N0.1 health, SPORT and LIFESTYLE magazine in the region Official magazine of
Sport& Issue 16
get fit whileyou work
Golfmuscle Golf’s biggest hitter reveals why modern pros are spending more time than ever in the gym
OLYMPIC GAMES INSPIRATION
DPWorldTour Championship FREE TICKETS TO GOLF’S BIGGEST SHOWDOWN – SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS
LET’S ALL DO THE MOBOT SO that’s it then, one of the greatest sporting summers in the history of the universe is over and we all go back to normal…or do we? The motto of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was ‘Inspire a Generation’ – which was of course referring to the creation of tomorrow’s generation of athletes. But us oldies appear to have been inspired too. Whether it turns out to be a ‘flash in the pan’ remains to be seen, but certainly, in the immediate afterglow of the summer Games, more of us around the world than ever before are heading down to the gym, running track or sports field in a bid to get in shape or reignite our long forgotten sporting passions. I for one have donned the old running shoes and taken to pounding the streets as I re-embark upon my long running battle with the bulge. Where once I would have given up after a few miles, exhausted and dejected, now, in my mind’s eye, I’m Mo Farah! ‘What would Mo do?’ I ask myself. ‘He’d keep going of course, he’d never give up, so stop moaning and get moving.’ And yes, when I finally take those last few agonising steps over the finish line of my Herculean six-mile circuit, I have a quick glance around me to check if anyone’s looking before allowing myself a cheeky MoBot by way of celebration. That’s the great thing about sport, we can all do it at a level that suits us and when we achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves, we’re all Mo Farahs in our own way. The same applies to the targets we set ourselves in the gym. Check out our article on Olympic inspiration on pg 51 and if you’re still struggling for motivation turn to pg 65 to read about South Sudanese marathon runner Guor Marial who fled his war-torn country to save his life after 28 of his family members were killed and he was kept as a slave. After finding asylum in the US and gaining a degree in chemistry Guor ran quick enough in his first ever marathon to qualify for the Olympics. If he can do that, we can surely get off our bums and start getting active! Our cover star for this issue, big-hitting Belgian golfer Nicolas Colsaerts (pg 39), was someone who, by his own admission, used to spend more time partying than practicing to be the best he could. But a couple of years ago he decided it was time to get serious and overhauled his approach to the game, which led to him winning his first European Tour title last year. This year he went a step further and embarked upon an intensive training regime using CrossFit to get into the best shape of his life. The result is he’s enjoyed the finest season of his career and is about to play in The Ryder Cup for the first time before heading to Dubai intent on winning one of the biggest events outside the Majors, the DP World Tour Championship. Just shows what you can do when you put your mind to it.
We hope you have as much fun reading the magazine as we’ve had creating it. Richard Bevan Editor
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REgulars P6-11 Scene spectacular images from the sporting landscape p15-23 fitness first news a round up of what’s been happening in the region’s no.1 gym network p30-31 sports calendar a look at wHAT’S AHEAD ON THE SPORTING HORIZON p49-63 health and fitness WE LOOK AT HOW THE OLYMPICS CAN INSPIRE US, HISEM HAGRAS BUSTS SOME MYTHS SURROUNDING WOMAN AND WEIGHT TRAINING, HOW TO FUEL YOUR WORKOUTS AND KEEPING FIT AT WORK
Features P25-29 JOURNEY TO THE ROOF OF AFRICA FITNESS FIRST’S Gary Melhuish gives a first hand account of the expedition he
led to the summit of the world’s largest freestanding mountain Kilimanjaro
P32-37 DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DUBAI’S UPCOMING STAR-STUDDED GOLF TOURNAMENT INCLUDING HOW TO GET YOUR HANDS ON FREE TICKETS
P39-43 COVER STORY: GOLF POWER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH GOLF’S BIGGEST HITTER NICOLAS COLSAERTS ABOUT HOW HE HIT THE GYM AND STARTED USING CROSSFIT TO POWER HIS WAY TO VICTORY
P45-47 BEHIND THE STARS LEADING SPORT PSYCHOLOGIST SIMON HARTLEY REVEALS HOW THE SPACE BETWEEN YOUR EARS CAN BE YOUR GREATEST ASSET IN BOTH SPORT AND BUSINESS
P65-68 RUN FOR YOUR LIFE THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF HOW MARATHON RUNNER GUOR MARIAL FLED CIVIL WAR AND SLAVERY IN SUDAN TO ACHIEVE HIS OLYMPIC DREAM
P71 YOHAN BLAKE GETTING TO KNOW THE JAMAICAN power house SPRINTER known as the beast p72 VIN DIESEL FIND OUT HOW THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS STAR gets ripped for the silver screen
earth Iker Pou becomes the first person to climb the Nit de Bruixes as the sun goes down in Margalef, Spain. Photo: Alberto Lessmann
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
water Orlando Duque dives off The Stone Arch in Tulenovo, Bulgaria.
Photo: Predrag Vuckovic
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
AIR Darren Berrecloth’s skills are captured in the Gobi desert sunset during the filming of ‘Where the Trail Ends’ in Turpan, Xinjiang, China. Photo: John Wellburn
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
ÂŠ2012 Reebok International Limited. All rights reserved. Reebok is a registered trademark and RealFlex is a trademark of Reebok International Limited.
