'Running Mann' going full ‘Iron Man’ in his own backyard
It is a highly ambitious undertaking but Mann is no ordinary athlete - the 34-year-old Agile Coach in a large Johannesburg corporate is renowned for his obsessive marathon running.
He is on a quest to run all the official marathons throughout South Africa and has already completed over 240 of those, including 10 Comrades Marathons and 17 Two Oceans Marathons.
Tomorrow though, Mann, who has a popular running blog called ‘The Running Mann’, will spend about 13 to 17 hours swimming, running and cycling in a bid to raise funds for high school and tertiary education for high aptitude children who would otherwise not have access to a decent education.
It is a charity (www.justtheone.org.za) Mann has supported for the past 13 years and two of the students he has helped have passed their matric with distinction.
“What’s life without a challenge?” said Mann, who has never done a triathlon.
To the uninitiated, the Ironman involves a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle and a full marathon run of 42.2km.
Given the limitations of doing this in his own yard, how will Mann cover those distances?
“I am going to swim 345 lengths of my 11m pool - crazy because I have not done lengths for about 15 years. I will ride on an exercise bike (for the cycle leg) and run 325 laps of my 65-metre driveway twice,” he explained.
“People who have completed both the Comrades Marathon and the full Ironman say Comrades is hard on race day while training for the Ironman is way harder than the event. So why not just do the Ironman without the hard part - training?” he laughed.
His wife and two daughters will be seconding him, providing him with the nutrition he will desperately need to complete this arduous undertaking.
And to keep the ordeal “light and fun”, he plans on “stopping for a cup of tea halfway through the swim; being a real iron man by ironing some shirts during the transitions, braaing during the marathon, my kids forcing me to watch My Little Pony during the bike session to help me to speed up”.
* For more, check out The Running Mann on social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and his blog.@Tshiliboy