Two Oceans 2009

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13/01/2009 at 10:26

In a moment of madness I've entered my first (correction: ONLY) ultra and it's going to be Two Oceans in Cape Town in April.

Anyone else doing this?

Anyone done this since 2004 (which is when the course changed to the current route)?

Any advice for an ultra novice?

13/01/2009 at 11:15

Good luck.  It was my first ultra in 1996 and I'd not done much more than ordinary marathon training for it, with a couple of slightly longer than usual long runs. 

best advice is to relax and enjoy it i think.

14/01/2009 at 10:45

Hi Hammie

Long time no see. How are you?

Aiming to relax and not worry about time (so long as I make the cut off). Just want to make sure I can get the training right to get me through. Planning on buying a mini-camera to take some photos on the route and also planning LOTS of hill training!

14/01/2009 at 13:03


Ran this in 2006, 7 and 8.  Beautiful course.  I'm a plodder and only managed a Blue medal for each run...

Would agree with UH - relax and enjoy the beatufiul scenery, especially along Chapman's Peak Drive...

Unfortunately not doing it this year...


Edited: 14/01/2009 at 13:03
14/01/2009 at 13:50


I'm only setting my sights on a Blue medal. I'm a back of the packer too.

I always promised myself I would do one ultra and that this would be it (in fact I think it is Ultra Hamster's fault I know about this race at all!). so just getting round in under 7 will do me fine.

Are the hills as bad as they look from the course profile? 

Shame you're not doing it this year.

14/01/2009 at 17:24

I ran last year, and have decided to come back and give it another go this year, so it can't be that bad!

Both hills in my opinion are long but not particularly steep, the second being late on in the race for me became a little hard going.

 Without doubt highly recommended though.


14/01/2009 at 19:35


I would say that the course profile makes the two significant hills - Chappies and Constantia - look much worse than it is.  No shame in taking walking breaks on either, I'd say.  Chappies didn't seem too bad for me as I've been too busy admiring the scenery to really worry about the hill itself.  Constantia is a little harder coming after the marathon mark and also because you have to tackle it later in the day when it is quite a bit hotter - make sure you get one of the ice lollies on offer before the hill starts because on a hot day you'll really appreciate it.

There is one big mistake that I made this year which I think cost me a bronze medal - that was to think that the hardest part of the race was over once I'd got past the top of Constantia Nek.  There is still quite a long way to go and mentally I'd relaxed too soon and I couldn't handle it when things got hard later on and blew my chances for a bronze.

If you can, see if you can do a drive on the run route - trying to remember landmarks on the final section from Constantia - which should hopefully help you on the day.  You'll need change as Chappies is a toll road.

You'll love the course though and also the interaction with fellow runners - as an overseas runner you run in an different colour number - orange - which you wear on the front and back and it has your name or nickname printed in large letters on it.  On some sections you're chatting so much it can be like a social run!

Very jealous!


15/01/2009 at 09:49

Thanks for the information, both.

SD - suspect you are faster than me if you were on for a bronze at any stage! My stated aim is to complete in under 7 hours, so 6:59:59 would satisfy me but secretly (or not so secretly now) I'd like to do around 6:30. Much will depend on how my training goes and how hot it is on the day.

SPB - see you at the start then!

Another question for you both - what was/will be your longest training run?

15/01/2009 at 13:53

FS - my longest training run will be the Draycote 35.  My mistake last year was not to do enough long runs, so this year I have decided to change the plan a little.  I also ran a marathon last Sunday and will do another a week Sunday, those together with a few other long Sunday runs should hopefully see me feeling a bit better over the last 9 miles.

 See you at the start, and most definately in the free beer tent after!


15/01/2009 at 15:28


Longest training run was a marathon - did one each in December, January and February (race was in March in 2008...).  I think when it was in April I ran one each in Jan, Feb and March.

In my first two races I knew I had no chance of a bronze by the time I reached the marathon mark (finished in 6:44 and 6:41),  I thought it was going to be third time lucky even at the top of Constantia but ended up taking 6:18.