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
REEBOK REALFLEX APPAREL – NATURAL MOVEMENT, PERFECTED
he new RealFlex apparel collection from Reebok, now available for the first time in the Middle East, is designed for women who want total flexibility and comfortable, ergonomic construction in their training apparel. Designed with natural movement in mind, just like the RealFlex footwear range introduced in 2011, the new RealFlex AW12 collection for women has been designed in a variety of feminine colours with longer fit and minimal seams to flatter the female form. Since 2011, Reebok has extended its design focus on natural movement to this full range of performance training apparel. RealFlex is specifically engineered to help maximise your range of motion with clean ergonomic lines and technology for optimal performance. The RealFlex Cool Seamless Long Bra and RealFlex Seamless Capri both contain a four-way stretch knitted construction for flexibility and engineered RealVent ventilation and PlayDry technology enabling you to keep cool and maximise your range of motion without restraint. Ideal for any training, the RealFlex Cool Seamless Long Bra top hugs the upper body with the knitted tube inner bra while wide straps provide support and open-hole texture in key sweat areas are added for breathability and comfort. The RealFlex Cool Seamless Capri is designed with a wide waist band for a better fit and additional comfort and incorporates an internal key pocket into the design for convenience. Talking about the launch of RealFlex in the region, Mark Greiner, General Manager of RBK Middle East said: “Women in the region are becoming increasingly fitness focused and demand training apparel to suit a variety of workouts. It’s great that they can now find the comfort and flexibility that they have previously found in the RealFlex footwear range in the RealFlex apparel collection.”
The new RealFlex apparel collection will be available at all Reebok stores and Sporting Goods stores across the Middle East.
Reebok RealFlex apparel has been worn by Reebok CrossFit athletes, Rich Froning and Annie Thorrisdotir, both winners of the 2011 and 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games – they are the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth™.
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
Dubai Fitness Competition concludes in thrilling fashion
RANT Goes and Eva Clarke are officially the two fittest people in Dubai after they won the Dubai Fitness Competition held recently at the Dubai Mall Ice Rink. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, a firstof-its-kind fitness competition was held between 42
men and women who qualified from heats to take part in the Final. Clarke, who hails from Australia, and Goes, who is from New Zealand and is an instructor at Fitness First, both prevailed after showing immense fitness levels over a series of activities which tested speed, stamina and strength and both picked up a cheque for a cool AED100,000. Clarke won ahead of second
Winner Eva Clarke (left) is pictured with runner-up Emily Estall (centre) and third placed Charlotte Mathers at the recent Dubai Fitness Competition.
placed Emily Estall while Charlotte Mathers finished third and in the menâ€™s event Goes won ahead of Clifford Tindell and Darryn Whitsitt respectively. n S&F caught up with the two champions shortly after their victories to get the low-down on the Dubai Fitness Competition by Fitness First. Turn the page to find out what makes the these super-fit individuals tick.
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
To watch the highlights from the Dubai Fitness Competition log onto
Q: Was it an easy decision to enter the competition and did you think you had a chance of winning? A: I believe in ‘Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk’ and as a fitness addict it seemed like the right thing to do. I did doubt if I should enter or not, because I’m not into physical fitness to be better than anyone, I just love being active and fit. Once I entered though, I started to think about how fun it would be to be involved, but it would also provide me with a gauge on how I sit amongst the many great fit and athletic people here in Dubai – turns out that my fitness isn’t too bad!
Q: What were your overall impressions of the final? A: The final was simply awesome! Not because I won, but because of the people involved. The athletes competing were at a very high level of fitness, the crowds were so supportive and the helpers, judges and organisers all did a fantastic job, I really do take my hat off to them. If I had finished last I would have still loved the atmosphere and to have had the opportunity to take part. The circuit was fun and had a bit of everything – resistance, cardiovascular, mobility, endurance, skill/technique, so it made for great competition that tested the all-round ability of every athlete. I hope that they hold the finals at the ice rink or somewhere similar again next year, the location made for such a great atmosphere that allowed a lot of people to watch, be involved and be heard. Q: What motivational advice would you give to Fitness First members who are starting out on a new fitness journey? A: Find an activity or event away from the gym. Motivation comes from having the desire to get fit for a reason. For example – you really want enter a running race of 5km or 10km but can not currently do the distance. You would have a lot more motivation to begin a new fitness journey if the end result will see you completing/doing well in the race. Q: Many people were inspired by your immense level of fitness, what is your No.1 tip for anyone who is already training but wants to increase their levels of fitness to be able to enter a competition like this? A: My fitness comes from the passion I have for an active lifestyle. So when it comes to training time I believe people should have a well-balanced training programme that includes: functional resistance, cardiovascular endurance and mobility/flexibility training backed up with a nutrition plan for performance. For example, I swim 1-2km every two or three days, I do one hour of cardio daily, 30-45 minutes of full body movement resistance exercises every day, kitesurf (whenever there is wind) and I always create the opportunity to walk, take the stairs, get active or simply move whenever possible. People need to remember that it’s about a lifestyle, our bodies are a direct result of the lifestyle we lead. n
is Dubai’s fittest man and a Fitness First Futuro TUFF instructor – come to your nearest club to see him in action.
Q: What inspired you to enter the Dubai Fitness Competition? A: My husband saw the flyer in the paper, took a picture and said, “Is this you?” He sent it to me via text and I thought to myself, ‘years of training behind me and a high level of fitness...I should definitely give it ago.’ I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I was eager to find out the circuit to see if it suited my training genre. When I saw the initial circuit, I thought, ‘this will be challenging’. It was basically repetitive exercises with minimal load and short cardio bursts and I knew the qualifying rounds would be tight. I had to go back a second time to get myself in the finals as the times started getting quicker, but when I got an 8.32 mins I was sure I had secured a spot. Q: What did you think of the Final? A: It was brilliant, I was gob smacked with the professional set up. The team at Fitness First did a great job along with Raymond Sport to set up such an arena to suit professional fitness gladiators. Matt Coe built a circuit that created chaos in the nervous system and was a shock to the entire energy system. Blood was shunting from upper to lower limbs and the circuit was putting me in the hurt locker. My mindset kept me going, I wanted to win and if you want to win you just don’t stop! If I was thirsty I would drink later. I thought stopping for a drink was just an excuse to rest and I didn’t want to do that because I would get beaten, I knew it would be over in 20 minutes so I knew it wasn’t going to be a lifetime of pain. But I was glad it was over when I crossed the finish line. Q: What motivational advice would you give to Fitness First members who are starting out on a new fitness journey? A: Anyone just starting out in fitness needs to
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
Eva Clarke is officially the fittest woman in Dubai. Here’s what she thought of the Dubai Fitness Competition.
