Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
4.3
(3 Ratings)(3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.7
SCENERY
3.7
PRODUCTION
3.7
SWAG
4.3
Following an emergency meeting of the Two Oceans Marathon NPC board on Saturday, it was unanimously decided that all Two Oceans Marathon events scheduled for 8-11 April 2020 would be cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the global spread of the coronavirus. *** The world’s most beautiful marathon, the 56km … MORE
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    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '19

    BOTTOM LINE: In a way, I feel like I’m writing this review with one hand tied behind my back — because I didn’t really run the Old Mutual Two Oceans … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: In a way, I feel like I’m writing this review with one hand tied behind my back — because I didn’t really run the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. Sure, I completed 56 km along the official route within the allotted 7-hour, 30-minute cutoff time to earn my 50th anniversary medal. But due to the “credible and real threat” of disruptions (i.e. riots) along the original course, the race was rerouted to a contingency course that bypassed the iconic Chapman’s Peak section overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; thus, what we actually ran might best be described as the One Ocean Marathon. Never mind that at 56 km (35 miles) in distance, OMTOM is actually an ultramarathon. And never mind that neither route actually reaches the Indian Ocean; rather, each runs along False Bay which empties into — the South Atlantic. Not that I expect the organizers to rush to change the race name to the “One Ocean Twice” Marathon anytime soon.

    And so despite all its positives, for this reason (exclusion of Chapman’s Peak) I couldn’t in good conscience give the 2019 edition five shoes. Because without the undisputed highlight of the course, Two Oceans is no longer “The World’s Most Beautiful Marathon.” Which means I now need to return to Cape Town to run the conventional OTMOM route. Two go-rounds at the same race? Sounds an awful lot like another South African race I know and love…

    And speaking of that, having run the Comrades Marathon (OMTOM’s older, more brutish brother) twice in the previous two years, it was tough not to view Two Oceans as “Comrades Lite.” From the similar expos to the differentially colored bib numbers to the performance-based medals to the playing of “Shosholoza” and “Chariots of Fire” at the start, so much about this race hearkened me back to the Ultimate Human Race. And as the second-largest ultra in the world (behind only, yes, Comrades), OMTOM is undoubtedly the most popular qualifying race for athletes hoping to run Comrades two months later. It’s clear these two races captivate and dominate the running landscape of the nation.

    All that said, call me a TOMboy, because there’s plenty to recommend about Two Oceans like its seamless production, international camaraderie and yes, even without “Chappies,” its Cape Town scenery. I’m gratified we made the trip halfway around the world to celebrate its golden anniversary. And this is a race I can recommend wholeheartedly to anyone looking to run their first or their 50th ultramarathon. Because to borrow a quote from the film “Run As One,” shown during the pre-race expo, at Two Oceans “You’re not running against anyone, but you’re running with everyone.”

    One piece of advice: if you do decide to take the plunge and run Two Oceans, do yourself a favor and train for hills — no matter which course you end up running, you’ll be glad you did. After all, this ain’t your mama’s American road race.

    PRODUCTION: Race day production was seamless, though the organizers did send out a post-race email apologizing for an apparent water shortage (which I didn’t experience) on brutally steep Ou Kaapse Weg, the toughest ascent on the contingency course. Pre-race communication was relatively sparse, including a lack of clarification and updates re: the rerouting of the course 24 hours before the start. South African runners may have had a better sense for the contingency course, but coming from 10,000 miles away I had no idea what to expect, and so Katie (as a spectator) and I ended up spending more time than we would have liked the day before the race scrambling to figure out the new route.

    The OMTOM expo (held in the Cape Town International Convention Centre) was similar in size to a big-city US expo and smaller than the Comrades expo, though with many of the same vendors. I took the opportunity to stock up on my Maurten supply and to say hi to Lindsey Parry, the official Comrades coach whose podcast advice played a huge role in my Comrades success each of the past two years. Unfortunately, as someone with an Achilles heel for running shoes, I was disappointed to find Adidas (the official apparel sponsor) hadn’t created a limited-edition OMTOM shoe, which felt like a no-brainer. Luckily we were able to catch the excellent movie “Run As One” at the expo, plus I bought the coffee table book “Celebrating 50 Years of the Two Oceans Marathon.” So I had no trouble getting my OMTOM memorabilia fix.

