Archive for the 'Sport' Category

Two Oceans Half (Swim) Marathon

Aaaah…  The day it rained.  This really was not a glorious moment for any of the participants, unless your aim was to go within and find that truly resilient part of yourself you had never tapped into before.

(For those of you wondering why we have sporting event coverage in the middle of gorgeous interiors and film industry news, we committed to a number of sporting events in February 2011 in order to raise money for charity.  See the full story for more information, this was the final of a four-part series of events we took part in since December last year.)

Having run the Two Oceans Half once before, I was certainly expecting to hurt a little towards the end.  Especially after the long downhill from the top of Southern Cross Drive practically into UCT.  The all-seeing, all-knowing weather gurus predicted rain all week, so mentally we were prepared that it might not be that much fun.  However race day arrived and the morning was positively balmy at 4:30 a.m.  A year prior my teeth had been chattering and my toes numb a good 10km into the run, but this time around the weather was just perfect.  They had also added in a bonus hill (changing the route slightly to head along the M3 and peal off at Kendal Road off-ramp) but after running the hills in two training sessions already I was feeling fairly confident.

I was waiting for my friend Jenn on an agreed corner – which was a chaotic and naive idea by the way.  Had she been on time I am pretty certain I may have  missed her anyway.  At about four minutes before the start I gave up and ran into the start pens (just as well as she was stuck in some traffic and missed the start gun by a good five minutes, having to chase up the back of the pack for 8 or 9 km).  The gun went off and, being in Group D, we did the 2 minute shuffle to cross the start-line.  Not quite the romantic idea of gunning it from the front of the pack.  I was really happy to see a few people I knew along the route (kudos to supporters standing on the sidelines at 6 a.m.) most especially on the uphills.  The supporters, marshals and volunteers were incredible.  Especially the 5K marker marshal!  What a great guy.  He did not stop cheering and was encouraging and super enthusiastic.  I crested the first hill and the pack split up a little as everyone had expected and we hit the first quite extended downhill.  Running on the motorway in the dark was incredible.  It required serious concentration – you know how those Constantia residents are opposed to streetlights ;) – and just a touch of faith.  It was however very well organised with spotlights and aid stations all along the route.

The sun started to rise by the time I was into Constantia (waved at parents!) and  I was on track for a 1:52 finish until about 1km up Southern Cross Drive.  I lost some time on that uphill slog which goes on for close to 3km but kept thinking I could make it up on the downhills (insert skeptical chuckle here).  I crested Southern Cross, feeling stable, went past the least enthusiastic Castle Lite cheerleaders the world has ever known and on towards Kirstenbosch where a very light drizzle quickly became a gusty downpour.  And at this stage I started squelching.  You know.  In my shoes.  It would not have been possible to become any more waterlogged had I fallen into a swimming pool.  This was about the time I, myself, ‘went within’ and literally put one foot in front of the other.  I wouldn’t change having taken part for anything, but will bang on a little just to illustrate the experience…  One had to literally shield one’s eyes from driving rain in order to see where one was going.

Nothing could have made me happier than the extra squelching the grass at UCT’s Upper Campus made as I neared the finish line with a time of 1h55.  Coca-Cola never tasted as good and breakfast had never been so well-deserved (towel and dry clothing from saintly, patient boyfriend so gratefully received).  Huge congratulations and admiration for those who finished the ultra (56km) in those conditions.

And yes.  For sure I would do it again.

Racing Reportback – Xterra Grabouw

Wow!  What a day it was.  The weather was absolutely scorching hot in Grabouw yesterday, which made it even more impressive that some athletes were out for close on 6.5 hours – and let’s not forget the incredible marshals along the route who were scrambling for shade, and still had the enthusiasm to cheer on participants on the course.

We took part in Xterra yesterday as part of a commitment we made early last year.  Huge thanks to all who sponsored us, as well as two clients, Moonlighting Films and Egg Films, who took title sponsorships and made the charity part of the deal that much easier!

We arrived bright and early at the Grabouw Country Club (I’m talking 6:45 early – which meant leaving the Mother City at 5:45) where we met up with Jan, our cyclist.  Jan racked her bike and Julia got kitted up in her wetsuit and we headed to the damn for the 8:30 a.m. start.  It was an inspiring race to take part in, not only because we were surrounded by 1,000 other athletes, but because we had top class South African and international athletes competing among us.  Julia went into the start pen and everyone began their 1.5km swim.  The first swimmers came in after about 17 minutes and I waited at the swim exit to cheer Julia on while Jan went to transition to receive the timing chip.  Jan was then off on her bike, on an extremely technical 27km which saw two men to hospital (one with a broken shoulder and the other with 14 stitches in his calf).  After 2.5 hours she was back in transition and handed me the timing chip.  I strapped it round my ankle and headed into the forest for the start of the 11.8km trail run.  In total 300m of vertical gain, the route was at times loose gravel, at times sand and at one point a knee-deep river.  But oh so beautiful.  I made it back quicker than expected, after 1h18.  And then drank about a litre of Rehidrat in the recovery zone.  I also have an enviable racerback and watchstrap suntan.

Here are a few pics of the day

Watch this space for the next installment.  I’m still due to run the Two Oceans Half Marathon in 6 week’s time and Renee will be riding the Argus Cycle Tour as well!

Racing Reportback – Eleven Global

4:45 am is very early to be waking up on a Sunday morning…  I was not alone though, I heard shouts and commotion outside and looked out of our lounge window (we live in an apartment in Green Point) onto a sea of runners taking part in the Peninsula Marathon.  The energy was palpable and I immediately felt vital and grateful and hugely excited to be taking part in our own race.  I drank my coffee, it was too early for breakfast, and set off to meet up with Julia and Renee at Big Bay, where our Olympic distance relay event would start.  The distances to cover would be 1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run.  We picked up our registration packs and it was confirmed that we were the only relay team – this caused some confusion along the route as the marshals weren’t sure where we were and weren’t supposed to be, but we muddled through it and quickly realised that we were going to win our category as long as we finished.  Yes, you can claim the win even if you were the only team to enter!

