Ten Years of Wildcoast Wildrun®

Entries for the 10th edition of the Wildcoast Wildrun® are OPEN! Want to know more? There is no one else out there with more to say about this event than Martin Stewart.  Martin is coming back for his 10th this year, we asked him to share some of his insight, advice and memories with you all.

Name: Martin Stewart

Age: Too damn old at the moment, but if you really require a number, then 53

Lives and trains: Anywhere I can run! But Blouberg Beachfront is my “go to” spot….That view!!

Running history: Started running officially in about ’89 to get away from some real hooligans in my digs, but truth be told, I was born into it. My dad and granddad were both runners, so I never really stood a chance!

Since those dubious beginnings, I have managed to go on to complete the following:

Over 150 Marathons and Ultra Marathons

21 Comrades Marathons

10 Two Ocean Marathons

A Washie 100 Miler as well as a Track 100 Miler

And now to date 9 Wildcoast Wildruns, including the only “official” Non-Stop version of the event to date!

When and how did you hear about the very first Wildcoast Wildrun®?

One of my best mates, Guy Jennings (who by the way, is a complete nutter!), suggested that I come and run some easy trail, knowing I was an utter roadie. It was also my first ever stage race, so combining a few new challenges was a serious draw card! Having practically grown up in the Wildcoast on every holiday, and then combining that with my love of running, it was an absolute ‘No Brainer’!

What keeps bringing you back?

Memories and ego! Each and every time I take part is like the first time ever! But, the bonus is that I know for certain that I will enjoy it no matter what happens! The Wildrunner Team is amazing! They have this inherent knack of making each and every runner feel like an absolute winner!

Can you name a highlight or memorable moment from the 9 that you have done?

Shew! Remember? I did say I was old, so this is a serious test…

2009, my very first! I remember phoning my wife half way through Day 1 and telling her that I had bitten off more than I could chew! Made the typical Roadie error of trying to run a pace…

Over the years, there are so many moments. Running one year for two solid days into a headwind/gale of around 60-70kms/hour! That year was tough.

Personally, 2017, was my most memorable from a pure running perspective as I finally managed to podium after 9 events!

What would you name as the top 3 “must bring” gear items to get you through the event in comfort?

A sense of humour, definitely! Without that, you will be cheating yourself out of an amazing time!

Sleeping tablets have been a Godsend some years! A goodnights sleep heals almost every ache and pain…. No, wait! That’s Beer, beer does that!

Lots of Glide (Chafe Cream) and double socks! Getting badly chafed on Day 1 makes for a pretty miserable Day 2 and 3 as do blisters! So use liberally.

Any advice for the newbies joining us in 2018?

Don’t race! By racing, you miss out on all the good stuff like the mini parties at night, the banter between newly acquired friends and the sheer privilege of running that coastline. Go there and enjoy a great running holiday.

He said it, thanks Marty.

Footnote: Marty left out a Wildcoast memory that we’ll always, always hold against him. During the 2017 event, Marty followed the route map that he had saved to his reliable GPS watch. Strangely, he kept leading first timer Erik Loslik off the beaten track, behind rocks and in to other secluded areas. Only after 4 or 5 deviations did Marty remember that he had been managing a serious tummy bug the previous year, and was, in fact, leading Erik to each of his emergency loo stops! Worth it for the post-stage laughs that evening.