Malpitte Training Group

By : Anthony Holmes, Pete Bannock and Jan Badenhorst

The origins can be traced back to 1998 when Anthony Holmes, Theo Fourie and Jan Badenhorst, all then members of the Empangeni athletic club, decided they needed more long distance runs in the week as training for Comrades.

On Tuesday 10 March 1998 they met at 4 am at the club house and did a 20 km training run before work. Anthony Holmes, a legal articled clerk at that stage, noted that by 10 o clock that morning he was falling asleep while seeing a client. Jan Badenhorst went to bed at 5 pm that evening and the next day told Anthony and Theo that he did not think these "malpit" training runs in the week was a good idea. Jan had heard the word Malpit while living in Johannesburg referring to runners that did crazy training normally associated with athletes training for a 100 miler race.

Other athletes that joined the malpitte training runs that year included Pete Bannock, Marie Liebenberg, Babara Cochrane and Vince Brown. Even though these runs were occasionally run after that, the training was considered too strenuous and crazy and died out.

That was until February 2004, When Pete Bannock phoned Jan Badenhorst (Both then founder members of the uMhlathuze athletic club) and complained that his training partners were not dependable and he was not getting enough training for Comrades.

Jan suggested the revival of the malpitte training group. Pete and Jan duly motivated other Crocodiles to join them at 4 am on certain week mornings to do a 20 km training run before work. 

The malpitte training group has since become a yearly training group of the Crocodiles specific for Comrades, starting around February and lasting until June. This year (2006) the introduction of the clubs Ticor SA marathon run back to back (84,4 km) starting at midnight before the race and doing the marathon again the next morning, was one of its training runs. Also a success in 2006 was that Brian Goddard joined the malpitte training group in a big way, which led to him finishing his first Comrades after 20 years and 9 starts. Brian received the prestigious Spirit of Comrades award late in 2006 from the Comrades Marathon Association which included a 1 oz pure gold trophy. In 2007 Brian went on to become club chairman (Groot Krokodil). Malpitte look forward to you joining them on these runs.