find out what suits them. Try a variety of training aspects that can then be turned into daily habits. If you feel passion towards that style of fitness it will keep you going back for more. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Beginners should take it easy and not overdo it with too many classes in one day. Think about baby steps – crawling before you walk and walking before you run. Ease yourself into whatever style of exercise or training makes you feel powerful and strong but they key is to get started. The longer you sit back and not show yourself what you’re worth physically and mentally the more time you waste not becoming the fitter, faster stronger you. Everyone starts somewhere, we aren’t born in the gym. With personal dedication, commitment and self-motivation we take ourselves there and work hard to become the best we can. A fitness journey
starts with one class, one rep, one walk, one run or even just one burpee! Winning starts today! Q: Many people were inspired by your immense level of fitness, what is your No.1 tip for anyone who is already training but wants to increase their levels of fitness? A: Don’t get caught up in one style of training, I am at my best because I use a vast variety of key fitness elements in my programming. I train myself daily and use a combination of strength, endurance, speed and power sessions. Commitment and consistency are vital to be your best, eat CLEAN and train MEAN! If you enter a contest go there to win, and if you don’t win at least you have an automatic goal for the next event that comes round, because from the bottom you can always go up. And when you’re up you’ll work your butt off to remain on top! n
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
Family Fun-Day held for a good cause
ITNESS First Middle East hosted a spectacular charity carnival recently to raise additional funds for the ‘Step up for the Children of Africa’ initiative (SFTCOA), which was run across Fitness First clubs throughout June to support orphan and street children in Tanzania. Held at Fitness First Meadows Sports Hall, the fun-filled event featured activities and entertainment for families with an overriding message of healthy living and wellbeing as people from across the UAE enjoyed adrenalin boosting activities including fitness demos of TRX, Kettle Bells and ViPR, as well as a body step masterclass charity marathon. The event also saw an exhibition on healthy living hosted with partners Balance Café, Delmonte, Kaya skin clinic, Jabra, Balance Wellness 360 and I-care
clinic while a children’s area kept the little ones busy with activities such as face painting, football penalty shoot-outs, magic tricks, bouncy castles, arts and crafts and fun competitions. The ‘Team Stepper Challenge’ proved to be one of the most thrilling spectacles of the day with the fastest five members and staff from each Fitness First club invited to take part in the SFTCOA initiative to climb 1,600 floors! ‘Step up for the Children of Africa’ is Fitness First’s Middle East-wide charity event for 2012, which mobilised thousands of its members to climb 5,895 metres on the steppers set up at the clubs. The initiative was in aid of the Amani Children’s Home, an organisation dedicated to protecting street children and AIDS orphans in Tanzania. n
22-25 NOVEMBER 2012 JUMEIRAH GOLF ESTATES, DUBAI
Register now for FREE TICKETS at www.DPWTC.com
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
Tennis Academy at Fitness First Community Clubs
etting fit isn’t all about endless running on a treadmill and countless hours on the cross-trainer. Sports like tennis are a superb way to get in some additional exercise and definitely add some variety to a workout routine. Lessons are available at Fitness First Community Clubs for adults and children and registration is open to anyone regardless of ability. Nonmembers of Fitness First are welcome while members receive a discounted price. For more information and registration, please call +971 4 4370545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fitness First unveil My Ride innovation
ITNESS First Middle East has unveiled its latest new innovation in the quest to help members fulfil their fitness goals. The most powerful and personalised way to experience indoor cycling, MyRide allows you to build your own workout with over 1,000,000 variations or you can choose from thousands of preset challenges designed to meet every fitness and sporting level. You can watch your favourite TV shows and films, listen to music of your choice or catch up on world news and gossip via the worldwide web. There’s a‘Learn The Moves’ programme which instructs you on choosing the right challenges to build your own workouts so that you’re confident throughout the different riding positions and training zones. If you’re in a hurry there’s the ‘Choose Your Challenge’ feature. In three clicks simply choose your workout category followed by the time you wish to ride and press start. It’s that quick and easy.
My Ride is available at Fitness First Motor City.
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
Third Fitness First club in Abu Dhabi opens in Abu Dhabi Mall
HE recent opening of the third Abu Dhabi Fitness First Club in the Abu Dhabi Mall brings the total number of FF facilities in the UAE to 24, and this new addition is the largest in the Emirate’s Capital at 2,350 sq. metres. Located at retail level three of the Mall, above Paris Gallery, the new club is fitted out with GX studios, stretch zones and dedicated free weights and cardio areas. The club also features the popular members’ lounge offering free beverages and high speed wireless internet.
The innovative new freestyle areas are a unique addition to the club featuring TRX, Vipr, kettlebells, power plates and swiss balls. Easily the largest Fitness First club in Abu Dhabi, the facility offers exclusive ladies-only training areas, as well as a mixed training option. Free group exercises with internationally certified instructors such as BodyPump®, BodyCombat®, BodyBalance®, BodyAttack®, BodyStep® BodyJam® and the ever popular Zumba dance classes are among the workouts available at the club. Optional personal training sessions with internationally qualified trainers help members
reach their fitness goals while the Fitness First state-of-the-art lockers with keyless access ensure the security of customer belongings and avoid misplaced keys. George Flooks, Chief Operating Officer, Fitness First Middle East, said: “Fitness First is constantly trying to provide larger, high quality facilities across a variety of locations in the UAE. Our strategy aims to give our members the convenience to workout whenever and wherever they please. Our constant commitment to innovation and development is a testament to our efforts to raising awareness on the benefits of healthy and fit lifestyles.” n
Between July 19-29 Fitness Firstâ€™s Sports and Events Manager Gary Melhuish led a team of 19 people, including Fitness First European Business Centre member Johan Lauber and Fitness First Dubai Festival City Trainer Anita Mazar on a life changing trip to Tanzania to conquer the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro.
Here Gary gives S&F his first-hand account of their adventure.
