I have had the famous Two Oceans Marathon on my bucket list for a while. To be exact, I had it on the “when I am fast enough to run an Ultra Marathon” bucket list. Because it is one of two famous South African Ultra Marathons, and the classic distance is 56km. I had thought of doing it in 2018, when my Dad was probably also fit and fast enough to do.
So when I suddenly got the opportunity to run the Two Oceans Marathon via a “first come first served” give away on adidas runners Germany I immediately said yes. I did not really believe I would get the spot because I thought a lot of other people would also apply.
But I did and I was really surprised. And scared, because the race was just a week before London Marathon and I had barely started training back then.
I did not know anyone else who was going, but I quickly connected with other adidas runners from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
As the weeks passed I was confident that I could finish the 56km. I continued doing my normal Marathon training, with two Half Marathon races in between. (Malta and NYC). My longest training run was 37km which I did at a super slow speed of 9km.
A week before the race I sprained my foot and ankle doing a Spartan Race. I went out for a training run the next day and had to stop after 1 km because it was too painful. Suddenly, I was panicking. What if I could not race? All that money and time spent for nothing?
Before I flew out to Cape Town I applied a proven emergency recovery strategy: rest, ice, ibuprofen and my favourite Wobenzym anti-inflammatory enzymes.
Two days before the the Two Oceans Marathon I went for a 5km training run with adidas runners capetown, (where we also met 2015 and 2016 winner Caroline Wöstmann) and the pain was nearly gone.
But the night before the race was absolutely awful. I suffered from nervous tummy issues, and could not fall asleep. In addition I then woke up in the middle of the night because someone was robbed just outside my window. (I swear that happened).
After just 4 hours of sleep I had to get up again.
Still half asleep we got into the taxi at 4am. The other runners had warned us that the traffic jam would be really big, so we headed out early. It turned out a bit too early. There was already a small traffic jam at the motorway, but our driver took a detour and dropped us off right at the othe side of the start line. We arrived at a completely empty start line with nearly two hours to spare.
But it got busy very quickly. I queued for the loos a first time and waited only 10 minutes. When I queued for the second time it was 45 minutes. The lack of porta potties was so bad that several other runners missed their start for the Half Marathon.
I then had to queue again to drop my bag. All this standing and waiting was definitely not the best for my mood. When I finally arrived at the starting line of the Two Oceans Marathon I was tired, hungry, and had to go to loo again.
But everything changed once they set off to sing the South African anthem. Everyone was singing along. It was such a beautiful moment and it absolutely lifted my spirits.
And off we went at 6:40 into the sunrise.
The first 15 km were absolutely straight and monotonous, even boring sometimes. But it was a relief as well. We had time to get into our rhythm, chat with other runners and adjust our pace.
When we arrived in Muizenberg we saw the Indian Ocean for the first time. (Technically it is still the Atlantic, but let’s ignore that.)
I realized that this also meant, that the easy flat part was over and the grueling second half of the race was about to come…
You can find the second part of my Two Oceans Marathon race recap here: