Friday, February 26, 2010

Frith returns to Two Oceans

Stephen Penney

Two Oceans Marathon record holder, Frith van der Merwe, will return to Two Oceans this year for the first time since finishing tenth in 1999.

However, Van der Merwe will not be running the ultra marathon, but will be handing out the blue numbers to the runners finishing their tenth Two Oceans ultra.

Van der Merwe, who teaches at St Andrew’s College and is a member of the Run/ Walk For Life Athletics Club, said she is very excited to return to this year’s Old Mutual Two Oceans, “the world’s most beautiful marathon”.

This outstanding athlete still holds the record for the Two Oceans course in a time of three hours 30 minutes and 36 seconds, which was set in 1989, the same year she went on to set the Comrades Marathon record, which also still stands to this day.

Van der Merwe said it was a huge honour for her return to Two Oceans and hand out the blue numbers, although she did expect something like this to happen at Comrades first.

After her record win in 1989, where she received a vehicle for breaking the record, she remembers feeling “so good” adding that she went on to break the 50km world record in the process.

Van der Merwe says the Two Oceans is a race of which she has always had fond memories. Meanwhile, as part of a fundraising effort Two Oceans will auction off 20 half-marathon and 10 ultra marathon entries as
well as an autographed pair of Usain Bolt’s Puma spikes, to the highest bidders. For more information visit www.oldmutual.

While entries for the Two Oceans half-marathon are closed, entries for the ultra marathon close on 3 March. This year sees the introduction of 8km and 18km trail runs, which take place on Good Friday, the day before the Two Oceans half and ultra marathons.