WATCH: Runner prepares for 100-mile Addo

Corné van Zyl runs between 60km and 100km every week in preparation for the 161.2km Addo Elephant Trail Run.

HONEYDEW – Even the Comrades Marathon is not tough enough for Corné van Zyl (32) who will run twice the distance in a non-stop trail run in the bush.

The Honeydew resident will take part in the 100.2 mile (161.2 km) Addo Elephant Trail Run on 10 March. This is only the second year the event will be held in the Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape. Last year, 42 runners started but only 28 finished the run in the allotted time.

Watch Van Zyl train for the Addo Elephant Trail Run


This gruelling run has a 37-hour cut-off time so there will barely be any time to stop.

“It is a dream and goal for me to do this. I hope to inspire people, to show them that anything is possible for anyone,” said Van Zyl, who owns the running coaching group, In-Reach.

He said even though he was a running coach, he has to have his own running coach to help him prepare. Renowned coach, Norrie Williamson has Van Zyl doing fast, light-distance running six times a week. These runs are each three hours long, and in total Van Zyl runs about 60 to 100km per week. They focus on running technique, speed and hill work.

“I do not plan to sleep on the run, but if I get sleep monsters – if I get so exhausted that I cannot think properly – I will have to sleep for 15 minutes. Any longer and my body will not cope.”

Van Zyl’s training diet is nothing too extreme as he does not want his body out of balance before the big day.

“However, I only eat home-cooked meals, and two salads, meat and vegetables every day, with some supplements.”

He is no stranger when it comes to epic runs, having completed five ultra-marathons and seven marathons, including two Comrades Marathons, two Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathons and the Lesotho Ultra Trail, but this will be his longest run.

“A run like this seems impossible but with extreme discipline and application of knowledge, with will, I can do it.”

Related article: Run on a golf course at night

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Nicholas Zaal
News Editor

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