31 March 2010

Overweight and Undertrained

is apparently not entirely a bad way to be before an ultra. At least according to Bruce Fordyce. But his measuring stick is probably very different to mine. Anyway, I think that I have managed to achieve at least one of these.

Did my last training run for Two Oceans this morning. Another glorious trip up to Rhodes Memorial and back.

29 March 2010

Dress Rehearsal

Yesterday I got Claire out of bed early (on her first Sunday in Cape Town) so that she could chauffeur Troy, Matt and me out to do a run. We started at the bottom of Southern Cross Drive and then followed the half marathon route. I do not know what the big fuss with that hill is... it's a doddle compared to either Chapman's Peak or Constantia Nek! It was good to see what the other half are doing while we are just getting into the ultra. Arrived home to find that Claire had made us a fantastic cooked breakfast. Think that gave Troy and Matt something to think about. Spent the rest of the day trying to reward Claire for her excellent efforts.

This morning got up super early because I needed to prepare a lecture and I wanted to go for a run. Trotted up to Rhodes Memorial just before sunrise. It was absolutely spectacular with the mountains across the flats cut out of the orange glow of the early morning sky.

26 March 2010

All Africa House

Back in Cape Town, staying at All Africa House on UCT's Middle Campus. An ideal spot for the Two Oceans since it is just down the road (like 5 minutes walk) from the finish. Got a better room this time, on the side of the building so I am away from the parkin area outside the Law Faculty. For some reason the rubbish removal lorry always visits that building at around 20:00. Seems pretty dodgy to me. Like those lawyer types are up to some sort of nefarious business.

For reference though, the room to be in next time is F7 or, even better, J7. This is where we were last time and they are much bigger than the others and less, um, rectangular.

24 March 2010

Hermanus Doldrums

Almost another week has slipped by and I am wallowing in the sloth of another rest day. Being down in Hermanus for the NASSP MSc practicals I am working until late at night and then getting up early to start again. Eating late at night and drinking too many glasses of wine to get the mind to turn off. Too much coffee. Too much time sitting on my ass in front of a computer. It is all not very conducive to athletics!

Just around 10 days to go before the Two Oceans. I have a bit of a scratchy throat (which is part of the reason that I am resting today) but nothing too serious. I am going to dose that with some strong ginger tea in a little while.

18 March 2010

Rest Day

Thursday again, so it's rest day. Brad has tried to persuade me to change my schedule to agree with his (Monday rest day), but since he was the one who originally persuaded me to shift it to a Thursday (from my original Monday!), I am resisting the change. Just as a matter of principle!

11 March 2010

Video Footage

Bits of video footage from the race:
  1. Stage 1
  2. Stage 2 
  3. Stage 3
  4. Stage 4
  5. Stage 5

05 March 2010

The World's Largest Tin of...

Baked beans! :-) Thanks. I will not be running anywhere with these in my backpack.

01 March 2010

Messages During the Race

Merrilie [Feb 26 2010 8:16 AM]
Andrew many congratulations for your result, and I hope that you enjoyed
running with my mad daughter little?! I thought that you were a seasoned
runner till I read the last post! You are amazing to have run so well
and your parents must be sooooo proud of you. Best wishes Merrilie x

andrew collier [Feb 26 2010 6:16 AM]
we are fairly bursting with pride at your fantastic result. so much for
the guy who was just going to run for the experience, and only just
wanted to finish the race. you are some real dark horse!! love you so
much and can't wait for your triumphant return home. the 'overwhelmed

mimi anderson [Feb 26 2010 6:10 AM]
have just received some 'unofficial' results----well done for a
fantastic run. you are one tough and talented runner and we have no
doubt that andrew enjoyed running with, and against you. as an absolute
novice in that kind of racing he must have learnt a great deal from you
regarding the tactical side of extreme long-distance running. well done
to all of those crazy folk who even contemplated the race---you're all
quite mad, but very brave. andrew's old folks

andrew collier [Feb 25 2010 3:11 AM]
the superlatives leap off the pages of the dictionary jostling, and
shouting "use me, use me!!" and yet we are pretty speechless with pride
and exhausted by your ability. the finish is in sight---try to maintain
your focus. well done, son, hang in there!

troy and fi [Feb 24 2010 8:49 PM]
andrew collier - dude, you are so nearly there. soft bed waiting for you
in cape town... huge love from us here, and cream it tomorrow! :pray:

Claire Bastion [Feb 24 2010 7:58 PM]
Andrew my darling...you have reached the last day and you've done
brilliantly! Put in that last slog today and enjoy your delicious meal
and beer at the end. You really have earned it. I am so proud of you.
Can't wait to see you on Saturday. I love you more and more every day.
Yours, Claire x

Andrew Collier [Feb 24 2010 6:59 PM]
To: Andrew Collier Hey Daddy :) Well done!!! Can't believe you're coming
first!! :0 well actually come to think of it i can:D .Hope you aren't a
tomatoe?? :pray: Best of luck for tommorrow,your last day, lots of love
Stinkerbelle,Sonja & Storm Ps: The verification to sign the guest book
is so sad, i think you'd laugh yourself silly,you being so brainy and
all ;)

iona [Feb 24 2010 3:31 PM]
I'm sure that andrew collier is a really nice man BUT BEAT
HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! good luck Iona

Andrew Collier [Feb 24 2010 1:42 PM]
I see a man that has been challanged with everything life can throw at
you, love, sorrow, hope, happiness and pure intellect...this my dear
friend is your passion for stimulation and achievement - you cannot help
but completely conquer it whilst all must step aside. Just continue and
its a done deal. So so proud mate TK

Andrew Collier [Feb 24 2010 1:30 PM]
Mate, first place is not good enough!:P Looks like you have only 40 mins
to spare...yawn....you'll nail it boet! If someone trips you along the
way and you dont....I'll come box their ears - Youre a legend!Your
already a winner.