Journey to the roof of
Journey to the roof of AFRICA
EERING through the frosted glass of the ‘chill chamber’ in outdoor adventure superstore Adventure HQ at two very excited but apprehensive individuals is a very amusing sight. Only 24 hours earlier I telephoned Fitness First member Johan Lauber and one of our trainers Anita Mazar to inform them that in 19 days they would be off to Tanzania on a trip of a lifetime to climb the world’s highest free standing mountain – Kilimanjaro. The call prompted an equally hysterical outpouring of emotion from each of them and now the two strangers are shivering side by side testing their newly acquired trekking attire ahead of what is to be a magical journey to the Roof of Africa. It all started back in April when I was appointed as Sports & Events Manager for Fitness First Middle East. I was keen to develop a gym event for the members that would not only motivate and encourage regular exercise participation but one that had the potential to quite literally ‘change lives’ and so the ‘Step for the Children of Africa’ concept was born. Members were tasked with making an assimilated climb of Kilimanjaro on a gym stepper during the month of June by climbing 5,895m (the height of the world famous mountain) in 30 days. All entry fees were donated to ‘All as One’, the charity that Fitness First Middle East have supported for over five years which provides much needed support for the orphaned children of Sierra Leone, while participants were also entered into a prize draw for the chance to climb the mountain for real. The event was a huge success with over 1,500 Fitness First members and employees taking part, but for raffle winners Johan and Anita it was only the beginning of what would become a truly life changing experience as they were chosen to join a party of 19 climbing with the Dubai based children’s charity Gulf 4 Good. I’ve been asked to lead the trip having led a previous trip to Kilimanjaro with Gulf 4 Good two years earlier. So when the day finally approaches, with 19 airline tickets in my hand, a wing and prayer, one by one I greet all the challengers at Dubai airport and we head out on our adventure.
Day 1 After spending what seems like an eternity waiting in line at the Marangu Park Gate to sign the official register that will allow us to enter the Kilimanjaro National Park we finally begin the trek, setting out on a four-hour hike through the beautiful rainforests up to our base for the night, Mandara Hut. The altitude rises from 1,900m at the park entrance to 2,740m at the hamlet of small Norwegian wooden chalets where we bed down for a well-earned sleep.
Day 2/3 After the balmy 26 degrees of the first day amidst the rainforest with monkeys quite literally swinging above our heads, day two sees a dramatic change of scenery as we come out of the jungle and enter the Alpine Moorland region, with its abundance of flowers and fauna, on our way to Maundi crater. The pace is reassuringly slow as the group takes inspiration from the bandana each of them is wearing which bears the famous Hare and Tortoise fable, “Slow but steady wins the race.” We continue through the Alpine Meadows and are constantly reminded of the task in hand as Kilimanjaro looms ominously in the distance. However, it is the sight of the lesser known and somewhat lower Mount Mawenzi that greets us first. An aggressive expanse of jagged rock, like the back of a prehistoric dinosaur, Mawenzi is rarely climbed and its overpowering presence of supremacy does nothing to boost our confidence. The second day is certainly more challenging – six-seven hours of trekking with a total ascent of over 1000m from 2740m at Mandara Hut to 3800m at
Horombo Hut where we are to spend the next two nights acclimatising to the high altitude. Climbing any mountain is difficult and each one has its own challenges – with Kilimanjaro it is the very rapid ascent that can see even the fittest individual succumb to altitude sickness and have to bid a hasty retreat. Correct preparation is key and during our stay at Horumbo Hut we take a short four-hour trek to Zebra Rocks at 4,200m among scenery that looks like something out of Jurassic Park to allow our bodies to adjust to the new conditions. The temperature is noticeably cooler at this camp, particularly at night when it drops below zero, which is unfortunate as frequent trips out of our warm sleeping bags to answer the call of nature are required due to a side effect of the anti-altitude sickness tablets we’re taking. Anita and Johan are coping brilliantly with the unfamiliar and demanding environment. Both are well suited to the challenge – physically fit, determined and mentally strong. We’re incredibly lucky that the whole group is good natured and enthusiastic as we are to need every ounce of spirit over the next 48 hours as our journey enters its toughest phase.
Day 4 We leave Horumbo Hut at around 9am and start out across the saddle between Mawenzi and Kilimanjaro – a barren inhospitable landscape referred as ‘high altitude desert’ – up to Kibo Hut at 4,700m. The trek takes around seven hours and by now, with the oxygen levels considerably less, every step becomes physically tougher. For those unaccustomed to the rigours of the journey this is when comfort zones are left behind and the real challenge kicks in. Fortunately for me, these are
27 not uncharted waters so I’m able to share some advice with the group learned from my previous experience. We arrive at Kibo Hut, which sits at the base of the towering and formidable Kilimanjaro, at around 4pm, with some of the slower members of the group arriving an hour later. The order of the day is simple – eat, prepare our gear for the final summit climb and sleep. We’re tucked up in bed at 7pm and attempt to get a few hours’ sleep before our Head Guide Stephen wakes us up with some very sweet tea, cake and biscuits at 11.30pm. After a 30-minute scramble with bodies and gear everywhere in the dimly lit, tightly congested brick hut, 19 sleep deprived, cold bodies stand in the darkness awaiting the final brief from Stephen.
Day 5 There are several reasons for the midnight departure. Firstly, the very steep scree (small particles of rock) slope freezes at night providing a more solid surface on which we can gain more traction as we climb. Secondly, climbing in the darkness removes all perspective as we’ll never really know how far we have to climb or where the summit is. Thirdly, departing at that time assures us a breath-taking view when we reach the summit of Gilmans Point as the sun rises through the clouds creating an amazing silhouette of Mawenzi. Finally, it allows us sufficient time to climb to Uhuru Peak and get all the way back down to Horombo which will take approximately 16-17 hours! The seven-hour traverse up the scree slope is without doubt the longest night of our lives as we swing left and right, left and right taking the path of least resistance
for what seems to be an eternity. The temperatures are freezing, dropping from minus 10 to a teeth-chattering minus 25 and the trek becomes an exercise in dogged determination as we concentrate on the feet of the person in front of us and just try to keep going.
