The Two Oceans marathon, which initially started out as a training run for Wits lecturer, Caroline Wostmann, turned into the biggest win she has ever achieved. Wits Vuvuzela caught up with her to reflect on her win in Cape Town and Comrades preparation.
At dawn last Saturday morning Caroline Wostmann set out in the cool Cape air for what she thought would be a training run. Three hours, 41 minutes and 23 seconds later, she crossed the finish line winning the Two Oceans marathon as the first South African woman in 14 years.
Wostmann, a Wits finance and management accounting lecturer, said her immediate reaction after she won was that it was God’s will for her on that day as it was something she was not expecting.
“I was just feeling so, so good, I was having one of those days when everything felt easy,” she said.
Wostmann started training for the Two Oceans as part of her preparation for the upcoming June Comrades Marathon.
“I wasn’t planning on using Two Oceans as a race,” Wostmann said. “I was going to use it as training but I felt so good on the day, it turned into a race and I was definitely racing at the end!”
“I planned to run at my easy running pace,” she said. “If I was comfortable after 42kms I thought I’d pick up the pace and if I was lucky enough, get into the back-end of the top 10 in just under four hours.”
Wostmann said she ran with various groups of people along the route and enjoyed chatting and running alongside them.
She said she realised the seriousness of her position when she moved into third position and “picked up the pace and pushed harder”.
“I didn’t comprehend as I was running that there was a possibility I could win it,” she laughed. “Until right at the end when I moved into first place.”
“When I went into the lead, from that point, I thought, wow, I am winning the Two Oceans Marathon and there is no way I am going to let anyone pass me now!”
Wostmann said she does not have a pre-race ritual, however sticks to a diet of high-protein shake and bananas before a marathon.
“My husband and my two kids are my biggest supporters,” Wostmann said. “My husband is fantastic with supporting me, from taking the kids to school when I have early morning runs, or riding alongside me with water.”
“My kids are so accommodating,” Wostmann said. “It’s always: Mommy are you going to run now? And not: Mommy do you have to go run now?”
Wostmann began running seven years ago after the birth of her first daughter Gabriella in order to lose weight. Once she became fitter, she joined the Midrand Striders running club.
“There were so many people at the club who ran the Comrades that’s what got me inspired,” she said.
Wostmann has run four Comrades marathons. She secured 6th position last year and was the first South African woman over the finish line.
This is Wostmann’s second Two Oceans Marathon which she ran as part of her Comrades preparation. Her training consists of running an ultra-marathon every two weeks (for the past eight weeks), a two-hour long midweek run and a weekly hill training session.