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Ultra Magic - Total Sports Two Oceans Marathon

Autumn is here, and with it the 52nd edition of Cape Town’s most beautiful marathon… Tens of thousands of runners will take to the city’s streets for the iconic 56km Ultra and the ever-popular 21km Half over what promises to be an exciting weekend of road racing. Here’s what you need to know…



THE ULTRA

56km | Saturday 15 April 2023

A pace setter’s guide by Paul Murphy (Pace Setter Co-ordinator)


Make sure you have studied the race profile before the race. I like to split the profile at the 42km point, noting it’s a difficult marathon followed by a very challenging 14km. The race can also be broken down into smaller segments as per the below and the accompanying pace chart.


START - 21KM NEWLANDS TO FISH HOEK

Think hold back. Think easy running. Think relax. Think save yourself. The first 21km are mostly flat with just some minor undulations, and because you are tapered and rested you will feel strong and think “hey this is easy”. The danger is that you will do too much and have nothing in the tank come the second half of the race. Hold back. Begin your run/walk routine from the start.



21KM - 28KM FISH HOEK TO NOORDHOEK

Think prepare for Chappies. You turn right off Main Road in Fish Hoek and start heading towards Chapman’s Peak. It is slightly up – though you might not think it. It is here that

you should hydrate and take your nutrition in preparation for Chappies. Eat and drink a little bit more than you think you need. The halfway mark is in Noordhoek at 28km and there’s

usually a timing mat and potatoes. The race starts here.


28KM - 34KM UP CHAPPIES

Think hill. Uphill. Start your run/walk strategy for going uphill. Don’t be confused by the little bit of down – there is Little Chappies and then Big Chappies.


34KM - 39KM DOWN CHAPPIES

Think hill. Downhill. Hold back. Conserve. Downhill on Chappies is perhaps where you will make or break your race. Many runners are behind time and think it’s downhill, so it must be easy and I can make up some time. But it is a long downhill and can leave your legs shattered. Hold back. Take walk breaks.


39KM - 43KM MARATHON MARK / NO MAN’S LAND / DEAD MAN’S GULF

Think prepare for Constantia Nek. This section is a long, flat drag that is slightly uphill. If it is sunny, then you are in the heat as there is no shade. Enjoy the vibe going through the marathon mark in Hout Bay. Hydrate and take your nutrition in preparation for Constantia Nek.



43KM - 47KM UP CONSTANTIA NEK

Think hill. Uphill. Approaching 43km, you start to move into the shade and the gradient increase. 43–44km is gentle. 44–45km is steep. And 45–46km is steeper still. The actual top of the hill is 100m–200m after the 46km mark. Whatever your run/walk (walk/walk?) strategy is, now is the time.


47KM - 50KM TO KIRSTENBOSCH TOP GATE

Think consolidate. The course undulates from the top of Constantia Nek to Top Gate.

And the camber is dreadful. However, the support is amazing so feed off that. Start thinking about your finish. Not far now.


50KM – 53KM TURN ONTO M3

Think finish. There is a steep descent from Top Gate. Be careful to save your legs. As you pass the main gate into Kirstenbosch you can pick up effort on the flatter parts of Rhodes Drive.


53KM – 56KM M3 TO FINISH

Think finish. As you turn left onto the M3 at 53km there is a nasty short hill, called Chet’s Hill after Chet Sainsbury, the long-time organiser of Two Oceans.

Take a walk break if you need one. Thereafter it undulates down to the finish with a last little hill just before the final descent onto the UCT finishing field. As you near the finishing field, start running and pretend that you have run the whole way. If you have time to spare and some energy left, take the time to acknowledge the cheering throngs. This is your finish

and you deserve the accolades.




THE HALF

21km | Sunday 16 April 2023

A pace setter’s guide by Paul Murphy (Pace Setter Co-ordinator)


START – 4KM WYNBERG HILL

Think relax. The start to 4km will be a lot slower than you expect. It’s dark. It’s very congested. And there’s a nasty hill between 2km and 4km. Plan your walk breaks for

between 2km and 3km, the worst part of the hill.


4KM – 10KM WYNBERG TO CONSTANTIA

Think consolidate. The early kays are down Wynberg Hill but don’t go too fast. Try to run

easy all the way through. Think consolidate as you near the 10km mark and prepare for

Southern Cross Drive.


10KM – 13KM SOUTHERN CROSS DRIVE

Think hill. This is a long drag of a hill. The steepest part is at about 11.7km. There are a row of trees that start on the righthand side and you should walk here. Slower runners should fit in more walk breaks according to their strategy.



13KM – 16KM TO KIRSTENBOSCH TOP GATE

Think consolidate. Although the first part after 13km is downhill, this part of the course undulates and you end up climbing back up to Kirstenbosch Top Gate.


16KM – 21KM TOP GATE TO FINISH

Think finish. There is a steep descent from Top Gate. Again, save your legs. As you pass the main gate into Kirstenbosch you can pick up effort on the flatter parts of Rhodes Drive. As you turn onto the M3 at 18km, there is a nasty short hill, called Chet’s Hill in honour of Chet

Sainsbury, the long-time organiser of Two Oceans. Take a walk break if you need one.


Thereafter the course undulates down to the finish with a last little hill just before the final descent onto the UCT finishing field.


As you near the finishing field, start running and pretend that you have run the whole way.

If you have time to spare and some energy left, take the time to acknowledge the cheering throngs.


This is your finish and you deserve the accolades.






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