Renee, avid mountain-biker, looking very cheerful despite the early hour

Renee with Julia, our champion swimmer

The Elite athletes set off long before the rest of us and sped through the sprint distance at an impressive pace.  We hung around, trying not to show each other how nervous we felt, Julia specifically trying not to think about getting in the sea (this would be her first open water swim), Renee debating whether a mountain bike was such a good idea on a road course…  The announcer informed us that the sea was a nippy 14 degrees and Julia’s eyes widened.  Eventually someone suggested it would be best to get in and out of the sea first, so Julia got kitted up and we walked down to the start line.

The Olympic distance race began and Renee and I headed back quickly to transition.

Ren got into her kit and I waited at the arch for Julia to come out of the water.  The fastest swimmer was out in 17 minutes, Julia was only 7 minutes behind him – all her hard work in training had paid off.  Although she looked a little shell-shocked coming out of the water and had to be reminded to run to transition.

She gave the timing chip to Renee and Ren was off on her bike.

We went to change and have a cup of coffee and a quick breakfast for Julia.  Renee had warned us that she would be out for at least two hours, but we were advised by some seasoned athletes that she would be closer to 1h30.  Julia headed onto the cycle course to cheer Renee and I made my way to transition.  Ren came in a little over 1h30, gave me the timing chip and I was off on the 2 loop run course.

After a near miss (I began by running in the wrong direction until a marshal called me back) I got onto the run course and went through Big Bay residential area including a  stretch along the coast.  The conditions were perfect, not a breath of wind, and on the first loop I had plenty of company.  On the second loop I realised I was quite far behind the other participants as marshals were starting to pack up.  I put foot in order to pass 3 people (I couldn’t very well come in last could I!) and somehow came in after 49 minutes.

We had such a great day, surrounded by awesome and inspiring people.  Thank you to Julia and Renee for agreeing to take part in this and thank you to our very generous sponsors who not only helped make this possible, but helped us support a little school called Simunye that is very close to our hearts!

Showing off title sponsors, Moonlighting Films and Egg Films

Dale, Julia and Renee supporting finisher medals

We are two events down, two more to go.  This coming Sunday we will be taking part in Xterra Grabouw (1.5km swim, 47km MTB, 12km trail run) and in April I will be running the 2Oceans Half Marathon.  Watch this space for updates!

Charity Challenge Update

Our A-mazing Renee took part in the 44km Die Burger Cycle Tour on 4 December 2011.  This was in part fulfillment of our commitment to race for charity between now and April next year.  Thanks to some very generous sponsors, we’ve managed to collect close on R10,000 (almost halfway to our R22,600 target!)

Challenge Update

Amazing Spaces and Love to be Me

So we’re slowly getting ourselves organised around our challenge in November for Love to be Me.  We’ve been talking to as many people as we can, but haven’t quite braved asking them to commit some hard cash!  We’ve come up with two sponsorship options and will start to approach them with our proposal next week:

Title Sponsorship

Be an integral part of the team and its preparation for one of the toughest one day races in the world. By showing an early commitment, we want to promote your brand across our platform and involve you in all the preparation towards the race as well. For this donation we will co-brand all our race gear as well as selected training gear for the duration of the preparation for the race.

We will also display your branding on all updates, publicity, newsletters and blog posts related to this initiative.

Currently stock gear will be screen printed but there is also the option of producing your very own, custom-designed sports kit, t-shirts or sweaters for R500 – R650 per item.

And finally we will update you monthly with the report-backs on the children we are managing to help so you’ll know at all times the true social value of your contribution.

The cost of this sponsorship is R5000.00

Journey Sponsorship

What if you could make a difference for a small amount of money? What if you had 1 less coffee per month for the next 5 months and could make a difference to a hungry child? We wanted to give the option to be involved on a smaller scale and came up with a plan to have each of the 226 kilometres of the race sponsored at R100.00 per kilometre. As gruelling as the race is, we will suffer with a purpose, carrying the hopes and dreams of these few children and as our exhaustion sets in, we will use this inspiration to get to the finish line. Every donation counts.  If you’d like to sponsor a kilometre (or more) we would be very appreciative!  Your R100.00 will be a small part of the whole pie, but a part we appreciate immensely. We will update you with report-backs from the A.L. Educational Trust throughout the year and you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase custom-designed kit for this initiative.

If you’re interested in being involved to a small or large extent, please drop me a line and I’ll send you the full proposal.  We’ll also start to keep you updated here on our training progress soon!

An Amazing Challenge

We are a few months away from a crazy race we’ve committed to taking part in, in order to further support a cause we pledged ourselves to at the end of last year.

The crazy race: 226km route around Cape Town, broken down into 3.8km open-water swim, 180km cycle and 42km run (A.K.A. Challenge Cape Town which takes place in November)

The Swimmer: Julia Finnis-Bedford (Founder & MD of Amazing Spaces)

The Cyclist: Simon Raubenheimer (Avid cyclist, for whom this should be a doddle, and Portfolio Manager at Allan Gray)

The Runner: Dale Bedford (That’s me)

The Aim: To finish, of course, within the allotted time.  But mainly to get each kilometer of the race sponsored at R100/km.

Why?  If we can raise R26,400 (slightly more than R100/km) our charity will be able to school 4 children for a year (at R550 per child per month for schooling, materials and meals).

To start pledging early, drop us an email.  We’ll keep you updated here on our training progress as well as how close we’re getting to our target.  Happy Friday, I’ll see you next week!