Met de Comrades Marathon vormt de Two Oceans samen de twee grootste ultramarathons op de hele wereld.
In 2004 is de beruchte Chapmans Peak weer in het parcours opgenomen.
Route Type: Circular.
The best news about the Old Mutual Two Oceans is that after four years of having to use the Ou Kaapse Weg, Chapmanís Peak Drive will reopen in December 2003, in time for the 2004 race. The majestic peak, with its fine views of Noordhoek Beach, Hout Bay and the Sentinel Peak is partly the reason why this race is known as "the worldís most beautiful marathon".
The following route description is based on the first-hand experience of Lindsay Weight and Tom Cottrell:
Two mighty ocean currents - one from the Equator and one from the icy Antarctic - collide off the southernmost tip of Africa. It is here, at the fairest Cape of all, during the autumn season of Easter that 8000 runners line up each year to run the most scenically breathtaking marathon in the world.
The first 11 to 13 km are fairly flat and it is an easy run from Newlands through the Cape Town suburbs of Wynberg and Plumstead. These early kilometres are run largely in the dark and the scenery here is unremarkable. This is a good stretch to get pacing right, check on the pre-race plan and to reflect on the task ahead.
As the sun rises, runners catch their first glimpse of the first Ocean. The following easy 6 km stretch from Muizenberg, through St James, Kalk Bay, Clovelly and Fish Hoek provides an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful view of False Bay bordered by the Cape Peninsula Mountains on one side and the Hottentots Holland Mountains on the other. Here you may do battle with the Southeaster: to underrate the effect of its force could cost you a silver medal.
You can expect a friendly reception from Fish Hoek residents as you approach the abrupt, semi-vertical right turn at the far end of town. If you have approached the race with caution up to this point, you will run this section with only a slight pull on the legs. Between 22 and 25 km is a lonely stretch with little to distract you from the gradient.
The first Ocean view disappears as the route takes you along the Kommetjie Road. Next is Sun Valley and Louw's Corner where crowd support is excellent. The halfway mark (28 km) is some way before the deceptive Little Chapman's. This stretch of slight inclines and some flat running provides an opportunity to drink and to mentally prepare for the real test of Chapman's Peak, which lies ahead. Focus on the magnificent view across Noordhoek Beach as the second ocean greets you, rather than on the gradient.
Don't be fooled by the rocky outcrop masquerading as Chapman's Peak - the real one is around the corner, about a kilometre further on. From the 30 km to the 33 km mark, runners are forced to take a slower pace. Perhaps it is just as well because the majestic view of the mountain above and the sea below is one you will never forget. Beware of the enthusiasm that may overtake you here. Each slope appears to be a summit. Restraint now will be rewarded on the other side of the Peak. Sooner than expected, you reach the summit where an exuberant and welcome refreshment point awaits you.
As you descend Chapman's Peak into Hout Bay, your legs take a hammering on a road that is cambered. On entering Hout Bay, you see the imposing Sentinel and you will receive a rousing welcome from local spectators which will lift your spirits and distract you from the discomfort you will experience while you readjust to the flat. Look around and you will see the batteries built by the British during the Napoleonic wars to protect the bay. The bronze statue of a leopard on a rock overlooking the bay honours a leopard who would sit on this rock for hours in days gone by.
The climb to Constantia Nek begins almost imperceptibly at the 40 km mark, outside Kronendal, which boasts the oldest homestead in Hout Bay. The climb becomes harder now, so resolve to keep on running even if it's only a shuffle. (It is also perfectly respectable to walk up this section.) On reaching the summit, you will be greeted by thousands of enthusiastic spectators and badly-needed refreshments.
The summit of Constantia Nek is reached at 45 km but there are still a few nasty surprises in store. Going through Cecelia Forest there are two unpleasant little climbs (with unmentionable names) between 48 km and 50 km, but the sheer beauty of the area and enthusiasm of the crowds pull the runners along. From the Kirstenbosch top gate, continue straight on down the hill. "Older" runners will be very pleased to know that they will once again run past "Harry's Corner". This was lost to Two Oceans in 1986 when the route was diverted to cross Edinburgh Drive via the footbridge. After Harry died, his wife donated a trophy known as the Harry Andrews Trophy which is presented to the first male master in the Two Oceans Marathon.
From Harry's Corner, the route continues via Rhodes Drive past Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, with the mountains towering on your left. At 53 km, the route takes a sharp upward turn to the left into Union Avenue. This is a nasty little rise which was christened "Chet's Hill" by the Sunday Centurion runners when they discovered the new route change. This little surprise hill at the end is set to become a legend, just like the man after whom it is named, Chet Sainsbury, race director and monument to road running in the Western Cape.
From here runners remain in the left-hand lane, with the majestic slopes of Devil's Peak looming alongside, and enter the Upper Campus of the University of Cape Town. All the hard work is done, and all that is left is to run the length of the two rugby fields before crossing the finish line. This is the moment you will treasure forever, as you will also cherish each moment of this challenging and awe-inspiring "voyage of discovery".
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