    (By the way, if you’re able to hit the expo on Thursday and avoid the rush, I’d recommend you do so unless you fancy your expo like Walmart on Black Friday. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time for close-packed camaraderie in the start corral on race day.)

    SWAG: As far as swag, the 50th Two Oceans Marathon was about one thing for me — the medal. And it did not disappoint, with a gold ribbon and a large bronze “50” emblazoned on the African continent in profile. Seeing the medal hang on my wall at home, I’m actually glad I didn’t finish the race in less than six hours, since the “5” outlined in blue that distinguishes me as a sub-7 finisher stands out boldly and complements nicely the blue dot situated over Cape Town on the outline of Africa.

    And though it’s nice material with a decent design, the official Adidas race tee doesn’t come out of the closet much — you’ve got to have game to pull off seafoam green, and especially when you’ve got skin the color of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Luckily, the OMTOM store at the expo was selling a different shirt that came in a much more reasonable shade of blue.

    For the complete “run”down of the 50th Two Oceans Marathon (come for the race, stay for the penguins!), check out my blog report at https://wp.me/p2rSqE-1RP

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    mel.mentz FIRST-TIMER '18

    It truly is the worlds most beautiful. Registration process was poor this year but all else super smoothly executed. Cant wait to go back. Support along the road is incredible. MORE

    It truly is the worlds most beautiful.

    Registration process was poor this year but all else super smoothly executed.

    Cant wait to go back. Support along the road is incredible.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    JoJoRunner FIRST-TIMER '17

    First: I thought the webpage is a little confusing with all the coloured icons so let me clarify: the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) is a 2-day running event. … MORE

    First: I thought the webpage is a little confusing with all the coloured icons so let me clarify: the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) is a 2-day running event. The registration usually opens between October and December and one has to register in a specific period in order to enter the lottery and to get one of 17.000 spots for the half; the full (which is technically an Ultra at 56km) is a little more easy to get into. Race day was Saturday. On Friday there was a 12k and 24k trail, a 5.6k fun run and at the waterfront an international friendship run where runners could run with their national flags to demonstrate the plurality of the field.

    To get to the start line you d either have to get a lift or pre purchase a parking ticket for the provided parkings space at various school/ university campuses. The traffic in the morning (at 4am) was aweful. My gps said 12 minutes- took me 55. The start per se is organised very well. The halfmarathoners in 5 corals start in front and a bit ahead of time to the ultras (strict coral enforcement) the start for the had at 6am was in complete darkness (well for parts the roads had street lights, but not everywhere on the highway that led out of town). At around 6:45 the sun started setting and I could see more of the sourrounding but that was my 10k “turning point” when the hilly roads brought us back into town to the finish at Capetown University. enough supply with water/ isotonics/ Cola, numerous spectators and some marching bands along the way. However, the real beauty (self proclaimed most beautiful marathon in the world) is further out and for the ultras…. when you run on the coastal roads looking to the ocean(s).
    The finish had drinks but no (free) food, but street food stands to buy stuff. Shuttles to the parking lots and going home was easy on empty roads.
    The OMTOM is a big event for the town. Organise your accommodation ahead of time. Plan some time for the expo (very crowded); check that you got everything in your bag (I did not have my number for the friendship run and had to queue at the trouble shooting desk) and I ll be back for the full experience…

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 21, 2017 at 12:35pm

    Sounds like the logistics here almost rivaled a World Marathon Major! Appreciate the tips Johannes, from what you say the ultra distance sounds like the way to go. We'll be… MORE

    Sounds like the logistics here almost rivaled a World Marathon Major! Appreciate the tips Johannes, from what you say the ultra distance sounds like the way to go. We'll be in Cape Town this summer, so would love to hear more too about your shark diving adventures when you have a chance – which company you chose and how you liked it. Thanks for another great review! LESS

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