Cape Town Marathon (Give trees a chance)

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The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon recently announced that they are on the inside lane to become the first Abbott World Marathon Major in the southern hemisphere. I thought I’d take a ‘pictorial’ look back at the two Cape Town Marathons I’ve completed in 2017 and 2019, with a heavy focus on the later when I ran with a tree on my back as part of a moving forest.

Two’s company, tree’s a crowd – and any more than that’s a forest!

Continue reading “Cape Town Marathon (Give trees a chance)”

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Kobenhaven Marathon, Denmark (Marathoning with Mermaids)

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[Marathon #73 / 18 May 2008]

Copenhagen is located on the island of Sealand and is the largest city in Scandinavia, and it was the venue for my coming of age (21st) international marathon. That’s not a bad achievement just under three years after completing my first foreign race in Prague, especially considering that only two of the 21 were planned more than a few weeks in advance. (Ah, the joys of last-minute work travel.) Continue reading “Kobenhaven Marathon, Denmark (Marathoning with Mermaids)”

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The Unexpected Joys of Driveway Running

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On 26 March 2020 the whole of South Africa was placed under house arrest. It wasn’t long before runners with itchy legs were doing all sorts of crazy things to get their running fix. I decided to join in the lunacy with a Home IronMann to raise money for Just The One Foundation but I would have to say that running a marathon in my driveway was my least favourite (and by far the toughest) leg of the triathlon.

The novelty of running a marathon in your driveway can wear thin very quickly. This is what I look like without my sense of humour.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – and when life gives you lockdowns, run marathons in your driveway. Continue reading “The Unexpected Joys of Driveway Running”

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Life Lessons from the Road: Be Mindful of the Middle

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It’s time we revisited that hackneyed piece of common wisdom which states, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” When you are doing anything substantial, like running a marathon or a complex project – starting is easy, finishing is also surprising easy but dealing with the middle is what separates the medal winners from the also-rans. Continue reading “Life Lessons from the Road: Be Mindful of the Middle”

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Life Lessons from the Road: Use Goals to Drive your Journey

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When it comes to major undertakings, we’re often told “It’s a journey, not a goal.” However, I’d argue that goals are vital to ensure that you make progress on your journey – and I’ve got the data to back this up!

Working in the corporate world, I’ve been on the receiving end of major change management transformations – and in several cases I’ve been partially responsible for inflicting them on sizable chunks of the workforce.

Studies suggests that up to 80% of organisational change initiatives fail. I contend that one of the major reasons for this dismal performance is that we place all the emphasis on the journey at the expense of the goals. Goals give impetus to the journey and without goals your journey is likely to result in aimless wandering in the wilderness.

Who better to highlight the impact of goals on performance than 20,000 Comrades runners! Continue reading “Life Lessons from the Road: Use Goals to Drive your Journey”

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Little Rock Marathon, Arkansas, USA (A Little ‘Lost’ in the USA)

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(Marathon #67 / International Marathon #13 / 2 March 2008)

My standard process for entering US marathons involves looking at marathonguide.com’s calendar and figuring out (a) which marathons are still open for entry and (b) can be reached fairly easily with a flight re-routing. For this trip to the US, I had to do the marathon planning whilst on holiday in Japan, so I did my best navigating of the web that I could on a Japanese keyboard. I managed to get onto the marathonguide site and found the Little Rock Marathon, and saw that I could still enter and easily route my flights via “Little Rock, AR.”

Not being completely up to speed on American postal codes and state acronyms, I thought AR meant Arizona, so there I was thinking this would mean running in what I assumed would be distinctive desert terrain. I had never run in Arizona before and was really looking forward to the experience, and it therefore came as a bit of a shock to me when the pilot announced our imminent arrival in Little Rock, Arkansas! Continue reading “Little Rock Marathon, Arkansas, USA (A Little ‘Lost’ in the USA)”

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Life Lessons from the Road: It’s a Jog, not a Sprint

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Business agility has recently become a big buzzword in the corporate world. If you work for a large corporate there’s a good chance that you are currently part of a ‘business agility transformation‘. These are characterised by consultants throwing Japanese words around like ninja stars in a pot-noodle eastern* and lots of talk about sprinting and scrumming.

* as opposed to a spaghetti western.

The good news is that sprinting is really easy – even if the last time you did any running was in PE class at school when you were forced to. Everyone can manage a sprint: It’s a short burst of energy, after which you’re doubled over gasping for breath and can’t run any more. Continue reading “Life Lessons from the Road: It’s a Jog, not a Sprint”

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The Power of Decentralised Decision-Making (and how this helps create high performing teams)

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This article uses a department’s entertainment budget as a simple way to explain how the principle of decentralised decision-making should be applied at the team level. What’s more, you can expect teams to communicate and function better when it’s applied correctly.

Traditional “Project Cost Accounting” Scenario

Each department is allocated an ‘Entertainment Budget’, usually this is calculated as a Rand amount per staff member, e.g. R1,000 per staff member for a 200 person team which equals R200,000 to spend on entertainment for the year. Continue reading “The Power of Decentralised Decision-Making (and how this helps create high performing teams)”

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