Comrades Marathon. KZN, South Africa.

June 10, 2019.

The Comrades Marathon is coined the Ultimate Human Race. For perfect reason. An 89 kilometre hilly run, striding through the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Every step of the way boasts the power of the human spirit at its ultimate best, as 22,000 runners hammer it out. And it was awesome to be running with my fabulous Saffie running buddy Kim Ann Peacock, we both did ourselves proud. Thanks heaps to our super charged support crew who had the incredible ability to just pop up out of nowhere; Simon Peacock, Oliver Peacock, Wayne Muirhead and Giles Watson. 👣❤️ #goodbetterbest #nevarest

Salt Pans Ultra Marathon. Botswana.

October 2, 2019.

Think of a beach. Make it the size of Switzerland, add in some rocks, tip the mercury to mid thirties, add some wind, or have zero wind, then run 100km across it. Freshpak Salt Pans Ultra Marathon, Botswana’s inaugural ultra marathon stage race across the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, was a blast. Every step was felt, it was thirst on another level, mental strength exhausted the brain, and the feeling of humbleness, anger, love and satisfaction was unparalleled. Nature is a beast, and we looked it straight in the eye. Altie Clark thank you a million for mentioning this race to me!! Dale Ter Haar and Stefan Ortwein, you showed us your playground on a level so intimate, and taught to scratch around for courage and willpower I don’t think we even knew we had. A Voltaren injection in my bum after the first stage; a passive 12 km night run, was a bit of a surprise, but it’s needs wants and it worked, and my knee did stop bleeding the next morning. What a cool bunch of athletes and ever grafting crew behind the scenes it was, to spend a few days with on a salty place in the middle of Africa that looks a bit like the moon, with a star studded sky and baobab trees. What a treat. **More words to come soon.** 👣

Skukuza Half Marathon. Kruger National Park, South Africa.

August 4, 2019.

A SMALL STORY ABOUT A BIG PLACE Sweeet…. Only 6km to go. Oh no, wait. That’s not the 15km marker, it’s elephant poo.  That pretty much sums up a running race in the Kruger National Park.

Skukuza Half Marathon. The start gun, (actually the roar of a lion) cannot sound until 8.30am, because the rangers have a big morning task of clearing the wild life from the tracks first. Even then, choppers hover close by, keeping a close eye on any nosey game standing close by and thinking ‘WT…..?!

The mercury is sitting around the mid thirties 21km later, but all good, a pleasure and a privilege to be running in such a place. It was technically a ‘road race’ but a good whack of it was trail too. And in true Annabelle Latz trail style, I found the one rogue rock, tripped hard, flew for a while, landed hard and cut my knee and elbows to shreds. Good job. Road runners aren’t like trail runners, they’re not very used to blood. The good-hearted first aid man tried to pour a litre of water down my leg to clean the blood off. ‘Noooooo thank you, I don’t want wet socks.’ One fellow runner asked what happened. ‘An elephant tackled me..’

The Kruger National Park. What a place. Hard to comprehend the size of it. Only saw one small corner this time, was awesome to spend three nights just in the bush, seeing game roam, play, entertain, look bored, look a bit pissed off, and even sometimes quizzical. Seeing the Big Five is magnificent, surreal. Actually very similar to seeing The Rolling Stones on stage in fact.

Elephants’ wrinkly bums, (I’m not metaphorically comparing the Rolling Stones’ bums to those of elephants, just by the way..) sleek leopard, happily grazing buffalo, very self assured lion, and the rhino who always lurked in the background. In addition, to sit and watch two cheetahs just five metres from your car, playing and rolling around in the grass, strolling around casually, can’t really be put into words. And just as equally fantastic, and at times hilarious, was parking up and watching a couple of warthogs tearing around, and on one occasion looking like they were trying to engage with an impala. ‘C’mon impala, come and play with us.. COME AND PLAY!!!’ Or the baboons having a scratch and a wash under a tree to escape the midday sun. A family of hyenas arguing with their mother, who looked like she just needed a break and a good stiff gin to get through the afternoon.