Above us, lit up like a sea of fireflies and providing a modicum of comfort as we battle our way through the darkness, are the head torches worn by the scores of other climbers making an attempt on the summit. We’re not in it alone. We stop briefly every hour to take on board much needed energy snacks, isotonic drinks and comfort breaks. One of the biggest problems that can occur at this stage is that the water in your water bladder can freeze which can lead to major difficulties as the effects of dehydration set in but luckily the majority of our group has invested in insulated Camelbaks so we’re OK. It’s really difficult to fight the urge to sit down when we stop. But we know that if we sit down, we’ll fall asleep and if we fall asleep, we probably won’t get up again. Members of our group are literally nodding off standing up, leaning against their climbing poles, which is no mean feat. Eventually, after around six and a half hours, a distant orange hue begins to form on the horizon creating 4
15% Discount for all
Journey to the roof of AFRICA
a feeling of warmth and relief that the night is almost over and a new day is dawning. But just when we think we’ve reached Gimans Point at 5,685m we’re faced with a final 200m scramble over large boulders before reaching the summit. The view as the sun rises through the clouds is the very reason many thousands of people have endured this epic ascent and it is a moment in time that will remain with our group forever. At this point with the human gas tank already running on empty, one more decision has to be made – do we have enough energy left to continue an additional 2 ½ kms around the volcanic crater and an additional ascent of 210m to Uhuru Peak, the true summit and Roof of Africa? Having come this far, we naturally decide to plough on and after one final push we arrive at our ultimate destination. It’s an emotional experience for all involved and one that will never be forgotten but we don’t have time to hang around for long and after the photographs have been taken we begin our descent. Seventeen hours after leaving Kibo Hut we finally arrive back at Horumbo Hut and the comfort of warm sleeping bags as the magnitude of our achievements sets in before the deepest of sleeps engulfs us all.
Day 6 We eventually get back to where we started out, at Marangu Park Gate, exactly six days after our departure, buoyed by a huge collective feeling of accomplishment that is hard to describe. Our backs ache, we have sore feet, tired legs and weary heads but we wouldn’t change it for the world. We started out as 19 strangers, representing more than a dozen different nationalities, but ended our epic journey as lifelong friends who have shared in a life-changing experience that will stay with us forever. n
25Kgs of kit carried by porters Getting 19 relatively inexperienced individuals to the top of a mountain presents a massive logistical challenge and we certainly couldn’t have done it without the help of our highly skilled crew. Our trekking support team consisted of 40 people, comprising two head guides, plus cooks, waiters, support guides and last but certainly not least the porters, the unsung heroes who each carried 25kgs of packs containing food, water, cooking equipment and the 15kgs personal kit bags of each of the 19 challengers.
5,895m Kilimanjaro is an iconic mountain set against the beautiful backdrop of the African plains and rising to a height of 5,895m. Hans Meyer was the first person to reach the summit in 1889.
30 September SPORTS CALENDAR
17th – 23rd Snooker Shanghai Masters, Shanghai, China
23rd Formula1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
19th – 24th Squash Jena International No.2, Kuwait City, Kuwait
24th – 30th Tennis ATP PTT Thailand Open, Bangkok, Thailand
27th – Oct 5th Volleyball 16th Men’s Junior Asian Championship, Urumieh City, Iran
27th – Oct 7th Cricket Twenty20 World Cup, Sri Lanka England defend their World Twenty20 crown without the retired Captain from two years ago, Paul Collingwood, and their talismanic batsmen Kevin Pietersen. The Surrey top-order batsman is still in the ECB’s doghouse after sending ‘provocative’ texts to South African opposition during the recent Test series. Sri Lanka have the advantage of home support but expect India to also get keen backing. The South Africans are in hot form on the back of becoming the World No.1 side in Tests and running England close in the recent ODI series. It’s all shaping up to be another classic. 28th - 30th Golf The Ryder Cup, Medinah Country Club, Illinois, USA The Ryder Cup returns. This time the USA have one of the strongest sides in recent memory while the European team isn’t too shabby either with just one rookie – Captain’s pick Nicolas Colsaerts. Indeed, the strength of this edition of The Matches is so great that the lowest ranked player in either team (Colsaerts) is 35th in the world.
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
October 2nd – 3rd
Swimming FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup 2012 (leg one), Dubai, UAE
4th – 7th Table tennis Egypt Open, Cairo, Egpyt
6th – 7th swimming FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup 2012 (leg two), Doha, Qatar 7th Horse Racing Prix d’lArc de Triomphe, Longchamp, Paris, France
16th Football FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match, Qatar vs Uzbekistan, Doha, Qatar 18th – 20th Badminton International Open Morocco, Casablanca, Morocco
13th – 19th Volleyball FIVB Club World Championship, Doha, Qatar
19th – 21st Moto GP MotoGP rd 16, Sepang, Malaysia. 24th – Nov 1st
Baseball MLB World Series, TBC, USA 28th american football St Louis Rams v New England Patriots Wembley Stadium, London, England
26th – 28th formula 1 Indian Grand Prix, New Delhi, India Sebastian Vettel won the inaugural Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit last season on his way to the Drivers Championship and he’ll need another victory this year if he is to win a third Championship in a row. The young German is currently second, 22 points behind leader Fernando Alonso. There’s a lot of racing still to be done but the Indian Grand Prix – the fourth last on the calendar – could be a key race as the season draws to a close.
