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Home >> Blog >> Axel >> How things can change

How things can change

  • Ultra Marathon
  • Half Marathon
  • Training

I used to believe that running a marathon was harmful to your health.

But things can change, and I went from a marathon foe to a 5-times Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and 3-times Comrades finisher.

This is maybe a journey you traveled as well. Or one that you are on right now...

But the journey I had to travel to get to running - and loving - marathons is the reason why I immediately said "yes" when I was asked by the OMTOM team to contribute to the website's blog page. 

But who am I?

My name is Axel Rittershaus.  I was born 1970.  And in 2012 I had the honor of leading the Sub-6-hour Birthday Bus for the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. 

What is a "birthday bus"? 

Well, my 42nd birthday fell on Race Day in 2012, and I wanted to celebrate it in a special way - complete with 10 000 fellow runners and free drinks ;) 

I had so much fun celebrating this day with so many passengers in my bus. We had fun despite the rain. And this race was proof to me that, no matter what the circumstances are, you can have fun - even run in the rain for 6 hours - if you set your mind to it. 



2013 was an equally special year, but for another reason.

I knew that, due to a lack of proper training, I would not be able to run another Sub-5 like I did in 2011. Going for a PB was therefore not on the menu. 

But a mere four days before Race Day, I was asked if I could run with adventurer Hein Wagner. Hein has been blind since birth and, with his usual race partner out of the event due to injury, he needed a new pilot. 

It was an amazing experience! Hein and I had lots of fun and we managed to finish within his desired time of under six hours. It was his first Ultra Marathon ever.

This really gave incredible meaning to the slogan often used by the event and sponsor, "Run For More Than Yourself" and I can recommend it to anyone.

Running is my source of energy and my inspiration.  And with my upcoming blogposts here on the OMTOM website, I hope to bring you some new thoughts, ideas, motivation and tips for your runs and races.

I’ll be sharing with you my goals and my struggles, my personal strategies and experiences.

I’ll be writing for all of you - no matter if you are a first-time half marathon runner or an experienced ultra enthusiast.

If you see me on the road or during a race, please say hello. If you see someone running while smiling all the time, it might be me :)

You can also follow my online running diary where I post reports on all of my training sessions and races. 

But you have read enough for now...  it is time to go out for a run! 

Yours in running