StepOutChallenge: Tshepo Tshesane

Hello Sox nation and family,

I made it back in one (1) piece which is a good start. I managed to finish the race within the allotted time of 37 hours albeit 50 mins later than last year’s time.

I found the race slightly tougher than last year even though the route was the same. At the start, temperatures peaked at 39 degrees celsius and the heat carried on till about 5 pm. To prove that this year's conditions played a role, a breakdown of 2022: 76 entrants, 68 starters and 45 finishers.

The experience is what carries you through the rough patches. At 60km my right abductor muscles start boggling but by then the full moon is in all its glory and you get a dose of energy from seeing such beauty. The pain then shifted onto my left abductor muscles at about 80 km and this continued right until the end. A special thanks go out to my running partner Mpho Tshesane for showing a lot of grit and resilience to keep pushing me to the physiotherapist aid station who helped with the niggles.

Recovery takes about seven (7) days wherein I work to eat a good dose of proteins and an array of complex carbohydrates and fruits. After that, I do a lot of foam rolling coupled with 3-4 yoga sessions p/ week.

The socks and arm sleeves played a fantastic role with my feet both blister-free and chafe-free. The arms sleeves are an item I never knew I needed until I used them. They doubled up as UV protection and provided a cooling effect during the day but also amazing arm warmers at night when it’s cold up in the mountains.

To anyone interested in doing these events should consider building a strong foundation (a well-conditioned lower body) and a lot of core conditioning. Doing a lot of long walks on the trails in differing terrain will prepare your feet. A lot of run/ walk sessions are key as the race involves a lot of this and hiking is a good way to kill two birds with one stone - body conditioning and technical terrain training.

My next race is another 100 miler also in the Eastern Cape called The Longmore Forest Endurance Run (LoFER): Friday 16 December 2022 - Sunday 18 December 2022. This will be my first 100 miler without a running partner and will pose a different challenge for me but I’m equally amped for it and will be looking to crack the sub-30 hour mark.

Until then Sox family - keep stepping out of that comfort zone and you will be surprised by what you can achieve and the opportunities that can arise from these events. Stepping out has afforded me an opportunity of learning about the brand SOX and has led me into joining Sox from the month of April 2022. Step out shape up and start living.

Yours truly,

Tshepo Tshesane

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