22-25 NOVEMBER, 2012 JUMEIRAH GOLF ESTATES
DP World Tour Championship
The Greatest Players on Earth
OME of the finest golfers in the world will descend on Dubai in November and you can get up-close-and-personal with these sporting superstars when the DP World Tour Championship gets underway at Jumeriah Golf Estates. The 60 best players on golf’s European Tour qualify for the event – the grand finale of the season – and they will battle it out over four days for a prize fund of US$8,000,000 with the winner getting a cool US$1,333,000. All year long The European Tour’s players have been accumulating prize money from events around the globe and on November 22nd, the top 60 on the prize money list – aptly named ‘The Race to Dubai’ – will lock horns one
last time to see who will come out on top of the money list and pocket US$1,000,000 for being crowned Europe’s No.1 player. Win both the tournament and The Race to Dubai and one lucky player could capture US$2,333,000. In addition to watching the world’s best golfers going toe-to-toe on one of the finest courses in the region there is a multitude of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Trick-shots, demonstrations, opportunities to learn how to play, a Kids Zone, live music as well as a wide selection of food and beverage outlets help to make the DP World Tour Championship an ideal day-out for all the family – and best of all it’s completely free.
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Golf an explanation
Golf is a simple game but there are many things to know and many phrases and terms to learn before it will become completely clear. Firstly, lets look at the fundamentals. European Tour events are played over four days with 18 holes played by each player on each day. The winner will have completed his four rounds (72 holes in total) in the least number of shots. Should there be a tie then there will be a hole-by-hole play-off involving those players to crown a winner. In this case certain holes are replayed until one player fails to match his opponent’s score.
Scoring and ‘par’
The word ‘par’ is used to describe the number of shots a professional is expected to play to complete a hole, a round and a tournament. Holes that are listed as ‘par 3’ can be expected to be completed in three shots, ‘par 4’ holes completed in four shots and ‘par 5’ in five shots. A course is made up primarily of par 4s with usually three par 3s and three par 5s. The course’s par figure will be the sum of all the individual holes’ pars added together –most commonly this figure is 72. The par of 72 is played four times over the tournament which makes the tournament’s par 288. Scoring under the level of par is the aim of the game so when a player completes a hole and a round in less shots than expected he has played above expectation. On the other hand, should a player complete the round in more shots than ‘par’ then they have played below expectation. The players who play in the DP World Tour Championship will expect to play under-par for the four days. Last year’s winner, Alvaro Quiros, won the event by completing four days in 19 shots less than par – 269 shots when 288 were expected.
Cream of the crop The cream of European golf has risen to the top with the likes of world-renowned stars Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell all in with a shout of season-ending glory. All eyes will be on Dubai to see who will win the prestigious DP World Tour Championship and who will take the honour of being crowned European No.1 for winning The Race to Dubai. Donald won The Race to Dubai last year after a superb season while the tournament winner, Alvaro Quiros, completed a successful season with his second win in Dubai after also winning the Dubai Desert Classic. Westwood won the inaugural tournament in 2009 and with it came The Race to Dubai while in 2010 Sweden’s Robert Karlsson won the tournament with German Martin Kaymer topping The Race to Dubai. The top 60 players in Europe will battle it out over four days in an epic quest for glory.
Free Tickets available now:
Only in Dubai are you guaranteed to see The European Tour’s top 60 players battle it out for the coveted prize of the DP World Tour Championship and the crown of European No.1 and tickets are absolutely FREE. To register for two free tickets visit www.dpwtc.com
22-25 NOVEMBER, 2012 JUMEIRAH GOLF ESTATES
ONES TO WATCH Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is the biggest thing in golf at the moment. The 23-year-old was second at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play in Arizona before he won the Honda Classic in Florida in March to become World No.1. However, he missed three out of four cuts including The Players Championship and his defence of the US Open title but bounced back in spectacular fashion with a truly remarkable eight-shot win at the US PGA Championship to gleefully win a second Major and regain the No.1 spot in the world. He confirmed his position as golf’s biggest superstar and the ‘new Tiger Woods’ by winning two events in a row on the US PGA Tour’s seasonending FedExCup play-offs. Rory is in pole position on The Race to Dubai and also looks set to clean up in America.
South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen is a two-time winner on The European Tour this year and was unlucky to lose out in a play-off to big-hitting American Bubba Watson at the Masters. Solid, with a buttery swing, the diminutive Oosthuizen bombs it a mile with what looks like no effort whatsoever. Always good to watch, the former Open Champion’s game is suited to the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates as he’s never finished lower than 13th in three appearances in the DP World Tour Championship.
Stocky Italian Francesco Molinari won his third title earlier this season and has backed it up with countless top-ten finishes including back-to-back runner-ups at the French and Scottish Opens. Rarely out of the fairway, the straight-talking straight-hitting man from Turin qualified for his second successive Ryder Cup at Medinah and he has the game to do well in Dubai.
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie is one of the in-form players on The European Tour so far this season. The Aberdonian clinched victory in Qatar in February and posted a whole host of top-ten finishes to seal a second Ryder Cup outing in September. Another victory at Gleneagles, just one month before The Ryder Cup, enhanced his reputation as one of the stand out players in Europe this year.
Known around the world as ‘GMAC’, Graeme McDowell has excelled in the Majors this season, coming closest to victory at the US Open in San Francisco where he narrowly finished second to American Webb Simpson. McDowell, a winner of the US Open in 2010, started 2012 well with a third place finish in Abu Dhabi and was runner-up to Ryder Cup teammate Nicolas Colsaerts at the World Match Play in Spain in May. He was fifth at The Open and finished 11th and 12th at the USPGA Championship and the Masters respectively. If anyone is due a big win this year, it’s McDowell.
Hospitality THE DP World Tour Championship is the spectacular climax to The European Tour season and if you’re going, why not do it in style by indulging your family, friends or clients by watching the action in the luxury of the Hospitality Pavilion? Overlooking the final green where the winner will be crowned and taking in the view of the fairway, the Hospitality Pavillion provides the very best in gourmet catering. With a relaxing interior the Pavilion offers an ideal opportunity to entertain guests at one of the biggest sporting events in the world. The Pavilion terrace takes you right to the heart of the action as the biggest stars in golf play the last hole of their round and the atmosphere builds to an exciting finale. This is a unique opportunity to watch golfing history made while enjoying top quality cuisine and drinks in a climate-controlled contemporary lounge. For more information and to secure your place in a limited number facility please contact email@example.com; or call +971 (0) 505535651 to reserve your place.
