It’s Not Too Late

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Another name for the mother city is lastminute.comville. Ask any event organizer and they will tell you that up country, people register, prepare and are ready to go for it. In Cape Town, we have so many options, so many beautiful mountains to climb and beaches to swim at that we never want to make a commitment till the last minute.

One of the top events platform hosts in the country was telling me that last year, thousands registered for the GunRun in the last week.

If you’ve just woken up and realized that you haven’t entered for the world’s biggest obstacle race, it’s not too late. Don’t despair, we have made allowances for you.

Registration – Where & When

Sportsman’s Warehouse, Tygervalley – Wednesday 28 September, between 11:00 – 14:00

Sportsman’s Warehouse, Rondebosch – Thursday 29 September, between 11:00 – 14:00

Faure Stadium Paarl – Friday 30 September, between 12:00  – 19:00

Faure Stadium Paarl – Saturday 1 October, between 07:00  – 09:00


Also don’t worry if your training is, the race is all about fun and being friends for a day. Everyone is a winner in this global event and all finishers will receive a medal. The 8km race is an easy run along the Berg River, through the streets of Paarl and into the lower foothills of the Paarl Mountain. The 14km is the most popular race at the European editions and this route gives runners magnificent views over Paarl and through obstacles constructed on neighbouring farms. The first 100 runners in the 21km race will get to crown Paarl Rock.

Remember to make a weekend of the event and attend the #StrongRockConcertSA on Friday 30 September. South African music legends Prime Circle are the headline act, supported by Richard Stirton, winner of The Voice SA. The concert starts at 19:00 and tickets are available at the door.

Have a look at the weekend’s activities at

Make A Weekend Of It

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Not only is this race the biggest obstacle race in the world, we’re making it the biggest weekend you’ll have in Paarl. Pack your gear, gather your friends and head to South Africa’s third oldest town.
South African legends, Prime Circle is headlining the #StrongRockSA line-up on Friday 30 September at Faure Stadium in Paarl. Local entertainer, Juan Casey sets the tone on Friday evening at 19:00, followed shortly by The Voice South Africa winner, Richard Stirton. Prime Circle are the final act of the night, their set kicking off at 21:30.
On Saturday morning, #StrongmanRunners will take to the streets and surrounds of picturesque Paarl for this epic race. We’ve catered for the kids, with mini obstacle races and fun for the whole family.
There is live music throughout the day, with the international rugby test between South Africa and Australia shown on the big screen at the Faure Stadium.
On Sunday morning, wind down the weekend with a Sportsman 4 Christ service with Joshua Generation Church and Heinz Winkler. The service is free of charge and starts at 09:00. Heinz will entertain with music from his latest album, The Roar.
If you haven’t booked yet, do it! Enter now:

Running Happy In The Rain

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Being on the StrongmanRun team we have the added bonus of a pair of Brooks Cascadia’s, the official shoe of the world’s biggest obstacle race, the StrongmanRun. There was one small proviso, I’m running the 8km race.

I said yes, enthusiastically since I am a regular mountain runner. But must emphasize a regular runner mountain runner of short distances.

This morning I donned by bright, gorgeous pink and purple Cascadia’s and set off with my Jack Russell and met my regular running partner. The mountain was wet from overnight showers, but the ocean was calm and we hoped a whale would show off a tail, but not today.

I don’t usually run in Brooks, I’ve been loyal to another brand for years. Although I felt slight betrayal to my faithful shoes, the trail-specific technologies of the Cascadia added a layer of protection for my off-road adventures. I made the mistake of not ordering a size up from my usual shoe-size, but with a thin pair of socks they were great. The four-point pivot system acts like a personalised suspension system on tricky terrain, and a ballistic rock shield to protect feet from hazards is handy on this rocky route. The rugged outsole provided great traction on the wet and slippery path.

Plus, they only weigh 286g (UK6.5 Women’s).

