Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 145, Sept/Oct 2021 | Page 35



What better way to spend quality time with your daughter than a three-day stage run , and what better place to do that but on the scenic Garden Route coastline in the Southern Cape ? That ’ s how Sabrina and I found ourselves running the Oyster Catcher Trail Run this September , and enjoying every step of the fatherdaughter adventure . – BY STEF MIGLIORE

The swaying lamp is a problem . I can cope with many things , but seasickness isn ’ t one of them … and the swaying lamp is causing just that . Hanging from a hook on the roof , it is being flicked about by the backand-forth motion of the whole structure , rocked by a mighty wind . We ’ re hoping to avoid getting blown away altogether , but that ’ s out of our control . The swaying lamp isn ’ t , so I get up from my bunk and switch it off . The darkness brings back a visually stable world .

It ’ s a westerly wind that ’ s blowing hard from land towards the sea , and our tent is perched on a rise overlooking the ocean . All around us , Boggomsbaai is falling asleep , and our neighbour already has . We can tell from the snoring . Then I remember my earplugs … they are at home . Rookie mistake number one .
How is it we ’ re in a tent in Boggomsbaai , about to be blown into the ocean ? It all started with a call , as things often do : “ Dad … how about we run a trail run together sometime later this year ?” It ’ s the kind of call that makes your eyes momentarily glossy , and I wasn ’ t quite expecting that , but I smile . It ’ s March , we ’ ve just exited the third wave of COVID infections , and there ’ s hope in the air , so I want to convert this unexpected opportunity into a memorable outing for Sabrina , my youngest and now a Stellies student . Not that Sabrina and I don ’ t have a track record of memorable adventures , it ’ s just that multi-day trail running never really featured before .
Overcoming Obstacles
Sabrina started road running whilst still at school , a relatively early start , but as is often the case , the youngest in families are often precocious in the uptake of family activities . By then both her oldest sister , Chiara , and I were regular runners . She enticed mom , too , and their decision to run was welcomed , their choice of club less so .
Our suburb of Bedfordview in Johannesburg has two prominent running clubs , Jeppe and Bedfordview Athletics , with clubhouses separated by a stone ’ s throw . The rivalry is fierce – if they were gangs , blood would flow