Lindsey Parry joked after Caroline Wöstmann (KPMG)’s second Two Oceans victory it has been decided that from now on that he never coaches her and that she decides on the race plan. The head coach at Tuks/HPC admitted to being totally astonished by Wöstmann’s performance on Saturday because it was supposed to be just a hard training run. At some stage during the race he apparently told a bystander on the road that Wöstmann is just not in the shape to do what she wants do.
The Tuks/HPC coach says: ‘I should not say these things because they come back to haunt me. Caroline made me eat my words by absolutely tearing through those last eight kilometres. According to our plan, she went through the 42km marker in 2 hours and 53 minutes, nearly six minutes slower than what she did in last year’s race. But by the time she finished she was seven minutes faster than what we had planned for. Our deal was that she could run as she pleased over the last eight kilometres. At that stage she was nearly two and a half minutes behind the race leaders. She caught up with them with four kilometres to go, which was actually quite amazing because Tanith (Maxwell) was actually still running strongly.’ Maxwell was the eventual runner-up. The big question now is how this surprise Two Oceans victory will affect Wöstmann’s plan to win the Comrades for a second consecutive time.
Parry says: ‘Caroline told me afterwards that she could have run another 36 kilometres. It should be remembered that for an athlete of Caroline’s calibre running a 2 hour 53 minute marathon is actually not that fast. We have an extra week to prepare for the Comrades. From Monday (28/03) there are still nine weeks to the race. Obviously our goal is to again achieve the ‘double double’.’ The ‘double double’ to which Parry refers is winning the Two Oceans and the Comrades in the same year. Last year Wöstmann became only the fourth athlete ever to do so.
Derek Preiss (1974 and 1975) and Elena Nurgalieva (Russia – 2004 and 2012) are the only athletes who were able to accomplish this feat on two occasions. Charné Bosman (Nedbank), who is also coached by Parry, finished fourth on Saturday which was not the result she hoped for. According to Parry Bosman, who trains at the HPC, collapsed shortly after she had finished and had to be treated in the medical tent.
It was established that she had a bladder infection which is obviously not conducive to running an ultra. He says: ‘One of the positives I can take from Charné’s race is that she was the only one of the top ten finishers who was able to run a faster time than last year. The reason the athletes I coach do well is because they are always striving to do better. They are not satisfied with mediocracy. It was not surprising therefore that Charné was disappointed with her result on Saturday. However, if I look at Charné’s ‘numbers’ she is still at a better place now than where she was at the same time last year.’ Wöstmann won in 3 hours 44 minutes and 44 seconds, with Tanith Maxwell second in 3:45:55 and Ethiopia’s Amelework Fikadu Bosho third in 3:47:40.
Charné Bosman (Nedbank) was fourth in 3:48:40 and 51-year-old Colleen De Reuck, a former South African Olympian who now resides in the USA, fifth in 3:53:07.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott