly Faster

Steiner graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science in May 2022, and has been accepted to the UK’s physical therapy programme, but has decided to defer her enrolment in order to concentrate on her professional track career, and she is understandably happy to land a lucrative sponsorship deal with a sport brand so prominent and involved in track and field. “PUMA’s list of high-performance athletes is impressive and being one of them just feels amazing,” says Steiner. “I am very happy to be part of the PUMA family now, and I can’t wait to take off.”

More About PUMA

PUMA is one of the world’s leading sports brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. For more than 70 years, PUMA has relentlessly pushed sport and culture forward by creating fast products for the world’s fastest athletes. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running and Training, Basketball, Golf, and Motorsports. It collaborates with renowned designers and brands to bring sport influences into street culture and fashion. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf and stichd. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs about 16,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

PUMA Signs Fastest Woman Alive

Global sports brand PUMA has signed five-time Olympic Champion and fastest woman alive, Elaine Thompson-Herah. The 30-year-old Jamaican will further boost the company’s impressive roster of track and field athletes at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, currently underway in Eugene, Oregon, in the USA.

Last year Thompson-Herah became the first woman in history to win the “sprint double” at consecutive Olympics, having taken gold in both the 100-metre and 200-metre sprints at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and then doing it again at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Apart from her historic Olympic achievements, Thompson-Herah became the fastest woman alive when she ran 10.54 seconds at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in 2021. That is the closest any woman has yet come to beating the long-standing (but disputed) World Record 10.49 Set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.

“We are thrilled that Elaine has chosen to join the PUMA family,” says PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden. “With her speed, she embodies everything we stand for as a brand. Elaine ran the second-fastest time in women’s history last year and is only 0.05 seconds off a World Record. She is really targeting that World Record, and we want to help her achieve that goal with our most innovative performance products.”

PUMA has a long and rich history in track & field, and has sponsored the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association since 2002. Thompson-Herah now joins her Jamaican compatriot, sprint superhero, World Record-holder and multiple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt as part of the PUMA family. “PUMA just felt like the right fit, a company that has been working with the World’s Fastest Man for decades,” says Thompson-Herah. “I’m excited to be part of such an elite group, and I really want to break the 100-metre World Record. The current one has been undefeated for 34 years. Now is the time. I think there’s still a lot I can unleash.”

Ed’s Note: At the time of writing, Elaine Thompson-Herah had finished third in the women’s 100m final at the 2022 World Champs, the third-placed Jamaican in another cleansweep of the sprint podium by her country on the world stage. She had also cruised through the first round of qualifying heats in the women’s 200m event, with the semi-final round scheduled during the evening session on Tuesday 19 July and the final on the evening of Thursday 21 July.

More About PUMA

PUMA is one of the world’s leading sports brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. For more than 70 years, PUMA has relentlessly pushed sport and culture forward by creating fast products for the world’s fastest athletes. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running and Training, Basketball, Golf, and Motorsports. It collaborates with renowned designers and brands to bring sport influences into street culture and fashion. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf and stichd. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs about 16,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

PUMA takes Forever Faster Spirit to World Champs

Global sports company PUMA has taken its ‘Forever Faster’ Spirit to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon in the USA by outfitting 12 national federations, including South Africa, and several leading medal contenders, and providing them with its latest Nitro technology, so they can perform at their best.

Ever since its foundation in 1948, it has been PUMA’s philosophy to provide the fastest athletes with the fastest products, an attitude summarised in the brand’s motto “Forever Faster.”



In Eugene, individual PUMA-sponsored athletes, performing in PUMA’s footwear technology, include men’s 400m hurdles World Record-holder Karsten Warholm of Norway, Swiss men’s pole vault World Record-holder Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis, triple Olympic sprint medallist Andre De Grasse of Canada, Ukrainian women’s indoor high jump World Champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh, Italy’s men’s high jump Olympic Champion Gianmarco Tamberi, triple jumpers Patricia Marmona of Portugal (Olympic silver medallist in Tokyo) and Will Claye of the USA (former World Indoor Champion), women’s pole vault double Indoor Champion Sandi Morris of the USA, and many more.

The athletics federations of Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Jamaica, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland and Trinidad and Tobago will all perform in PUMA apparel.

“Track and field is sports and athleticism in its purest form, and is embedded in the very core of PUMA,” says PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden. “We are proud that many World Records were set in our shoes, and we are looking to our athletes writing the next chapter in sports history in Eugene.”

Current World Records in PUMA shoes are men’s triple jump (Jonathan Edwards, 1995), men’s 1000m (Noah Ngeny, 1999), men’s 3000m Steeplechase (Saif Saaeed Shaheen, 2004), men’s 100m and 200m (Usain Bolt, 2009), men’s 400m hurdles (Karsten Warholm, 2021), and men’s pole vault (Mondo Duplantis, 2022).

Even Better Spikes

PUMA has sent its athletes to Eugene with improved versions of its successful evoSPEED NITRO spikes, making them even lighter and more competitive. Furthermore, specially for Norwegian hurdler and World Record-holder Karsten Warholm, PUMA has created the ultimate hurdles shoe, the evoSPEED Naio NITRO.

There are also improved versions of the gold medal-winning PUMA evoSPEED Nitro Elite, and several new products for the long-distance runners. The evoSPEED Distance Nitro Elite+ 2 spike uses PUMA’s proprietary NITRO foam and a PWRPLATE for exceptional energy return, and is aimed at events ranging from 800m to 10,000m.