Volunteers wanted THE excitement around the build-up to the DP World Tour Championship is gaining momentum with a surge in online registrations for free tickets and a continuing growth in the number of people signing up as volunteers for the $8 million event. Chief Marshal Jenni Hoskins said: “We’ve had a great response so far to our initial Volunteer Campaign with almost half of last year’s field of marshals returning to join us, together with 60 new recruits from the UAE and overseas. But there are still openings to join this great team as long as you are enthusiastic, hard-working, and totally committed, with the sole aim of bringing The Race to Dubai to a suitable finale.” For more information on how you can play a part at one of world’s biggest sporting events, contact Jenni by mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Register now for FREE TICKETS at www.DPWTC.com
golf’s biggest hitter
Building the golfing
Richard Bevan talks exclusively to golf’s biggest hitter Nicolas Colsaerts about the fitness regime that helped set him up for the best season of his career and which he’s hoping will power him to victory at the upcoming DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
HEN the DP World Tour Championship gets underway at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai on November 22 one of the prestigious golf event’s star attractions will undoubtedly be Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts. At 7,706 yards long the Earth course on which the tournament is played is a behemoth of a track, which is best suited the game’s big hitters and they don’t come any bigger than Colsaerts. The 29-year-old house music nut has been producing block rocking drives down the fairways of The European Tour for years and is consistently in the top 10 of the distance charts with averages of over 300 yards. But this year Colsaerts prepared for the new season by embarking on a 12-day intensive training camp in Mauritius to ensure he was in the best physical shape possible. He worked with fitness coach Richard Vanmeerbeek who introduced him to CrossFit, a burgeoning modern training programme which uses high-intensity short workouts of around 20 minutes or less combining movements such as sprinting, rowing, skipping, rope climbing and weightlifting in various combinations to greatly increase overall fitness, strength and conditioning. Added to his physical preparations was some hard work with his swing coach, Michel Vanmeerbeek, who is Richard’s father; some sessions with leading sports psychologist Dr Bob Rotella, to ensure his mind was as tough as his body; and a look at his diet with nutritionist Dr Serge Balon-Perin. The results were remarkable and Colsaerts began the 2012 season feeling fitter, stronger, healthier and more focussed than ever before. Not only is he hitting the ball even further, leading the charts with a whopping average of 316.7 yards, he’s also added to the breakthrough victory he claimed at last year’s Volvo China Open with a win in one of golf’s most famous events, the Volvo World Match Play Championship. Then there’s the small matter of him making the European team for the first time for the upcoming Ryder Cup against the USA in Chicago, the first Belgian ever to do so. It’s all a far cry from a few years ago when his form had deserted him as, by his own admission, he concentrated harder on partying than practising and slipped down the World Rankings, ending 2008 outside the top 1000. Colsaerts is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work, perseverance and belief and he’ll be bringing all those qualities to the fore when he arrives his Dubai in November intent on taming the Earth course and adding another huge title to his growing collection.
41 SF: Is it possible to perform CrossFit workouts on Tour? NC: No, you rarely find the CrossFit tools in hotels, but I have a few exercises that I can perform and I do 15 to 20 minutes each day to maintain my condition.
Main shot and above: Nicolas Colsaerts is put through his paces with a CrossFit workout by fitness coach Richard Vanmeerbeek. SF: You’re enjoying the best season of your career, which is down to various factors, one of which was the physical preparation you did in the winter break. Tell us about the training camp and what sort of work you did to get ready for the season? NC: We went to a place called Anahita where I’m attached to now in Mauritius, which is just next door to South Africa where I was playing my first tournament, the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt. So it was kind of easy to set up a training camp right before we went and played the first tournament as it’s only a three-hour flight. I did a lot of fitness work. I did a combination of two sessions of CrossFit and two sessions of golf training a day for 12 days and I arrived on Tour stronger than ever.
SF: Richard Vanmeerbeek is heavily involved in CrossFit – why is it suitable for a professional touring golfer like yourself? NC: It’s good because it’s very varied and you can train lots of different muscles with different exercises. It’s CrossFit but specially tuned for me and for professional golf. That’s one of the talents of Rich, being able to tailor a specific programme for a specific person. SF: Talk us through a regular workout you do? NC: I do squats, skipping ropes, box squats, rowing, kettlebell swings, overhead squats – lots of different exercises.
SF: How did the association with Richard come about? NC: Richard is the son of my swing coach, so that’s how I got in contact with him and CrossFit – he’s a CrossFit fanatic. Richard used to be also a Junior National Champion in golf, so he understands the needs of a professional golfer. SF: I believe Richard competes in CrossFit events – do you ever get involved in competing against him or anyone else? NC: Oh no, he’s a European champion, no way will I compete against anybody in CrossFit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from being a champ in CrossFit!
