I participated in this year’s Two Oceans Ultra Marathon Race and it was so special given the fact that it was my third time running the race and my body surprised me. I achieved my personal best (PB) of 5h42 with a 626m-elevation gain. Improved my PB by 27 min from a “Blue Medal”, 6h09 in 2019 to a “Bronze Medal”, 5h42 in 2022. I was so happy & proud to realize how much I have practically improved and echoed this quoted five words in my head…” YOU ARE A STAR CP!” and yes, is okay for one to be proud of themselves when they have massively progressed, as long as they stay humble, willing to keep learning and show gratitude.
Running the race, a positive attitude, and trusting the process
The race was so epic and it felt good to run it again after 2 years, appreciated we supported each other as runners (running culture), especially at the endless hill by the Constantia. Hmm, laughing (lol) that realization after completing a full marathon, and knowing that you still have 14km to go and struggling to keep a steady pace, while running an undulating hill. It was really humbling and lol, funny enough when I look around me, we were all on the same boat, as passionate runners battling our way to the finish… That undulating hill was tough to run, and since I’m a scientist, and super analytic, I quickly thought of running a strategy to pull me through. Yes (laughing), I used the orange road cones to help me run that hill, I ran fast from cones 1-2 and then power walked to cone 3, then the same strategy continuously till the end of the hill, which after I then could manage to run with a steady pace. Of interest, 3 runners saw this and that I was moving and immediately joined me, talk about teamwork, hahaha; oh my goodness lol, it was so hilarious but worthwhile. All of us we were couldn’t stop laughing as the strategy was really working lol, ah! The joys & irreplaceable moments of running ultra marathons! Indeed for the love of running.
The finish line, overcoming the obstacles and shocking finish-time results
When I got to the finish line I was so happy to have completed the race and the moment I saw my finish-time results, I was speechless and happy about my performance & couldn’t stop crying tears of joy, as I share the news with loved ones. I mean, I knew I had the capacity to finish but I wasn’t sure if I would improve the way I did, because of the sad past events I faced two and half weeks before the race. That is, being involved in a life-threatening motor vehicle accident and as part of taking time off to recover; missing some of the LSD training runs while dealing with the trauma, and having to do multiple tests, to be cleared up by my to run the race. Not forgetting that it was my first 56km ultra race after 2 years of not running the race due to the covid-19 pandemic and the fact that the race happened to be on Easter Sunday, and had to miss church service on a special Sunday. It was really tough and a lot was going on but God came through for me, my body and mind showed up, and ended up running my best, hence I was blown away. I thanked God, for having to dedicate the race to him and showing that all is possible with him! And “Yes trials and tribulations might come our way as we are humans living on earth, but how we react to them will determine our outcome and lessons learned, the choice is ours.”
The running community support system
The running community is so inspiring and ultra races always remind me of the latter. Runners are just good people doing what they love and with every race, there are always positive vibes and lessons I take me with. From this perspective, I want to thank all the runners and ASICS FrontRunners that supported me on the road, especially the elite runner (who was cheering at 53km), who helped push me at 53km when my body was drained and I running with my heart and I finished strong. Even better, I was humbled by two runners, after crossing the finish line and collecting my medal, who came to thank me for indirectly pacing them to achieve a sub6h finish without knowing, how inspiring. Additionally, it was great to see some familiar faces and some of my Facebook fans, Twitter, and Instagram followers.
Long-distance running is indeed a powerful sport” that brings people together and I had a great experience at the Two Oceans Ultra. I’m now 1 step closer to Comrades 90.2km Marathon down run the race, already entered and navigating my ongoing training strategy for the ultimate human race.
That’s the end, until next time, 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.
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.