RACE REFLECTION: THE LONGEST JOURNEY INTO THE WILD!
I ran my 2nd ultra trail cape town (UTCT) race, upping my distance from my Table Mountain ™ 35km to Peninsula Transverse (PT) 55km which happened to be my first ultra-trail and longest distance run in the mountains. It was a great life-changing race and I was super proud of my performance (PT55km, 2704m elevation gain, and 09:59:55s finish). I challenged myself to attempt this 55km and finished within my estimated time (sub10h), still strong to continue and smiling. Nevertheless, this was one of those important races that tested how far I could go mentally and physically running in the mountains. And I needed that particular challenge for my main 2023 goal; to run UTCT 100km in November, which is going to take so much endurance training and more time in the mountains and balance it with my road running.
SOME LESSONS LEARNED
I learned so much about how much my body can endure and my mental strength, from the race, as after 45km, the climbs were a bit brutal and it was hard. But the inner voice in me reminded me to just keep moving… more like mind over matter theory! Interestingly, at some points, while battling pain and exhaustion, I just admired Mother Nature and the magnificent views. Additionally, still “HAPPY” and smiling, at every aid station. The support from the Capetonians and the trail running committee was remarkable and also saw familiar faces. Really trail running is so transformational and the fact that I love outdoor adventures, being one with Mother Nature, my escape place; running in the mountains without the fear of the unknown, is indeed dream come true. A journey of many lessons and for the love of running.
I want to thank God for the passion and ability to run, a fighting spirit I have, as I always once I put my mind to something, want to see it to the finish, one thing I knew from the start-line, is that I was going to finish to come what may, but most importantly, finish under 10hrs and that was achieved. I also want to thank ASICS, Darc’s, Futurelife, and ThresHHold for their support always. And all my close friends and family that I always tell about my crazy races still choose to listen and support me. Super grateful and looking forward to the training journey towards completing the UT100 this coming November.
For the love of running and outdoor adventures and happy running! :)
Dr Caroline Pule
Medical Scientist (PhD), Philanthropist, Fitness Inspiration and Motivational Speaker from Cape Town, Western Cape Province
Club: ASICS Running Club
2022 HIGHLIGHTS REFLECTION: COMPLETING MY 4TH CAPE TOWN MARATHON RACEby Dr Caroline Pule / Jan. 09, 2023
“Yasss! Against all odds, She can still Run and finish was she started!, My words after crossing the finish line of the Cape Town 42.2km Marathon 2022 last year still smiling. And got reminded how I’m so passionate and love running marathons.
FIRST 45KM TRAIL MARATHON "MAXIRACE", EXPLORING THE CAPE WINELANDS MOUNTAINSby Dr Caroline Pule / Dec. 24, 2022
Trail running is contagious, transforming and uplifting; when you get used to it, it becomes part of you and time pass you by while in the mountains. – Dr Caroline Pule, Passionate Runner
MY SECOND COMRADES MARATHON RACE, CHASING B2B MEDALby Dr Caroline Pule / Oct. 25, 2022
The zealous feeling of accomplishing my goal of getting my back-2-back (B2B) medal as I quote the words I echoed after crossing the finish line “Yasss, by God’s grace, I finished Comrades 90km Marathon down run 10:17:41s and improved PB by 1h14min! From 2019 11:31min, Vic Clapham Medal to Bronze Medal 2022, It indeed happened!”
POWER OF MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCEby Dr Caroline Pule / Sep. 26, 2022
"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have"- Bob Marley. A reflection of what it means to be mentally tough and resilient, to have that inner voice that will tell you to push one more time and not give up!
ASICS FrontRunner International Team Meeting 2022by Dr Caroline Pule / Aug. 10, 2022
What an epic, adventurous and spectacular international team meeting it was in Catania, Sicily, featuring 120 runners from all over the world, with the same passion for running and a great line-up of multiple fun activities.