Half-way up Kalk Bay mountain it started to rain. It was glorious, chilly and the water dripping off my nose reminded me of being a child when we would dash out into the rain, just to be free in it’s magic.

I get the Brooks ‘#runhappy’ strapline. I felt happy: out early (well sort of), the mountain a quiet witness to our early morning banter, endorphins awakened, fitness increased, a view over Kalk Bay below, giving some perspective to the day ahead.

Enter the race now: The 8km race is very accessible to the average person who does some regular exercise – I hope!


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‘Soap without a rope’, ‘slide to fame’ and ‘Soapie Wedge’, are just a few of the names we received in the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun #ClaimTheName competition.

There was consensus among the judges who voted for Fred Barnard’s ‘Slipalicious’. He submitted three entries – ‘Wipe Out’ and ‘Last Baptism’, but ‘Slipalicious’ got our votes.

The name is fun, sexy and won Fred two VIP tickets to the biggest obstacle race in the world, which takes place in Paarl on 1 October.

We’re holding out the challenge again and you can suggest names for the second obstacle until 9 September. So get out your biggest ideas and #claimthename for the muddiest crossing of them all. More mud means more fun.

Enter via Facebook with the #ClaimTheName. Or enter the race now:

Guts And Glory

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If you Google guts and glory, in number 1 position on the search engine is an upcoming platform video game in development by HakJak Productions. It’s a game about laughing when you get to the finish line, although you’ve been under siege all the way.

The thing about games, technology and devices is you ‘pretend’ that you’re victorious against your enemy, displaying courage, fighting your guts out, claiming your glory. But it’s all just make believe. When you switch off, log out, you’re not sweating, nursing aching muscles, but your blood pressure is probably high.

If you get your ticket for the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun, get out into Paarl Rock Nature Reserve, wade, swim, climb, hang and run, when you are finished – whether it’s 8km, 14km or 21km, you are going to laungh and you will have displayed your guts and glory for real.

Guts to register, guts to dress up, guts to get out of Cape Town, guts to make a choice and choose 1 October to do this race, the World’s Biggest Obstacle Race. Guts to cross farm dams, guts to crawl under ancient vines, guts to run.

But the guts is worth the glory. Glory when you finish, glory when you enjoy the beauty that Paarl has to offer, glory when you know you have participated in a global event that makes you a friend for a day.

Tell us about your greatest moments of guts and glory. Moments when you pushed yourself to the edge, moments when you persevered, moments when you were victorious, moments when you went the extra mile. Gather your guts and glory. Enter now:

Paarl Dresses Up For The Occasion

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Paarl dressed up for the occasion. Clear blue sky, white blossoms bursting from hillside orchids and the river winding lazily and beckoning us all toward spring and the big event on 1 October.

The familiar noise of the arriving Harley Davidsons and Ferdi’s loud and enthusiastic voice didn’t disrupt her splendor.  She smiled and welcomed us.

We experienced the hospitality of a country town – good food, friendly hosts and moments in the sun that are only possible outside the city.

A group of media and guests were the VIP’s for the day and got to see and experience all that Paarl and the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun has to offer: wading in the Berg River, leopard crawling through vineyards, traversing a winding single track, crossing a farm dam and playing in the mud.

They tweeted, posted to Facebook, filed stories and cameras clicked.

Ferdinand Rabie, license owner of the event, has got to be one of the best tour guides ever, entertaining us with stories, knowledge and no-nonsense bossyness.

Be sure to get your ticket to this BIG event on Saturday 1 October and see what Paarl has to offer.  Remember this race is for everyone, as our media guests experienced.  You don’t have to be a gym bunny to do the 8km, gather your friends, get dressed up and enter now:

It’s In The Roots

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Who would have thought that a lozenge develop in the 1800’s would now be synonymous with the world’s biggest obstacle race.

Since it’s inception in 1865, FISHERMAN’S FRIEND has grown into a global brand, and 150 years of quality and flavor make it a favourite choice.

