The sporting life, the health and wellness of the citizens of East London and indeed the Eastern Cape should always be centre stage for the authorities. They should provide the facilities, the stadia and the where-with-all for event organisers, coaches, clubs and schools to become the best they can be.

The Discovery Surfers Challenge is one of those events that has runners, walkers, paddlers and indeed families out in their hundreds preparing for the event.

Ironman is not for everyone, nor is paddling the ocean, or running, rowing, or walking, but every one of those activities will be in the limelight over the next two months, generating and injecting millions of rand into the local economy and enhancing our own self image in many cases.

Recent media coverage of some of our facilities is damning, while the hopefully temporary loss of one of the biggest community events in the history of East London has been devastating on families and others.

One of the oldest of the “good news” events is the Discovery Surfers Challenge and in just three weeks time up to 4000 odd folk will be running, walking and paddling from Kwelera Mouth or Gonubie to the Nahoon Beach.

With just three weeks to go there is not much that can be done to improve fitness, but as in any such pursuit, Surfers is also goverened by the brain and thought processes. Thus it would be a fine idea to get out at least five days per week in the build up and do something, almost anything. Walk to the shop, don’t drive, walk the kids to school, walk to work if it is feasible, but keep active.

In his book The Primal Blueprint, Mark Sissons, once a top American marathoner, tri-athlete and a man who has also finished 4th at the World Ironman Championships has a 10 point guide to health and wellness, and thus performance. This is what he says: 1) Eat good amounts of plants and animals, inclusive of fat. 2) Avoid poisonous things like processed foods, hydrogenerated oils, sugars, grains, inclusive of wholegrains – they are he says “foreign to our genes and make us fat and sick.” 3) Move frequently at a slow pace – try that one with runners, I know, but it works. 4) Lift heavy things with brief intense sessions. I would suggest even working in the garden and moving heavy objects would surfice. 5) Sprint once in a while. This triggers optimal gene expression and beneficial hormone flow. 6) Get adequate sleep and avoid artificial light. 7) Play – balance modern stresses with unconstructed fun. I have found out that children are the answer. 8) Get adequate sunlight – Vit D for healthy cell function 9) Avoid stupid mistakes – ouch. 10) Use your brain – engage in creative activities to nurture mental health and overall well-being.

Makes sense?


In the short time that is left, visualisation would be a great way to get you mentally in shape. Find a coach or mentor who understands athletes, who has enjoyed success, both personally and with others. Such people are perhaps tough to find as even our national teams are finding out, but it is worth the search, you cannot do it all on your own.

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