The bird world in the Kruger is another life in itself, and it was great to learn a bit about this, and appreciate who the sunrises and sunsets share their territory with.

Nice to put a face to the name of this place, I’m sure there’s many more of its personalities to learn about and explore. While playing Circle of Life from the Lion King album, which was appropriately played twice this weekend.


Kruger 2 Canyon. South Africa

July 7, 2019.

Another nugget of gold for the South Africa adventure memory bank with some awesome trail running buddies- what a great crew. 🥰

 My first stage trail running race.

The Kruger2Canyon Challenge 2019 , where the highveld meets the lowveld, on the Limpopo Mpumalanga border.

Phonix Capture cc – Professional Photography and Videography thanks heaps for the snaps.

Day 1: 43km. I’m not one for numbers, but it was solid bundu bashing with 2800m elevation gain, involving two big arse climbs. We graced the Blyde River Canyon, forests boasting 200 species of flora and fauna, great single trail, grassy meandering paths, and some wide tracks now and again to give the mind the occasional rest. Up hill down dale, all day long.

“HEY BELLA!!!! What are you doing you crazy f🤬🤬king kiwi!’ were the loud words of my equally crazy mate Ruan as he passed me on the downhill.. at such speed he actually was a blur. If he was wearing green I would have thought it was a tree hurling expletives as it hurtled past. Unfortunately I didn’t make the sub-8 hour mark for his beer shout. 🙈 You know it’s a tough track when it takes a good part of 9.5 hours to reach the finish line. Ran a beaut 20km block of it with two lekker okes I met on the trail, Neil and JD. We chatted about everything from rock n roll to the size of Ian Thorpe’s feet. “Hey Bella, our running mate Jimmy is a lot like you…. he talks non stop too when we run.” 🙄

A couple of beers and a potjie pot dinner later, we were all set for Day 2.

 Day 2: 28km. You know you’re in for a good day when you get briefed about what to do if you come across The Big Four of leopard, elephant, cheetah, rhino, or the ‘usual’ of zebra, giraffe, etc in the Blue Canyon Conservancy. And when you see poo 7 times the size of horse poo, you know you’re sharing turf with rhino. With Day 1 still in our system, it was a tentative start for the feet and muscles at 6.30am. But what a cool three hour trot it was, and after a couple of kilometres the rhythm was found. Never saw any actual game, but I’m sure they were watching from afar scratching their heads saying to each other “What are those silly people running from, we’re over here!”

In fact, tree roots are the biggest threat in trail running. Yoh, when you hit them at speed you kiss the dirt hard eh. Eish….

What a weekend, thanks heaps KZN Trail Running, what a wonderful community. 👣

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon. South Africa.

October 23, 2019.

We put our worlds on hold for a week, and took off on foot into a world of sand and rocks and rivers, canvas and fire, dirt, Weather Gods, stars and scorching sun. As the days ticked by a new reality was weaved; one of footprints, friendships, wildlife, tales, tears and laughter.

What the Kalahari Desert delivered, we accepted. Because there was no hiding from a 250km pilgrimage across this arid land, the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon. And while the desert played king, the human spirited soul supplied the answers. The true heroes were not those who ran or marched the fastest. The true heroes were those who, every morning, were the first to depart camp for yet another day of hardship on their sore and tender feet and aching bodies, and would most probably be the last ones to ring the finish line bell each evening at the next rest camp. Their faces still smiled and twinkled as they received a loud applause from their fellow runners and walkers, camp crew and ever attentive medical team as the sun was dipping. And there was not a dry eye in the house when the final KAEMer slackened the finish line tape on the seventh day.

The KAEM experience can now be filed away as a memory, and forever reflected on as a week where the desert ruled, and that coke bottle never did fall from the sky.

Hermein Burger Webb thanks so much for capturing the moments with your lens work and smiling face.

And a special word and thanks to sponsors ADVNCE Hi Performance XTR Body Fuel for Sport – our bodies really do lap up Vitamin C like its going out of fashion when you’re running through a desert. #goodbetterbest #nevarest