18 & 19 April 2014
The Two Oceans Marathon Team was devastated to learn of the sudden death of Dave Spence. Dave passed away on 6 January and the news came as a shock to all of us who knew him. He was the Old Mutual Virtual Coach since 1999 and during this time built strong relationships and friendships with runners from all over the world.
Dave started coaching in 1978 and was a top coach in the Western Cape, coaching various track, field and road athletes over the years. He was a qualified level three IAAF coach, as well as a lecturer and journalist. He was not only a coach but also ran close to 50 marathons during his running career and boasts a marathon PB of 3:19.
Dave was instrumental in setting up our Superstars Programme, which saw him coach, mentor and encourage runners to fulfil their dream of running the Two Oceans ultra and half marathons. He was also no stranger to running Two Oceans himself, having completed the ultra in 1980. His last half marathon was in 1998 and it took him just over 3 hours, while his last marathon was in 1987.
His goal last year was to run the half marathon but his dedication to coaching and lecturing meant that he didn’t make it to the start line. This was typical of Dave – he gave up his personal time so that his students and athletes could benefit. Dave loved running and while he might not have been as active as he used to be, he was still totally involved and his focus was on his team of athletes, who have achieved great things and will continue to do so.
Dave, we will miss you and your presence at this year’s race and the running world has lost someone very special. We will miss you at the Expo, where you were an institution and familiar sight, with people flocking to get last minute tips and advice or just to say hi. The Two Oceans Marathon Team sends their sincere condolences to Dave’s family. May you rest in peace dear friend, finally reunited with Hillary.