So far, this was the biggest race of the year for you, one of your goal races. Did you do any specific training for the race?
This race forms part of the build up to running my first 100 miler in Leadville this August. But the last two months of training have been geared to TNF 100 Aus. I think the key to doing well in any race is to train race-specific. So I tried to train on similar terrain and got a few long runs in under my belt to prepare my legs to run a 100km.
How tough was the competition? Does it motivate you more to perform when other top names are in the race, or do you concentrate on your own game/race plan?
Running with the likes of Kilian, Francois, Sebastian and the list goes on was awesome but tough. I always focus on my own race and try to get to the finish line as fast as I can. However having a strong field in the race was really motivating and made me push to my limits.
We heard rumours (and saw the photo) of some interesting food down there - Salt Water Crocodile pizza! Did you take part or is your pre-race diet pretty strict?
Ha Ha! I was tempted to try the croc pizza but I was worried about my karma. I had visions of seeing a croc on the course during the race and he would eat some ‘sandman’ pizza! Pre-race I always try eat healthy food but I am not overly strict with my diet. I did avoid the Thai chicken curry the night before the race but in hindsight I could have done with some extra spice for the second 50km.
I was tempted to try the croc pizza but I was worried about my karma.
PROF Tim Noakes has been quoted as saying that you are an extraordinary competitor because you are so mentally tough. What was the weirdest thing that went through your mind during the 100ks?
Yeah, you have to be mentally tough to run ultras. I think I have a combination of mental toughness, stubbornness, maybe stupidity and an addictive personality that keeps me going when conditions get tough. The TNF 100 Aus was a tough race for me. I was cruising in the lead at the 40km mark feeling like a million Dollars and by the 45km mark I was in all sorts trouble, my legs were cramping and so on. I was cramping so badly up one hill it went through my mind to try run up it backwards. I thought I may have been able to go faster. I had to dig deep mentally during the second half of the race and I was stoked to hang in there mentally and cross the finish line on the podium. Physically I was a bit disappointed with my performance but I learnt a few valuable lessons.
I was cramping so badly up one hill it went through my mind to try run up it backwards.
A LONG flight back to Cape Town. I will put my feet up for the next week and enjoy a few Red Bull and Vodkas at Caprice. Then it’s back training before heading to Europe in mid-June for the Zugspitz Ultra Trail and a Salomon training camp.