Last year, Red Hill Marathon was my qualifier for the Two Oceans Marathon. Luckily, I finished already 5 Two Oceans and don’t need to qualify for it any more. But to achieve a good seeding, a qualifying time is needed still. Having done Frankfurt Marathon in October, I got my seeding already.

Therefore: This marathon was really “just” a well organized training run. With some hills. 😉

My plan was to run in the range of 5:20 min/km, knowing that the hill called “Red Hill” with an elevation of some 400 m would have an impact on average speed.

Somewhere on the route

Somewhere on the route

I started around 5:00 – 5:10 min/km together with my good friend Andrew. After 7 km the first +/-2  km uphill section starts, and he sent me ahead.

The road continues kind of undulated up to km 19, where the road splits: To the left, further uphill, for the 36 km runners. To the right for the marathon runners, to add a 6 km loop. After the loop, the marathon runners join the folks on the 36 km route further uphill.

I felt very strong all the time. I did not go to any limit, and was able to run up to Red Hill almost completely. I opted for 2 short walking sections, which was nice to relax a bit. I still remember how hard I fought last year with lots of wind and heat.


This year the weather gods were very pleasant to us. Only a few sections with wind and not too hot.

After reaching the top of Red Hill, it’s pretty much downhill all the time. Well around km 40 there is a little up and down, which you feel after that distance.

At around km 38 or so I noticed, that I might be able to run Sub 3h 50 min. Again, the time was not important.

But there is always this psychological component as well.

So… I decided to go for it and chased a new personal best for this race.

Axel-Finishing-Red-Hill-2014I also knew, that racing the last 4 km or so would not be too bad regarding my further training next week. And it was fun.

2 km before the end I overtook another friend, who ran the 36 km race. That also pushed me forward 😉


Happy 😉

I reached the finish in 3h 48 min and I’m very happy with this result.

I finished in 126th place out of 583 runners; 23rd in my age category.
The winning time was 2h 36.


Thanks Andrew for organizing a beer. It never tastes as good as after a race 😉