The Running Mann: Back in the Saddle (on Dead Donkey Hill)

After a long lay-off from one of my favourite hobbies, travelling the country (and world) to run marathons, I finally made my long-awaited return to action at the Shikhumba Marathon in Limpopo Province, and found a solitary out-and-back route that gave me plenty of time to think about mosquitoes, flies, donkeys, music, beer and more. My kind of marathon! – By Stuart Mann 

Go, Shortie!

Go, Shortie!

Thanks to a changing approach to road running around the world, there is a growth taking place at the moment in shorter races, notably street miles and official 5km races. We decided to look at a few of these races, some now well established, some brand new, and how they are bringing an exciting new challenge, and a change in perceptions, to the South African race calendar. – By Sean Falconer

Irvette van Zyl, Road to Redemption

After missing half the year due to injury and struggling with motivation, Irvette van Zyl hit the ground running in the latter half of 2023, seemingly going from strength to strength as she found her racing form again, culminating in a number of high profile 10km wins and then her fourth win at the African Bank Soweto Marathon. Unsurprisingly, she now has her sights set on doing even better in 2024, including some unfinished business with a few big races. – By Manfred Seidler

Puma launches its most explosive and innovative race-day shoe

Make your fast, faster than ever with Puma Fast-R 2 Nitro™ Elite Fueled by Nitro™, Fast-R 2 is Puma’s most innovative race-day shoe ever! Limited edition Fast-R 2 Ekiden Rush celebrating 100 years of Japan’s most iconic road running race drops on 8 December 2023! Fast-R 2 Psychedelic Rush to launch globally 22 February 2024!

The high-speed takeover has arrived with the all new Fast-R 2 Nitro™ Elite – Puma’s most explosive and innovative race-day running shoe yet.

Built to help you break your PB, Fast-R 2 utilises the enhanced benefits of Nitro™ Elite technology, giving you a maximum competitive stack height (40mm) with unbeatable speed and cushioning, propelling your race-day to new territory; from short runs to marathons and every distance between.

A sequel to the ground-breaking Fast-R Nitro™ Elite, the Fast-R 2 allows 22% more energy storage and up to 46% more raw energy return versus its predecessor, resulting in a lighter, more economical ride, that translates to an average saving of 2 minutes 28 seconds for a 3:30:00 marathoner and 1 minute 23 seconds for a 2:30:00 marathoner.

The two-part midsole and exposed signature PWRPLATE remain key features, with the carbon plate elongating through the Nitrofoam™ Elite and out past the toe. This unique concept allows for increased surface contact; a lever that guides pressure forward and propels the foot as it leaves the ground.

A next generation, psychedelic Ultrawave upper – 20% lighter than the material used in the original Fast-R – is lined with a bespoke PWRTAPE, whilst the Pumagrip outsole ensures maximum multi-surface traction, allowing you to step out to conquer the racecourse in full confidence of achieving serious speed. Making your fast, faster than ever.

Romain Girard, Head of Innovation at Puma said: “We received significant feedback from consumers and athletes on the original Fast-R, helping us streamline our focus for Fast-R 2. The result: the most innovative elite race-day running shoe Puma has ever made. We are already witnessing this shoe break records, with a number of our elite runners smashing their PRs, with many more to come!”

The Fast-R 2 Nitro™ Elite Psychedelic Rush will be available from 22 February 2024 from, Puma Retail stores, and Totalsports.

Fast-R 2 Nitro™ Elite Ekiden Rush

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the most prestigious event in Japan’s running calendar – Puma will drop a limited edition Fast-R 2 Nitro™ Elite Ekiden Rush.

Paying homage to the historic long-distance race, the Ekiden Rush colourway has unique design features including a 100th anniversary logo on the lateral, and the iconic purple sash – used during the race as a relay baton – on the medial.

1 000 pairs of Fast-R 2 Nitro™ Elite Ekiden Rush will drop on 8 December 2023 at, in Puma stores and select global retailers.