The pharmacist, James Lofthouse developed a mixture of liquorice, eucalyptus, and menthol for the special needs of the fishermen in Fleetwood in the North-West of England, who were looking for an effective remedy against coughs, colds and throat problems. The first FISHERMAN’S FRIEND was a tincture that James Lofthouse filled into small bottles. Since these glass bottles broke on board the trawlers on the high seas, the pharmacist found an alternative remedy that became the now famous pastille. The first pastilles were sold under the name “ Lofthouse’s throat and chest pastilles”.

From those original orders for “one bag of fisherman’s pastilles” or “an ounce of friends” the brand name “FISHERMAN’S FRIEND“ developed which is now consistently used and is so well-known throughout the world today.

Since 1865, FISHERMAN’S FRIEND original lozenges are produced according to the original recipe by James Lofhtouse. To avoid copies, the bag, the name, and lettering as well as the picture of the trawler „Civic“ are protected by trademarks.

For almost 100 years, the sales of FISHERMAN’S FRIEND was limited to the area of Lancashire around Fleetwood. In 1972 the first factory for the production of FISHERMAN’S FRIEND opened, when the family could no longer cope with the demand.

At first, the distribution in Germany was only via pharmacies; a little later, convenience stores and gas stations were added as distribution channels. FISHERMAN’S FRIEND has been sold via food stores since 1990.

To match it’s unique positioning, FISHERMAN’S FRIEND created the StrongmanRun, a unique and spectacular sports event the likes of which have never been seen previously on this scale.

From the first event in February 2007, the growth has been continuous, expanding from Germany to Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Austria, Luxemburg and now South Africa.

Paarl will play host to this BIG event on Saturday 1 October. Be sure to enter now:

Live The Way You Run, Run Happy

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Brooks, the No 1 choice of runners everywhere, is the global partner to the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun. So bring your strength and bring your happy to the world’s biggest obstacle race.

We all have our own running stories, how running impacted our life. Running represents the full spectrum of the truth and joy of running. At the root of it is a universal joy that the sport creates for each of us which goes far beyond the time between when we start and stop our watches.

Running makes you happy and scientists just figured out another reason why. You’ve probably heard the term “runner’s high,” which refers to the rush of endorphins that running can trigger in the brain, thus making a person feel happy. But it turns out that endorphins aren’t the only thing causing that feeling.

Scientists think they have discovered another component of runner’s happiness, a hormone called leptin.

Leptin is a hormone associated with satiety. Researchers are still studying it, but its job seems to be to regulate energy balance and encourage things that are good for your metabolism. It essentially tells your body when you don’t need to eat or exercise anymore.

Being in motion, however, can cause leptin levels to fall naturally, which then allows the body’s production of dopamine to continue unimpeded. Which accounts for some of the runner’s high.

Tell us about running being your happy place. We invite you to send us your experiences of the role running has played in your life. The places it has taken you to, the friends you have met.

Share your stories with us using the hashtags #livethewayyourun, #runhappy

To register, visit

Water Wading

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The key that gives an obstacle race it’s talkability is the water. How cold, how much, how dirty, how long, how many water crossings.

The Berg River, also known as the Great Berg River is 294 km long and meanders through the Paarl Rock Nature Reserve providing two fantastic natural water obstacles for the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun.

Lift your skirts and wade down this natural water obstacle for 100m, we’ll ensure crocodiles and piranhas are kept at bay!

The catchment area of this mighty river is 7,715 km² and outlets into the Atlantic Ocean. The lead source of the Berg River is south of Franschhoek in the Drakenstein Mountains, but we won’t get you running to its source in this race.

The river in this region has witnessed the history of the Western Cape, home to the grazing cattle of the Khoikhoi prior to 1657 and the site of the first European settlement outside of Cape Town in 1687 by Simon van der Stel, Governor of the Cape.

