Hot Dam! This weatherman is running the Comrades

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:48 PM 

eNCA's Chief Meteorologist and Head of the Weather Department, Derek van Dam, will be participating in the 89 km long Comrades Marathon on Sunday, June 02 to raise funds for charity. Lauren Lee Fischer chats to Derek ahead of this gruelling challenge…

How are you feeling ahead of the race?

How do I feel? Injury free! No really, I feel good. I couldn’t have possibly trained harder than I have. It’s the first time I’ll be running the Comrades. I’ve wanted to do it for quite some time and so this year I decided to really step up my running.

What sort of training have you done to prepare for Sunday?

Ya mornings, lots of morning runs! I’m an early rise so I’m usually out of the door before dawn. I’ve got several different routes I take around the city of Cape Town. My favourite type of running is trail – one of my favourite is the contour path on Table Mountain.

Have you ever trained for anything as hectic?

No, although I did race the Two Oceans Marathon earlier this year. I’ve always been an athletic person but I’ve never had an ultimate goal to finish anything as big as this.

Are you running for charity?

I am actually. I came down to SA about seven years ago with a non-profit organisation called Compassionate Life Foundation.  The organisation focuses on vulnerable children and widows who’ve been affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic. My goal is to raise R100 000 and so far so it’s coming along rather nicely. You can find out more about the organisation and how to donate via my blog

Are you nervous?

I am, absolutely! It’s intimidating but I just want to enjoy it and make the best of it and like I said, I think I’ve trained hard enough. I know I can do it; I just have to do it!

This year the race is uphill…

Yes and it’s interesting because the uphill race is all about fatigue management while the downhill race is all about pain management because it’s so difficult on your knees.  I heard though that you’re apparently not a true Comrades runner until you’ve done a back-to-back run…

So we’ll be having this same conversation next year?

It’s possible (laughs)

Will any of your friends or family be at the finish line?

No! (laughs) I’m going with my girlfriend and her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. We have a running crew who we call the Comrades Crazies – we’ve been training together since last year and now the big one is finally here!

The 2013 Comrades Marathon will be broadcast live on SABC 2 from 5am. Follow Derek’s race day progress on Twitter via @wxmanvandam