Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 139, March 2021 | Page 18

witness ), I did not . The only really worthy photos to share are from Judas and KleinLeeukop – the night shots are a blurry mess of swirling mist , torchlight and flash , and it was too cold and windy to set up the perfect shot anyway !
Photos and a full GPS plotted route are important to show the organisers , should they ask , but they usually don ’ t , as this run is all about honesty and integrity . One runs this very much on one ’ s own , there are no bells , whistles , cameras , timekeepers or marshals . In fact , on this topic , challenge
Karoline with son ( and bodyguard ), Tim
founder Ryan Sandes has simply said , “ Don ’ t be a chop .” The hope is that all 440 plus runners who have taken on this challenge thus far , have been scrupulous in tagging every one of the 13 peaks – as in touching the bundle of rocks or trig beacon at the summit .
Ticking off the Peaks
My excellent coach , Linda Doke , joined me to run the two peaks that tower over Hout Bay : KleinLeeukop ( KLK ) and Suther . On top of KLK , we came across a rugged-looking botanist with a big camera lens , taking photos of a very small flower . He encouraged me to take a closer look , and I am grateful he did ! It was the most magnificent , intricate and delicate Spider orchid – endemic to this area , apparently - and I was so blown away by its beauty , I was sorely tempted to lie on my belly and gaze at it for hours ! But I had Coach yelling over her shoulder , “ She ’ s on the clock ! No stopping , come on K !” So that was that , no gazing at flowers . Simply no time …
Suther was brutal , and I had a few dizzy spells , but ate something and felt a bit better on the descent . My parents were at the base of Chappies to support , which was lovely , and then my dear friend Chantal and her brood were at the trail head to Chapmans Peak , wearing turtle outfits and bearing hugs and kind words .
I bagged the next two peaks , Chappies and Noordhoek , on my own . Running at night with a head lamp is not a huge strength of mine , and I
slowed down quite a bit on the technical single track . It ’ s always lovely being alone up there , though , and I saw plenty of beautiful Western Leopard Toads in the path . On Ou Kaapse , my partner , Filippo Faralla , and my teenage son Tim were parked and ready for me with tea and a change of clothing and shoes . Filippo then joined me for Muizenberg peak .
The big highlight was the next section , from Ou Kaapse to Constantia Nek , via the Constantiaberg Mast trig beacon . Tim ran with me through the night stretch . I had asked him , as I was concerned about personal safety , particularly in the Vlakkenberg area . He is an accomplished MMA fighter , so I felt incredibly safe in his presence . My very own mountain bodyguard ! We also saw two beautiful adult genets on this stretch – such a complete treat .
Pushing for Home
Filippo joined me again for the Constantia Nek to Tafelberg stretch , which takes in the final two peaks , Klaasenskop and Devil ’ s Peak . Both have their challenges , but just need to be taken on – one step at a time ! Mark was at the base of Devil ’ s and captured my final peak-bagging moment , which was special , given that I was now on the home stretch ! The turtle team were in full flight at the base of Devils – Talitha , all dressed in a magnificent turtle onesie , along with two colleagues . My wonderful friend Nicolette Hadden ran the final tar stretch with me , and had iced water and soothing words on offer .
Images : Mark Sampson , Two Oceans Marathon & courtesy Karoline Hanks


Having grown up with parents who worked in conservation , Karoline has always been passionate about the environment , both in her work in media and through her business , SUPA ( Single Use Plastic Alternatives ), producing home-made environmentallyfriendly products . She has also been a prominent voice in efforts to eradicate single-use plastic water sachets from road running in South Africa .
It all started in April 2013 when Karoline went for a run on Chapman ’ s Peak three days after the Two Oceans Marathon . “ It was a very windy race that year , and when I looked down on the verges below the road , I just saw a whole lot of plastic sachets , so I started cleaning up . However , I soon realised I had a bigger job on my hands , so I went home , got some bags , and filled up three and a half bags of sachets , plastic bottles and polystyrene peaks .”
“ When I got home , I did a bit of research and realised this was just part of a much bigger problem , because this pollution was happening every weekend in road races all over the country ! That night I wrote an article and it was published verbatim in the Cape Times . I also shared pics on social media of the race waste I cleared from the route . I then received a call from the Two Oceans race director , asking if they could talk to me , and I went into that meeting with a couple of the bags of rubbish I had collected . Halfway through the discussion , I put the bags on the table and told them that this was unacceptable .”
18 ISSUE 139 MARCH 2021 / www . modernathlete . co . za