There are just a few days to go until thousands of runners hit the road for the annual Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. This time last year I was making my way down to the fairest Cape for what is dubbed the world’s most beautiful race (couldn’t agree more). Unfortunately I missed the boat this year, so I’ll be watching and smashing Easter eggs in my face from the comforts of my couch in Joburg, but somebody who will be running the race is Kaya FM’s Mosibodi Whitehead. He’ll be tackling the Ultra Marathon. Brave man!
You’re running the Ultra OMTOM this weekend. How are you feeling?
I’m feeling a bit scared. I had a tough run at the Old Mutual Om die Dam 50km race Two weeks ago which has left me less confident about the time I should be aiming for at OMTOM.
Tell us about your preparations… How much distance have you covered? How many pre-races have you done etc?
The year started well for me. I ran two half marathons (Johnson Crane and Gift of The Givers Township Marathon) at 1h30. I had a tough but solid run at the Sunrise Monster 32km finishing in 2H42. But a bout of flu after the Monster seriously affected my training, which culminated in a 5H37 slog at Om Die Dam. I think I have enough distance in my legs to complete OMTOM comfortably.
This week you’re supposed to slow down. How do you do that without losing the momentum?
I usually run an 8km time trial and one longish easy run of about an hour in the week before a big ultra.
Organisers have changed the route slightly. Are you worried about that?
I’ve never run the 56km Ou Kaapse Weg route. I hear that it may be slightly easier than going over Chapman’s Peak drive. Also, because this cuts out the dreaded Constantia Nek, I think this new route will make the race slightly easier.
Okay so it’s the day before the race… What do you eat? Drink? What time do you go to bed?
Sleep early, around 8pm. Otherwise just eat normally. If I’m at home in Joburg then I usually ask my wife Neiloe to cook pap, spinach and chicken. But when I’m running an out of town ultra, I’ll usually have a pasta of some sort from the hotel restaurant. Lots of water. No dairy. No alcohol.
You’re running this for more than yourself. You’re doing it for the Thulani Sibisi’s More Balls Than Most initiative. Tell us about this initiative.
I’m so glad to have been included in this initiative. Having been diagnosed with cancer himself Sibisi approached me to help him raise awareness for the testicular and prostate cancer using the race. And because exercise is one of the best ways to avoid getting testicular and prostate cancer I was happy to run the race in his honour. All the money we raise will go to More Balls Than Most which is the sister charity of Pink Drive. They will use the funds to support mobile testing clinics that go out to the rural areas and townships to help men get tested. We have already been approached by Boksburg Prison to take the mobile testing unit there.
How much have you raised thus far?
It took a while to get MBTM registered on the www.morethanyourself.co.za platform. So we have only been able to raise R1000 thus far. I’m sure we will have raise plenty more by race day.
How can people donate?
All they have to do is go to www.morethanyourself.co.za search for Mosibodi Whitehead and donate.
Thulani won the race in 1986… No pressure hey?
Hahaha! No pressure. Not this year anyway, but one can dream. Maybe next year.
Any other advice for Ultra and Half Marathon runners this year?
If the weather is good then this truly the most beautiful race in the world. Take the time to look out on the ocean. Enjoy the run.