Last year I tried to qualify for the Two Oceans at the Soweto Marathon but I only finished in 5h09. I’ve been training much more since Christmas and I’m wondering which is an easier race to qualify in – Johnson Crane or the Pick n Pay marathon in Feb. Is one marathon much easier than the other or is it pretty much the same.
I’ve only done the halfs at these events, but seeing that they are both two lappers I can give you some perspective. The two are very different. PnP is undulating and if you like that type of course it will work for you. Johnson Crane is almost slightly down hill for most of the run, but then it climbs ever so slightly, but relentlessly between 14km and 20km which people find difficult on the second lap. The last km is downhill at JC which I always enjoy whereas with Pnp there is a little climb to the finish. If you choose JC just be a bit selfish and stand towards the front at the start as the first couple of kms are very slow due to the masses and if need to qualify you will need those extra minutes.
@Paul, did you run the Johnson Crane marathon? Many people use this race to qualify, but it is a relentless race in that you have to exert effort all the way, because it is so flat. It is also usually quite hot at the end of January.
Pick n Pay is not a very easy race to run also. As Madelein says, it is quite undulating and the finish can be quite excruciating, especially if you are struggling to finish within cutoff.
The easier qualifying race may be Township marathon, at the end of February. It is usually on the last Sunday of Feb, so most people are well into their training and are mentally and physically fit to run a marathon by then. It is a level 2 race (as opposed to the level 5/5 Deloitte marathon the day before in Pretoria), so not quite as flat as Johnson Crane, but a little easier on the body and mind.
Thanks for your input guys, I really appreciate it. I’ll let you know what happened.
I’ve been looking at the Township Marathon and giving it some consideration, I’m just starting the feel the pressure of getting that qualifier out the way.
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