The ‘No pain, No gain’ approach to running Puffer

The Puffer journey really begins around April when the decision is made to enter and the commitment to race is cast in stone. The physical training is always rigorous, but getting the mind tuned and focused is without a doubt the biggest part of the whole process.

This year was a big one for me. I wanted to defend my title and win the trophy back for another year. More than that, I wanted to break the woman’s record of 8:13. Puffer was my big focus for the year. Nothing else really mattered. Everything would be geared towards this day: Saturday the 27th August.
I was in this 100%. Continue reading


I was up in the mountains walking my dogs yesterday morning early and about 5 minutes into the walk, my one dog Sammy became quite agitated and ran off ahead. I could hear two pied crows cawing and saw them up ahead in the bushes dive bombing something. As I turned the corner I heard a puffing sound and my instant thought was Puffadder…BUT. As I got closer I found this cage/live trap with a genet trapped inside! On closer inspection, I discovered a handwritten note with two telephone numbers and a sorry tale of a lost dog …and how the dog should not be moved, but that the person should be contacted rather. Little did they know they had trapped a genet instead! The poor creature was beside himself and clearly traumatised. He kept throwing himself against the cage and was circling about madly. You can only imagine how desperate he felt. I tried opening the small padlock and was thinking about bashing the mechanism with rocks to open it, but eventually had to return to my car with my two dogs, who were getting as hysterical. When I returned, I managed to work out the trap mechanism and opened the whole one side. The little creature took a while to realise there was an opening…but when he did, he bolted for freedom. So wonderful to watch him run off into the bushes and away! I don’t want to think about how long he was trapped – quite possibly through the night. I contacted the person on the note and was told that their wretched dog had been missing for 3 weeks but had been spotted in the area. Table Mountain National Parks people had actually come up with the live trap idea…I have left messages with the relevant rangers to express my horror at this method, and have yet to hear from them. I find this hugely disappointing and intend causing a bit of a stink about it if I have to. It seems like a truly archaic way of going about things…


Have been a tad slow with the posts of late. Running too much or something. Today I thought I would put up a sketch I did many years ago. In my 20’s while travelling and working in various parts of southern Africa, I went through a stage of drawing and sketching – mainly wildlife. This is one of them. I hope to get back into it. Perhaps this will motivate me.