My 3rd Two Oceans 56km Ultra Marathon Race! "Finished strong and new PB achieved"by Dr Caroline Pule / May. 24, 2022
“I really love how sometimes running can challenge me to a point that it unleashes some of the powerful qualities I’m unaware off! It is so liberating and keeps me so positive!” – Dr Caroline Pule
Weskus 42.2km Marathon 2022 "Finishing the race against all odds!"by Dr Caroline Pule / Apr. 26, 2022
It was a victorious moment to complete Weskus 42.2km full marathon 2022, against all odds (grumpy tummy), allowing me to qualify for Two Oceans Ultra 56km marathon and Comrades 90km Marathon. “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never gives up.”— Dean Karnazes
Pretoria 21.1km half marathon during my work travel: First race in 2022by Dr Caroline Pule / Apr. 25, 2022
Welcome back to Road Racing; my first special spontaneous road race in 2022 during provincial work travel driven by my passion for running and what different cities can offer. “Running allows me to set my mind free. Nothing seems impossible. Nothing unattainable.” — Kara Goucher
My First Epic UTCT 35km Race “Conquering Mountains!”by Dr Caroline Pule / Dec. 23, 2021
“Life begins at the end of the comfort zone.”- Neale Walsch. Finally I challenged myself and entered the most epic world-class trail race, running trails around the beautiful Table Mountain and the experience was out of this world. As I always say, “we keep moving forward and doing what we love the most! Hit the trails and leave our footprints!”- Dr C Pule.
The Nutribullet Bay to Bay 30km race: My first-ever race in 2018by Dr Caroline Pule / Feb. 11, 2018
What a great way to start off my running for this year 2018, with the Nutribullet Cape town Bay to Bay 30km Race. The race started from Camps Bay to Hout Bay and back, with a few hills along the way, which made the race be more fun.
Running in Central Park, Manhattan, New York Cityby Dr Caroline Pule / Jan. 20, 2018
Having to be a traveller and enjoying the perks of exploring different cities, not only did running in New York City captivate me but also the fascinating surroundings I got to see while running. When travelling, I have taught myself how to draw up a realistic running schedule, that can be integrated into my hectic to do list. Here I share one of my 2017 highlights, running in Central Park, Manhattan, New York City, USA.
Running in Mexico, Guadalajara "viva los amigos"by Dr Caroline Pule / Jan. 18, 2018
The fact that with an availability of running shoes one can run anywhere in the world, where there is just enough space, I have learned to fit running along my international travels. And the best runs are those while one is travelling to exotic places, different countries and different surroundings and all this make running liberal and fun. Here I share my 2017 highlight, running in Jalisco, Guadalajara in Mexico and all the great moments that kept me to appreciate running while travelling more.
My first-ever Sanlam Cape Town 42.2km Marathon Raceby Dr Caroline Pule / Feb. 11, 2018
My Introductory reflection: First full marathon race. Everything is possible if you put your mind to it. I happily finished my first ever Sanlam Cape Town Marathon with 04:37:14 time, Sub5, qualifying me for Two Oceans and Comrades Marathons. Yes, I did it with God on my side and here I reflect back on multiples things I learned as I share my race story. I had it in me and believed I’m capable to run a full marathon and I can do it!! But I had to also believe it mentally and through prayer that indeed I’m able. Finishing Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a dream come true, highlight of my running life this year and it has really changed my perception about what the body can achieve if is well tuned and trained properly. You can never say you can’t do something without having done it, you have to do it first and then judge based on your findings. Years ago I was scared to run a full marathon because I was scared of facing the pain of what if I don’t finish it as I’m very competitive.
Confessions of ASICS FrontRunner: “Why do I love running?”by Dr Caroline Pule / Aug. 10, 2017
You can never know how you love running until you try it out. Is so interesting how something so simple can be so challenging, yet fulfilling. Well, this is the reality of what a runner discovers the more he/she develops more passion for running and hit the no turning back button. Moreover, the best thing is that you don't have to be perfect to start running, but you do have to start running in order to be good at it. As I share my insight about why I love running, one will get to learn that actually running is fun and is not as difficult as certain people think it is. Who knows, by the end of reading this article, you might even want to run straight to sports retail stores and get yourself some running shoes :).
ASICS FRONTRUNNER FINDS HER FIT AT THE CELL C DAY OF RACES 2017by Dr Caroline Pule / May. 27, 2017
ASICS FrontRunner, Caroline Pule finds her fit at the Cell C Day of Races, finishing her 5 km race within 00:24:08 min under “Pretty Fast” wave, improving her time by 2 minutes (min) and 26 seconds (s) from last year’s race.