Andrew Collier [Feb 24 2010 1:09 PM]
Andrew, best wishes for a good finish from Team Button (who are rooting
for you, but also trying to keep cool here in the coastal swamp called

Brett Florens [Feb 24 2010 6:27 AM]
Andrew - Chicks dig hot sweaty sandy athletes!! Well done my mate, you
have achieved so much and are an inspiration to all. Keep the focus!

Stephen Light [Feb 24 2010 5:06 AM]
Hi Tumbleweed (Andrew Collier) You are such an awesome runner and we are
very proud of you. We are all going out for a baked beans dinner tonight
in your honour. Hang tough and enjoy the journey. God Bless, your mates
at Regents

andrew collier [Feb 24 2010 4:15 AM]
the novice from k z n----you are amazing!! today is the big one. have a
good day---our thoughts are with you. enjoy the view from the top, and
don't forget to take the time to smell the welwichias!! tell mimi that
you are also an anderson--by tom, of garigill in the 'peaks'. all our
love, m & d

Jason Trauner [Feb 23 2010 9:40 PM]
So my maths teacher is now a runner !!! Good luck for the last day,
that's an awesome effort. I have made contact with Troy through the Ker,
just thought I'd say Hi, Later Jman

Andrew Collier [Feb 23 2010 8:18 PM]
Kick some butt, they are all just a bunch of pansies. Well done mate -
very proud of you. TK

andrew collier [Feb 23 2010 8:08 PM]
good luck for the big day tomorrow. ;)

Sandy Aiken [Feb 23 2010 7:51 PM]
Wow Andrew, so now I know the reason for you training your guns so hard!
Looking sharp tumble weed, you definately aren't lacking the talent.
Hang in there and let God do what he does best! You can rest your guns
when you get back, LOL! Good luck today 23rd, I will be with you in my
thoughts! Sands from Regents

Brad Chislett [Feb 23 2010 5:47 PM]
Andrew, I am impressed with the times. Also very glad it's not me out
there! Good luck for Wednesday's run. Cheers, Brad.

troy and fi [Feb 23 2010 5:44 PM]
for andrew collier: wow - we cannot believe how well you are doing!
beein thinking of you everyday, and sending you happy thoughts of fresh
legs, cool water, and clean socks! rock on, brother - you can do this
thing! klap it!

Claire Bastion [Feb 23 2010 9:49 AM]
Andrew you are amazing my darling! Keep going and remember that we are
all so proud of you here at home :) I'm with you all the way. I love you.

yvette [Feb 23 2010 8:27 AM]
awesome stuff andrew...!

andrew collier [Feb 23 2010 4:40 AM]
wow 'rew. we are in awe of your efforts. now please don't overcook the
cake!just respect the bod and heed the messages.just a finish will make
us all sooo proud. love you-----the oldies

Claire Bastion [Feb 22 2010 8:15 PM]
Hi Andrew. You are going to be super fine for the rest of the race. I am
there with you all the way. So so so PROUD of you. I can't wait to see
you on Saturday. I love you very much. Yours, freckle x

andrew collier [Feb 21 2010 10:32 AM]
yo 'rew. hope that you've had a great first day's run. enjoy the r & r
and the rest of the race. the old folks

Claire Bastion [Feb 21 2010 10:02 AM]
Hi Andrew. Day one is down and I'm sure you're gaiters are serving you
well ;) I am thinking about you every minute of the day. Keep going
darling. I love you so much and I'm so very proud of you xx

Notes for Next Time

So the race is over and I have a number of things that could be done better.

Before the Race
  • Don't pack anything sharp (like your race knife) in your carry-on luggage!

Things that smelled great but were (sadly) not in my food pack:
  • macaroni cheese
  • rissotto
Other Things
  • much more electrolytes (the nuun tablets look very damn handy)
  • methylate and needles/blades for lancing blisters
  • wet wipes
  • suntan lotion in sachets (made by Island Style)

      Durban Dissatisfaction

      Back home in Durban. I have had a string of great showers and I think that most of the Namib dust has now been scrubbed and flushed from the various grimey nooks and crevices. I shaved off the race beard last night and am looking almost respectable. The race is rapidly becoming a distant memory. Taking on a fantasy perspective, like it never really happened.

      Flying back to the Cape this morning. Maybe I am just in a crabby mood, but a few things have already pissed me off this morning. Like the fact that my ticket was "checked" by not one but two officious black gentlemen before I got to the metal detector. Is it really necessary to have this kind of sheltered employment? If you are going to give people a job, surely you can find something useful for them to do? Like cleaning the grotty toilets? Or is that just below their diginity? Or in conflict with their basic human rights? And then there are those shoe shine scum, who accost you immediately you enter the departure hall. Thank God I wear slops, so they leave me alone. Otherwise I think that this morning I might have said something that would not be considered in any way politically correct.