Jo McKenzie and Georgie Minopetros are on their way to Durban, South Africa to tackle one of the worlds premier Ultra Marathons, the Comrades Marathon on Sunday 10 June 2018. These 2 amazing Plettonians will be flying our Sabrina Flag high. Not only are they planning on running the challenging 90.184 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, but they are aiming to do this in less than 7 and a half hours to qualify for a Silver medal.
Jo and Georgie decided to run with a purpose and chose our beautiful Sabrina Love Foundation as their beneficiary.
This will be Jo’s 9th Comrades Ultra Marathon and Georgie’s 4th.
Says Jo – “I have always had a strong admiration for Nick Bester – he has been a long time running hero to me. After my first Comrades Marathon about 15 years ago, I started compiling an email to Nick requesting his guidance in improving my running and achieving my goal of a Comrades silver medal. The mail was never sent. I kept thinking “why on earth would a man with such a successful running career want to coach little ol’ me”.
After moving to Plettenberg Bay in December 2016, I was invited to join a group of local cyclists on a ride. Among the cyclists was Nick. I was so awestruck that I couldn’t approach the person that I had idolized for such a long time! After cycling with him a few times and getting to know him better, I finally plucked up the courage in December 2017 and told him about the email that never was. He asked me whether I had any intention of running another Comrades – of course I did! I had already entered the Comrades 2018! So suddenly this hero that I had idolised all of my running career, was now in my cycling group, in my backyard, offering to help me! Georgie and I have been following Nick’s running program that he set up for us.”
“I have always wanted to do the Comrades for as long as I could remember. Bruce Fordyce is my running hero. I have watched every single one of his Comrades – the man is a legend! Obtaining a Silver medal at Comrades has always been an ambition of mine. I have always known that I have the capability to achieve this, but have never been committed enough. After meeting Jo in December 2017, we quickly figured out that we run well together and that we generally run at a very similar pace. It didn’t take long for her to reaffirm that achieving a Silver Comrades medal was well within my reach, I just needed to work a little harder for it. Calculated training programs have never been a thing for me – I have always been one to just ‘wing it’. I suppose I am lucky that so far it has paid off. Having to stick to track work and hill repeats and adhere to structure is new to me, but it has definitely helped me improve my speed and my endurance. I am going into this Ultra feeling prepared and confident that I can shave 1,5 hours off my previous personal best of 08h52min. “ – Georgie Minopetros
Many early mornings and hours of training have been put in by our 2 wonderful runners in preparation for this next challenge of theirs. Here are a few interesting statistics :
Training started in January with an average of 40 to 50km per week. This is referred to as ‘base training’. The distance was increased to between 70 to 80km per week – ‘tempo training’ and included a good few hill repeat sessions.
May was a tough month with the duo running between 170 and 180 km per week!
Mileage in the last 2 weeks before race day is gradually reduced, referred to as the ‘tapering’ phase.
A quick calculation on their recorded training sessions shows a whopping 1506 km (how amazing! Sabrina’s magical numbers, 5 and 6 in there to show her support) under the belt (foot) between the 1 January – 6 June 2018.
They have each gone through 3 pairs of running shoes this year!
Training has included the following races with amazing results.
· Tortoise Tuff 30 km – 2:21:05
· Outeniqua Marathon – 42.2km – 3:11:55
· 2 Lagoons – 30km – 2:25:07
· 2 Oceans Ultra – 56km – 4:27:43
We wish Jo and Georgie everything of the very best for their run and thank them for their incredible support! May the wind be at your back all the way with Sabrina flying right beside you.
Show your support by sending them words of encouragement on their “Support a Star” profiles!