So come, dress up, get wet, and wade your way down the Berg River in the world’s biggest obstacle race. Check out this video to see where you will be wading through the Berg River:

To register, visit

Making Friends & Memories

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Runners share camaraderie like most sportspeople. Remembering the routes, the weather, the gradient, the time, the occasion. Gathering before dawn, at sunset, at lunchtime; to pound a path, climb a kopjie, enjoy a view.

Friendships are birthed on mountains, running alongside rivers, jogging on tracks. I remember being a Knysna Virgin. Our T-shirts captured the attention of race bystanders and we still tell the stories, remember the pains at which hill. We don’t run together anymore, but we’re still friends.

We run shoulder to shoulder, sharing our stories, laughing together, making friends. The road seems shorter when shared with a friend; before you know it, you’ve covered 10km without strain, conversation the distraction. I love one quote I saw online – group runs, cheaper than therapy.

People fall in love too. A good friend of mine lost her husband to cancer last year. To heal, she ran. She met a man and they ran together. They fell in love and they still run.

That’s why we run, to be with our friends, to make new friends and to nurture old ones. Gather your friends and join the friendliest and biggest obstacle race in the world.

Share some of your friendship stories made out there on the road: #makingfriends&memories #runwithfriends #friendsforaday

To register, visit

More Fun Than Fitness

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It’s famous for being the biggest obstacle race in the world, but it’s even more famous for fun, dressing up and friendship. So if you’re a regular exerciser, either at gym, cycling, running, surfing or playing the fool, this race is completely doable. If you’re the guy or gal who runs round the block then kicks it under the bed, you need to get off your butt and get training.

Ferdinand Rabi, affectionately known as Ferdi, as the licensed organizer of this event in South Africa is on his own fitness regime. He started at 122kg and is down to 118kg with some jogging, fitness exercises and lots of bossing. His advice – get out there: “I’ve been running around like hell, organizing this event and it’s getting me fit”.

Take a look at the StrongmanRun website for a training programme that will get you to the 8km race if you’re not a fitness guru. For the fitter, the 14km and 21km training run will assist your current training.

Focus on strength and fitness – it will get you round the course and over the obstacles.

To register, visit

Strong Runners Are Strong Givers

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The goodness of South Africans can’t be overshadowed by crime statistics or politics. South Africans are kind and generous.

We’re giving you kind and generous wild runners a chance to make a difference to the Paarl community when you participate in the world’s biggest obstacle race the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun.

If you’re an entrant in the 14km and 21km race bring along a R5 coin and toss it in the wishing pond located beneath the Taal Monument. Your cash will go towards the maintenance of the monument and the Paarl Rock Nature Reserve.

If giving cash isn’t your thing, we’re also collecting educational toys that will be donated to the farm schools in the Drakenstein area. Magda’s Sop Kombuis is famous for it’s work in the local community and Magda will be the recipient of the toys to distribute among local school children. Magda feeds 2000 people every week and hosts a Christmas party for 4000 children annually.

So be a Strongman or woman and give generously to our race charity causes.

To register, visit

StrongmanRun SA Q&A

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When does the event take place?

The Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun takes place in Paarl on Saturday 1 October.

Why is this called the world’s biggest obstacle race in the world?

The obstacles are the biggest of any race internationally.

There are more obstacles per race distance than any other obstacle race.

What are the distances of the race?

8km, 14km and 21km

What does it cost to enter?

8km – R350

14km – R450

21km – R750

Buy a VIP ticket for R1200, which gives you entry to the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun, entrance to the Prime Circle concert on Friday 30 Sept, entry to the VIP tent and all food and drink.

What time does the race start?

8km – 10:10

14km – 10:30

21km – 09:45

What is the route of the race?

The race starts in the Faure Stadium, Paarl and then traverses the beautiful slopes of the Paarl Rock Nature Reserve. Local farmers have generously opened their land to the race and runners will enjoy the rivers, hillsides and vineyards of the surrounding farms.

What time does registration open?

07:00 at Faure Stadium, Paarl

Are their prizes?

Every entrant receives a Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun T-shirt and medal. The male and female winners from the 21km race will participate in the event in Germany in 2017.

