Caroline’s winning ‘training run’
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Johannesburg – Despite instructing Caroline Wöstmann to take the Two Oceans 56km ultra-marathon as a training run on Saturday, coach Lindsey Parry was left astonished as his athlete defended her title in the gruelling event.
At some stage during the race Parry told a spectator on the road that Wöstmann is just not in the shape to do what she wants do.
“I should not say these things because they come back to haunt me. Caroline made me eat my words by absolutely tearing through those last 8km. According to our plan, she went through the 42km marker in 2 hours and 53 minutes, nearly six minutes slower than what she did in last year’s race. But by the time she finished she was seven minutes faster than what we had planned for.
“Our deal was that she could run as she pleased over the last 8km. At that stage she was nearly two-and-a-half minutes behind the race leaders. She caught up with them with 4km to go, which was actually quite amazing because Tanith (Maxwell) was actually still running strongly.”
Maxwell was the eventual runner-up.
The big question now is how this surprise Two Oceans victory will affect Wöstmann’s plan to win the Comrades for a second consecutive time.
“Caroline told me afterwards that she could have run another 36km. It should be remembered that for an athlete of Caroline’s calibre running a 2 hour 53 minute marathon is actually not that fast,” said the Tuks/HPC coach.
“We have an extra week to prepare for the Comrades. From Monday (28/03) there are still nine weeks to the race. Obviously our goal is to again achieve the ‘double double’.”
The “double double” to which Parry refers is winning the Two Oceans and the Comrades in the same year. Last year Wöstmann became only the fourth athlete ever to do so. Derek Preiss (1974 and 1975) and Elena Nurgalieva (Russia – 2004 and 2012) are the only athletes who were able to accomplish this feat on two occasions.
Charné Bosman (Nedbank), who is also coached by Parry, finished fourth on Saturday which was not the result she had hoped to achieve.
According to Parry, Bosman who trains at the HPC, collapsed shortly after she had finished and had to be treated in the medical tent. It was established that she had a bladder infection.
“One of the positives I can take from Charné’s race is that she was the only one of the top ten finishers who was able to run a faster time than last year. The reason the athletes I coach do well is because they are always striving to do better. They are not satisfied with mediocrity. It was not surprising therefore that Charné was disappointed with her result on Saturday.
“However, if I look at Charné’s ‘numbers’ she is still at a better place now than where she was at the same time last year.”
Wöstmann won in 3 hours 44 minutes and 44 seconds, with Maxwell second in 3:45:55 and Ethiopia’s Amelework Fikadu Bosho third in 3:47:40. Bosman (Nedbank) was fourth in 3:48:40 and 51-year-old Colleen de Reuck, a former South African Olympian who now resides in the USA, fifth in 3:53:07.
– African News Agency