Inspiring Runner: Louis Massyn
Every mass participation event in South Africa – and indeed, the world – has athletes who return year after year and become part of that particular race’s history.
The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is no different, with over 4 000 runners belonging to the Blue Number Club for the honour of completing more than 10 Ultra or Half Marathons.
But then you get that rare breed of athlete who gains virtual immortality through his or her commitment to the sport. Louis Massyn is one such athlete.
When Race Day draws to a close on 26 March 2016, Louis would have completed 41 OMTOM Ultras to match his 41 Comrades Marathons!
Louis – member and president of the Goudveld Multisport Club in Welkom - shares some of his favourite memories…
“I ran my first Two Oceans Marathon in 1976, starting across the rugby field at Brookside – Villagers Rugby Club.
Between 1976 and now I have earned six Silver Medals, with my time in 1981 when I ran a 3:41 Ultra.
So many things have changed. So many things have stayed the same. But the one thing that always remains a constant is the cheering and support on Race Day.
Back in the day, we were allowed seconds along the route. Athletes stopped on Chapman’s Peak to take in the spectacular view – even the top ones.
Over the years we have also encountered all kinds of weather conditions – including all four seasons in one day. We’ve run in the cold, in the pouring rain, in the most extreme wind and searing heat.
Personally, I prefer the Chappies Route. Running along Muizenberg, St James and Fish Hoek is just awesome. Sun Valley with the throngs of cheering spectators is just great, and passing through Hout Bay is incredible!
Moving towards Constantia Nek is where the race really starts, and this is where you see a lot of suffering. I prefer my downhills, when I reach the top of Constantia Nek and start my descent to the finish line is a highlight for me.
Finishing at UCT always gives me the greatest feeling, and when I ran my 40th last year I enjoyed tremendous encouragement from athletes and spectators alike!
My 10th OMTOM was unforgettable, and I was the 35th athlete in the event’s history to receive my permanent number. Last year (2015), I became the first runner ever to complete 40 Comrades and Two Oceans Ultras respectively, and consecutively. What a feeling!”
Watch out for Louis as he runs his 41st Ultra on 26 March!