The Giant's Cup Media
The Professor offers sage advice for Giant's Cup runners
Underberg – Last year “The Professor” gave a master class to the trail
running community at the Giant’s Cup trail run in the South Drakensberg,
but this year Iain Don-Wauchope, nicknamed The Professor, is unable to
take part due to illness, but he was on hand this week to give some sage
advice to those taking part in the 2017 event on 19-20 May.
Last year Don-Wauchope, who was nicknamed The Professor by younger trail
runners at the Otter African Trail Run because of his perfect pacing
strategy, was a convincing winner of the Giant's Cup when he beat Ben
Brimble by 40 minutes over the two-day event in the Southern Drakensberg.
This year the run takes place on Friday and Saturday, 19-20 May and North
Face/Mountain Splendor's Don-Wauchope’s advice to experienced and newbie
runners was a simple: “relax and enjoy the scenery.”
“I have found over the years that a lot of first timers burn up a lot of
nervous energy, both before a big event and sometimes even after they have
started. If you are relaxed and calm then you will not use up as much
energy which means you will have more energy to finish the event.
“And runners must take time to look around and admire the scenery while
running. Sometimes I have to remind myself to look up and enjoy where I am
“It is easy to get caught up in the running and racing and our heads are
down and we forget to admire where we are running.
“I think the Giants Cup event has a good future because it has the added
feature of taking place on an iconic hiking trail. I foresee in time the
event will be popular and and attract large fields because of its setting.
“When comparing it to other South African events it is tougher than most,
but compared to international races it is not too difficult. Overseas
there are a lot of races with much tougher with steeper climbs.
"I think this race is not so difficult that the average runner cannot take
part. One of the advantages that trail running has is that you are
expected to walk sometimes. You even see the elite runners who will walk
on the steep hills, and that breaks things up a bit.
“So something like this may seem long for an inexperienced runner, but
even a 35km distance is not 35km of pure running,” added Don-Wauchope.
A glance at Don-Wauchope’s CV and it is clear newbie runners will do well
to listen when The Professor offers advice.
Last year’s Giant’s Cup victory was just a small addition to a list of
achievements that embraces five podiums at the tough Otter African with
three wins, three Salomon Sky Run titles which include the 2014 win that
broke Ryan Sandes record for the tough 100km event, and numerous
Don-Wauchope, who owns and manages a family resort in the Central
Drakensberg, will not be taking part this year because he is recovering
from a bout of adrenal fatigue and is currently only able to run about 30
to 40 minutes a day.
Hi wife, Su, will however be on the start line next weekend to defend the
title she won in 2016.
The two-day run is a spectacular trip through the pristine Maloti
Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. The event starts from the Sani Pass
Hotel and the 32km first day of the race incorporates the Gxalingenwa
Trail and days one, two and three of the Giant’s Cup Hiking Trail before
finishing at Castleburn Farm near Drakensberg Gardens.
The second and final day of the race is a 30km stretch along days four and
five of the Giant’s Cup trail and will see the athletes run from
Castleburn to the Bushman’s Nek resort.
More information can be found at
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Despite not taking part in the
2017 Giant's Cup, North Face/Mountain Splendor's Ian Don-Wauchope had some
valuable advice for runners taking on the two-day event in the Southern
Drakensberg from 19 to 20 May.
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