I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

get ready for a HOT 2011!

It’s a strange phenomenon, New Year. In our culture we’re programmed to see it as a new start, a time to reflect, look ahead and set goals for the next 12 months.

And yet Jan 1st is really no different from any other of the 364 days in our western calendar. Logically there’s no reason why we should suddenly start doing things differently, turn over new leaves or, in some dire cases, uproot entire trees (figuratively of course) in our need to make a change in our lives. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for us to rather use the start of each day to reassess how we’re progressing towards our goals?

But what the hell, most of us see Jan 1st as rather special anyway. And by the end of January all the unrealistic resolutions have been sifted out and the achievable challenges remain intact, there to keep us on our toes for the rest of the year. So, welcome 2011, and may you bring us all a healthy dose of positive challenges, a generous measure of achievements, and bags of fulfilment in every aspect of our lives.

I’m looking forward to this year. I’ve spiced it with a good few challenges to keep my toes twiddling. The first I’ve chosen is sure to throw me completely out of my comfort zone and have me sprinting for the shade. So, here it is, officially on paper, so to speak:

I’m to be (temporarily) trading the rockhoppin’ rigours of mountain trails for the desolate delights of the desert in a five-day 220km self-sufficient trot through the Namib in the Namib Desert Challenge 2011.

Fun in the sun, as they say – and there’ll be lots of that. Sun, I mean... Temperatures in the Namib at the end of March average in the mid-40’s. And let’s face it, you know it’s pretty damn hot out there when the temperature is higher than your age.
I love the sun...       I love the sun...       I love the sun...
Do I sound convincing?

Who am I kidding? I only love the sun when the temperature’s less than 28 degs! I HATE the heat. I wilt like a delicate flower when the temp’s up. So that’s the challenge I’ve picked. I’ll run in a desert for five days. And just for good measure I’ll do my training at midday between now and then to prepare myself.

And I have the privilege of being sponsored again by VELOCITY SPORTS LAB. A huge thank-you for enabling me to take on a desert. I may not love the sun, but I can’t resist a challenge!


  1. As a trail runnning magazine based in Durban, we know the heat...buuuuut probably not exactly like what you're going to be experiencing in the Namib!!! Lets face it, Durban is tropical...the Namib....well the Namib is a DESERT!! But, aside from that, we've followed our fair share of desert races to know that it's not gonna be a "walk in the park". But then again, if it was just a "walk in the park", Linda Doke wouldn't be running there now would she?!?

    On behalf of everyone at Go Trail. Online, I'd like to wish you all the best for your training and all the other preparations you'll be doing ahead of this years NDC event. As always Linda, Go Trail. is behind you 100%...we'll even go stand outside on the beach at midday just to remind ourselves what you'll be going through!!! (well sort of...!)

    Give it horns!!!

  2. Hey Linda,

    You will LOVE desert running! going up Dune 45 and "the Big Daddy" will be something that you won't ever forget - its weird running at the same level as the birds fly!!!!

    Good luck with your training.


  3. I love deserts and heat - will be seeing you there.

    As for resolutions - I completely agree. I never set new year's resolutions as I set 'goals' of sorts throughout the year - things I want to do, improve, learn, change... There's too much pressure on 1 Jan and, inevitably, resolutions are broken within a week because they're unrealistic.

  4. Namibia is a country with a silent soul. Beautiful and brooding - especially when sitting in a hammock in the middle of the desert, or taking a gentle stroll up Big Daddy and depositing your derrier on the crest to spend half an hour catching your breath in preparation for the decent. Even more spectacular is crossing vast distances in a Cessna... but no... my friend Linda has to run across the bloody desert... and for 5 days nogal!! I will be with you all the way and tuning in to find out how your training is going. My resolutions - which always look good in writing, with pink and yellow highlighters to prioritise the key focus areas for the year - PALE in comparison. Especially knowing that when YOU commit to something, it's a done deal. Enjoy our midday sweat-outs! Oh and Happy New Year you nutter!

  5. Maybe 2011 is the: "Year of the Nutter"