15/01/2009 at 16:09

Hi, not doing too badly thanks Floosie, will only be running Draycote and FLM this year, trying to improve my shorter pbs. 

I did 4:17 if I recall in 1996 and my longest run had been 29 miles (while training for the London marathon which I did 2 weeks after 2 Oceans).

I remember the climb up to Chapman' s peak as long but gradual and very runnable, the hill at Constncia Nek would be arder, but shorter.  I ran every step but I remember a lot of people walked it.  Also remember teh run down as being hard on my ankle, there's an odd camber on that road which caused my right shoe to run on the bottom of my ankle. 

If you've got time go up the  otp of Table mountain (long queue for teh cable car) and the beaches.

15/01/2009 at 16:30

No Hamster runs round an althetics track this year Hamster? You might have to change your forum name.

Our plan is to do Table Mountain on the first clear day (so long as that isn't race day!), then a few other things in Cape Town before heading up to the Winelands for a couple of days on a vineyard (perfect post-race recovery) then the Garden Route and Addo National park.

Thanks to all for the info on the hills and your long runs. I've got one 26 mile run planned in February and a 29 (which might become a 26) planned for March (about 4 weeks before the race) with mainly 20 milers in between which will be done on the back of some 6 - 8 mile runs the day before. Does this sound sensible?

One thing I need to consider is my recovery from long runs - I've struggled with it occassionally in the past - so if I think 29 miles is too far four weeks before, I'll drop it back to the marathon distance. Off out for my first "proper" hill session tonight.

 Now, tell me more about this free beer tent...

15/01/2009 at 16:31
Oh and Slow Duck - read your profile, sounds like you have some great goals lined up. Where are you in Surrey (please feel free to e-mail if you don't want to go public on here!).
15/01/2009 at 16:51

Don't want to worry you but just come back from Cape Town and Chappies is shut yet again, another large rock fall. They are busy reconstructing and clearing the passage.Hopefully should be open in time but would suggest carrying a crash helmet just in case fantastic place and superb run, enjoy!!

15/01/2009 at 17:24

I am sure Slow Duck will correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall at registration getting a voucher for two people which gains entry to the 'International entrants' tent, which also has a prime spot near the finish.  They lay on food and drink (including cans/bottles of lager).  Last year I was somewhat frazzled from the run, so it was purely soft drinks only for me (I think!).

I am no expert on long training runs as my limited experience of ultras normally ends up going horribly wrong.  But I think you need to be confident in your stamina and do not worry about taking walking breaks.  I hope the more experienced can help you.


15/01/2009 at 23:39
What date is it exactly? Are entries still open?

16/01/2009 at 09:34

Candy - date is 11 April - Easter Saturday - and entries are open until early march.

runningman - thanks for the tip. I'll pop into the bike shop on the way home!

My husband will be very pleased to get an invite to a free beer tent after a hard day's supporting, so I hope you're right SPB!

Off to check the TO website to see about the Chappies closure.

16/01/2009 at 14:18


I work in Dorking and run with Dorking and Mole Valley AC.

SPB100 is right they give you get tickets for the International Tent at the Expo.  There were free drinks on offer thoroughout race day.   The tent is located on the finishing straight and it is a brillant location.  I overdosed on Fantas and couldn't stop talking for the next 2 hours!  Mrs Slow Duck found it most amusing...

Also at the Expo when you are collecting your number there is an international area where they have free food and drink.  The Friday morning Friendship Run is also free and  you get a free T-shirt when you register for that...


Edited: 16/01/2009 at 14:46
16/01/2009 at 16:20

I've registered for the Friendship Run but I doubt I will actually run it.

I'll check out the International Areas, they will be something to keep Mr Floosie (aka Raffles) amused while I slog my way round the course!

Dubai Dave    pirate
18/01/2009 at 15:00

FS: I have done two Oceans twice 2004 & 2007. Chappies and Constantia are nothing to get worried about. I certainly never ran further than a marathon in training, IMHO normal marathon training is sufficient for Two Oceans. The International tent is fine, a good place to sit and watch the world (or runners) go by.

Two Oceans is definately one of the more do-able ultras

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