Is this a family event?

For the first time in South Africa, there is a specially organized children’s race for children 4 – 12 years old. This race takes place between 11:30 – 13:30.

There is music and entertainment the entire weekend.

What other entertainment is on offer?

Prime Circle will perform on Friday 30 September, supported by The Voice winner, Richard Sturton.

There is music throughout the weekend.

The Springbok Test against Australia will be shown on a big screen in the Paarl Stadium.

What is the cost of the Prime Circle concert?

Runners in the 8km and 14km race, only pay R75. Runners in the 21km race have free entrance to the concert.

Non-runners – entrance is R160 for adults and R80 for kids under 13 years.

What about accommodation?

There is plenty of accommodation in Paarl that will suit your budget. From camping to five-star guest houses, visit the Paarl Tourism for further information

It’s easy to register, visit

A Baptism To Heroism

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Selected torture is what some people think. The enlightened know that mud, icy water, huge climbs and slides are the hallmark of obstacle adventure racing. The baptism to heroism.

In the last five years, mud runs have exploded in their popularity: a growth of 250%.  The insane terrain has had men and women, dressed to the nines, crawling through mud and wading through murky waters. Well over five million people will participate in some kind of obstacle race this year.

There are only 5000 places in the world’s biggest obstacle race. If you enter the 21km, only the first 100 runners get to run up Paarl Rock, the mother of all obstacles. If you’re 101, you’ll still wade through farm dams, slide down muddy hillsides.

Whatever your distance – 8, 14 and 21km, put on their big girl panties, wade, swim, crawl and be part of the world’s biggest obstacle race, the Fisherman’s StrongmanRun.

To register, visit

Boasting About Bigness

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The world’s biggest obstacle race in the world, the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun takes place in Paarl on Saturday 1 October.   The South African team has been briefed by the European engineers to construct the obstacles to the most stringent global standards.

You can expect the highest obstacles, whether they’re constructed from wood or they’re natural obstacles.

One of the highest obstacles on the 21km route is Paarl Rock. Only the first 100 runners will get to climb the steep bulbous granite outcrop situated in the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve. The huge granite rock is formed by three rounded outcrops that make up Paarl Mountain and is the second largest granite outcrop in the world. Paarl meaning ‘pearl’ was so named for the pearlescent glitter of wet granite after the rains.

Talking about heights, the world’s first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885 and was ten stories high. It was probably shorter than Paarl Rock. The world’s highest skyscraper is situated in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is 163 stories high at 830m.  Unlike the bulbous pearl shape of Paarl Rock, it is needle thin.

The focus of this world-famous event is #friendsforaday. So round up your friends and register for a weekend of bigger than big activities. It’s easy to register, visit

Event Announcement – Paarl Before Dawn

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South Africa has been selected to be the first country outside of Europe to host the world’s biggest obstacle race the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun on 1 October 2016.

Early one winter’s morning, the event’s marketing team got dragged out of bed by Ferdinand Rabe, licensed owner of the race for the next three years. Anyone who knows Ferdi, knows they were not escaping this before-dawn patrol. The icy air, the trip, the climb up Paarl rock were totally worth it as the sun lit up the underbelly of the early morning cloud cover.

Ferdi lead us through the Paarl Rock Nature Reserve, the location for this year’s event, pointing out natural structures that would be incorporated into the hallmark ‘world’s biggest obstacles’; the location of giant water slides; long slow hills demarcated for leopard-crawling; farm dams for water crossings; and the coup de gras – a fallow vineyard that will become the giant mud slide.

Pizza for breakfast was an enthusiastic affair with all of us catching the vision to make this first event in South Africa, the strongest race of all time.

Runners can enter as individuals or teams, so grab your moment, dress up, it is the ultimate adrenalin kick. It’s a whole weekend affair of fun for the whole family and the three distances of 8, 14 and 21km cater for a variety of fitness. It’s easy to register, visit