PUMA’s road racing athletes can choose from the DEVIATE NITRO ELITE 2, which is even lighter than its predecessors and also features a new last, or the futuristic and aggressively designed FAST-R NITRO Elite, which uses NITRO Elite technology and a PWRPLATE to support an efficient run.

The new racing shoes were unveiled at a special press conference at PUMA House in Eugene two days before the World Champs began, with a number of PUMA’s world class athletes in attendance. You can watch a recording of the press conference below

More About PUMA

PUMA is one of the world’s leading sports brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. For more than 70 years, PUMA has relentlessly pushed sport and culture forward by creating fast products for the world’s fastest athletes. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running and Training, Basketball, Golf, and Motorsports. It collaborates with renowned designers and brands to bring sport influences into street culture and fashion. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf and stichd. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs about 16,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Elroy Chasing Record in London

Elroy Gelant is much smaller in real life than he appears in pictures or on television. He is, however, as fast as his reported times. Perhaps even faster now. – By Matshelane Mamabolo

Late on a Tuesday afternoon in September, in the university town of Potchefstroom that he has called home for a little over a decade, I had the privilege of watching Gelant do a speed session that left me in awe. He completed all eight of the 1000m intervals in under three minutes, with the last two flashing by at the lightning fast speed of 2:37 and 2:25 minutes per kilometre respectively.

It is the pace he plans to run at this weekend when he lines up for the highly anticipated London Marathon on Sunday 4 October. Manage to do that and Gelant could become the new South African marathon record holder, replacing Gert Thys, who is the current incumbent with his 2:06:33 set way back in 1999 at the Tokyo Marathon.

It would be a remarkable achievement for a runner who is relatively new to marathon running. While he holds the title of South African marathon champion, Gelant goes into the London Marathon with just two official 42.2km races under his belt, having run the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in 2017 and 2019.

Fast Race Expected

With a Personal Best of 2:10:31 from last year’s national championships at the Cape Town Marathon, many would feel the 2:07 target he has set himself for London is a tad too ambitious. But there are a lot of factors that are sure to work in his favour. For one, the race is certain to be fast – notwithstanding the withdrawal of Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. Also, the race is going to be run on a fast course – around the St James’ Park – that was among those considered for Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s historic Ineos 1:59 Challenge last year. Of course, it would be suicidal of him to try and keep up with the top guns who will be in the leading pack. All he needs do is stick with the chasing group and he should be able to achieve his goal.

Another reason to be optimistic is the fact that he is in great shape. “Elroy is in fantastic form. He has really trained well and hard for this. Even though the lockdown impacted on his training a bit, it was not the kind of impact to take him off track. He will do very well in London,” says coach Jean Verster as we watch Gelant fly through another 1000m, followed closely by his training mates from the North West University, a number of them 800m specialists whose speed helps keep the national champion on his toes.

Running in Circles

For the runner himself, it is the fact that the London Marathon is going to be run in loops that he sees as arguably the best factor counting in his favour. “The format of this race is right up my alley,” he explains during breakfast at Die Akkers following an easy 10km jog in the morning. “Because of COVID-19, we are not going to run it on the normal route that goes through the city, but we are going to do 19 laps of 2.1km with an extra 1300m straight going to the finish line. I have always been a track specialist, so it is much easier for me to keep my rhythm on the laps. So, I am pretty confident I will do well in London.”

Gelant’s preparations for the race have seen him mimic the race format and he has done 2km loop running every second week at 3:01min/km – a pace that will see him complete the race at 2:07. Also, he and his coach have picked up that Gelant’s biggest weakness is his finish, and thus they have worked hard at fixing this.

“When I went to last year’s Cape Town Marathon, the goal was to run a 2:08, but I failed to achieve that because I died in the last five kilometres. We realised that I’d done a lot of junk mileage prior to the race, as though I was training for the Comrades Marathon. I had no structure to my training, and I did not supplement properly. I remember feeling very bloated at 32km because I had taken a lot of supplements. To have run a 2:10 having made those mistakes was still a good achievement, and I’m sure I will be able to do much better now that we have trained right.”

Amongst the Best in the World

The mere fact that he is going to be racing with some of the world’s greatest marathoners – Kipchoge, Mosinet Geremew, Marius Kipserem, Mule Wasihun, Tamirat Tola and Shura Kitata – gets the 34-year-old from Pacaltsdorp in George, Western Cape pinching himself in disbelief. “I get goosebumps just thinking about the race. I am very privileged to be going to participate. I have been on a four-year plan towards the Olympics and we all know that to win a medal at the Games, you must race against the best. And the experience I am going to get from London is going to stand me in good stead for next year’s Olympics.”

Gelant has been to the Olympics before, but not for the marathon. “I made the finals of the 5000m in Rio in 2016, and that alone was a great achievement, because the heats were very tough. There were four East Africans in my heat, and it was incredible to have made it from that.”

Coming back to London, there will be a lot of Africans in the race tomorrow. Run anywhere near close to them, and Gelant could well add South African marathon record holder to the South African marathon champion title he already holds. And how they will celebrate that not only in Potchefstroom and Pacaltsdorp, but throughout the country.

Image: Elroy Gelant wins the FNB Maputo 10K CITYRUN in late 2019 – photo by Tobias Ginsberg