Visit or follow @PUMARunning to find out more.

Fast-R 2 Nitro™ Elite Specifications

  • Price: R6999
  • Weight: 240g
  • Stack Height: 40mm
  • Drop: 8mm
  • Lifespan: 400km

Powerade – Embracing ‘Coming Back Strong Starts With A Pause’

Embracing ‘Coming Back Strong Starts With A Pause’

Powerade® Renovates Multipurpose Court in Orlando West Park


Through its global communications platform “Pause is Power” which was launched globally in 2022, Powerade® champions the often-overlooked potential of a pause, prioritising wellbeing over winning. The sports drink brand actively takes on the ‘win at all costs’ mentality by emphasizing the value and regenerative benefits of a pause — a moment for laughter, introspection, community interaction, and recovery. Taking this commitment beyond words, Powerade® took a moment to pause and invested in the revitalisation of the popular Orlando West Park with a makeover of the basketball court into modernised multipurpose court.

Unwavering in its belief, Powerade® believes that “’Coming Back Strong Starts with a Pause”. This powerful tagline masterfully encapsulates the brand’s commitment not only to providing athletes and ordinary citizens with hydration and replenishment, but also to igniting their inner tenacity to overcome obstacles and re-emerge even more motivated and stronger.

Ramokone Ledwaba, Marketing Director at Coca-Cola Africa, expressed her excitement on the transformation of the multipurpose court, saying, “This makeover reflects our core values and perfectly mirrors our ‘Coming Back Strong Starts with a Pause’ tagline. At Powerade®, we believe the revitalization of the court sculpts a metaphor for the innate strength within us all. Our conviction rests on the premise that everyone’s personal best emanates from a pause of physical or mental activity, and we wanted to ensure we created a space for this. We invite the community to embrace this new enhanced court for tranquility, meditation and rejuvenation,” Ledwaba stated.

“I am thrilled to witness brands like Powerade embodying the spirit of giving back, recognizing the importance of community development through sports, exemplifying the core principles of service delivery and the “Batho Pele” principle. We encourage more brands to follow suit and partner with the city,” stated MMC of Community Development in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr. Magwentshu.

Located in Soweto, a historical significance and dynamic cultures, the Orlando West Park was unveiled in 2010 and functions as a community meeting place. However, the park is more than just a collection of sporting and recreational equipment. It contains swings, a netball and basketball court, a professional-size football pitch, and a 1km running track. Powerade’s goal is to ensure that everyone they encounter not only feels empowered and supported, but also emerges stronger and more resilient than before.

Powerade’s commitment is reflected in its continued support for local athletic events and provision of vital hydration stations during marathons. The brand advocates for the power of the pause, highlighting the importance of rest and reflection in the fight for greatness, alongside relentless effort. Powerade® sends a powerful message to all individuals, underscoring the radiant potential inherent in each pause taken – a moment of rejuvenation that breeds immense strength for the journey ahead and remembering that “Coming Back Strong Starts with a Pause”.

For more information, follow Powerade®, on the following social media platforms:

The Running Comic

As one of the funniest guys of running in South Africa, Rory Petzer is almost always laughing (in between eating)… except in the 2022 Comrades. He reckons he had nothing to smile about that day! Happily, the 2023 race went much, much better, and now he’s ready to take on the running world. As long as it doesn’t keep him away from his dogs too long, and he can be left in peace to think of his next jokes. Let’s just say there’s a lot going on in this comedian’s head! – By Sean Falconer 

Dreams Do Come True

It’s been a fantastic year for Thabang Mosiako, with scintillating performances over the 10km and half marathon distances that have thrust him into the top three or four on the all-time South African performance lists. He recently led Team South Africa to a bronze medal at the World Road Running Champs, and there appears to be more to come from this prodigiously talented athlete, but it wasn’t so very long ago that he was in despair and thinking of hanging up his running shoes for good. – BY Manfred  Seidler