SF: Why is physical fitness so important in the modern game compared to in the old days, with certain exceptions such as Gary Player, often looked nothing like athletes? NC: Firstly, it’s to avoid any injuries in the future and to keep an optimal mobility as the game is very physically demanding these days and the courses are getting longer. Secondly, it’s to stay fit all year round – the schedule is much longer now and all those travels are quite tiring! SF: What about diet and nutrition – do you follow any sort of plan to complement your fitness regime? NC: I work with a sports doctor and nutritionist called Dr Balon-Perin who does two blood tests a year in order to follow my situation. I’m quite lucky to be a healthy man, so he doesn’t have to prescribe many food supplements. I follow his advice for my diet, mainly, but it’s not always easy to follow a regime travelling all over the world… SF: What else does Dr Balon-Perin help with? NC: He’s three doctors in one: doctor + sport + diet! So he has a good general overview of what I need to do in order to be in optimal shape for competition. SF: How important is rest in your physical preparation? NC: It’s very important to get the right amount of rest, especially when you’re travelling around the world. I’m great at naps! I’m a power nap fan and normally I’m a good sleeper. SF: You’ve always been a big hitter since you joined the Tour but this year your driving distance average has made the biggest jump yet – up to 316.66 yards. Is this just down to the extra work you’ve done on your fitness? NC: No, it’s is a mix of technical issues on the swing (physics), coordination and fast muscular fibres! SF: Were you a big hitter as a child? NC: I was a big hitter already in field hockey and also in golf, it’s in my genes! SF: You come from a sporting background – tell us about your great grandfather. Did his achievements inspire you to try for a career in sport? NC: My great grandfather represented Belgium in basketball and water polo at the 1920 Olympic Games. He was competing the ‘20s and ‘30s which was too long before my time to inspire me. But my father has also always been a fanatical sportsman. Sport is really in the family! SF: You were very sporty as a child– which other sports did you play? NC: I played every day one or two of these sports:
Nicolas is to become the first Belgian ever to play in The Ryder Cup after being picked by European Captain José Maria Olazábal as one of his two wildcards.
tennis, field hockey, golf, squash. But it was in golf that I had my best results. SF: What made you decide to focus on golf and when did you make that decision? NC: At the age of 12 I decided to become a pro golfer and at the age of 14 I decided to stop the other sports and concentrate only on golf. SF: Do you miss playing team sports, and with that in mind, you must be thrilled to have been picked to play in the greatest team event in golf on Europe’s Ryder Cup team? NC: Oh yes, I’m really looking forward to being part of a team! I adore it, it’s maybe my only regret in golf that we don’t play in a team more often. I love field hockey as it’s a great sport to play with all your friends and the atmosphere created by the team is fantastic. The Ryder Cup is the ultimate team event in golf so I’m over the moon to be part of it! SF: Your coaches Michel and Jerome Theunis have also played a big role in your swing development
– talk about what they’ve done to help with your swing and also how they’ve contributed to your current success? NC: Michel Vanmeerbeek has been with me for 20 years now, he’s the builder of my swing, so he’s quite important. Jérôme has been my best friend for 15 years. Now that he has quit the Tour, for the past 18 months he’s been a great partner in my training. It’s fun to work with him. SF: You’ve also worked with Dr Bob Rotella on the mental side of the game – when was this and how has he helped contribute to your success? NC: We started working with Doc Rotella in the first weeks of 2012. His task is to give me the confident feeling of being as good as my opponents. SF: You’ve been through quite a journey to get to where you are, were there times – such as when you slipped down the Rankings – that you considered quitting or did you always believe that you could get to where you are even in those dark moments?
43 SF: What’s the secret of hitting the ball so far? NC: If I tell you it’s not a secret anymore! It’s a technical issue, very much about physics: inertia, lag, speed, trajectory, spin. But the real secret is that I have a great coach. Michel Vanmeerbeek is the engineer of my swing and he’s awesome! He knows how everything is functioning and I do it as he tells me. I can’t teach and I can’t tell you, I just do it dude!
NC: Oh yes, I knew that one day I would fulfil my dream of being a successful golf pro. I knew I had it in me, but I knew I was going to be a bit of a clown before I got there. I had my mid-life crisis at 25, which was a good thing. I got it out of the way. People took me aside to have a word, to tell me to knuckle down a million times, but that decision has to come from you. Everyone is busy doing their own things – no one has time to babysit out here. SF: Winning your first title in China last year must’ve been quite a moment after all those tough times – but then to follow up with a title as famous as the World Match Play and then to make The Ryder Cup team is surely the stuff of dreams? NC: Winning the Volvo World Match Play was quite a stunt, I’m quite proud of that one, but The Ryder Cup selection is also quite an incredible feeling! SF: What are the key differences in the way you approach the game now to in those earlier days? NC: I’m 100% professional now – in tournament periods like the last three months, every minute has
been devoted to my career. No parties, no drinks, no holidays. And on weeks off I do media stuff, company days and workouts. SF: Another of the game’s biggest hitters, Alvaro Quiros, won the DP World Tour Championship last year – how is your game suited to the Earth course and what would it mean to you to cap a great year with victory in Dubai? NC: It would be the cherry on the cake! In fact, it’s much more than that, I want to finish this year in style, and I’m really looking at the DP World Tour Championship as a great opportunity to do so. I can do well on the Earth course, last year I was exhausted and under some pressure to finish in the top 20 (he finished 19th, Ed), this year I hope to be fitter. SF: You’re known to love house music – what’s your favourite tune to listen to while working out? NC: For the moment I’m listening to some loud German house. Robag Whrume and Kollektiv Turmstrasse, but I don’t mind the good old heavy metal or rap-rock! n
Nicolas celebrates with his No.1 fan after winning his first European Tour title at last year’s Volvo China Open.
Behind the stars In the third instalment of our ‘Behind the Stars’ feature, looking at the crucial people who support the world’s top stars on their road to success, we talk to leading sports psychologist Simon Hartley about his life working with some of the biggest names in the world of sport.
Get your mental game right to be world class DURING London 2012, the Olympic and Paralympic athletes demonstrated just what it takes to achieve world class excellence in the sporting arena. The climax to years of dedication and preparation, played out to a global audience, ultimately centres on minute, but highly significant gains in the bid to be ‘higher, faster, and stronger’ than the rest. Painstaking planning, stamina, investment, discipline and mental toughness over many years is behind the elite athletes in the velodrome, swimming pool, boxing ring and race track – and it enables those at the top to produce their best performances when it matters most in their quest for medals and glory. And it is those small, but crucial gains that tell the story. Britain’s sailing team spent 12 months tracking down a specific hull polish to boost performance by an
extra 1-2 seconds. British Cycling’s “Marginal Gains Team” researched the effect of using ‘warm suits’ between the rounds in the velodrome to shave fractions of a second. Victoria Pendleton won her heat in the cycling by the width of a tyre. Simon Hartley (pictured top right) is a sports psychologist, author and performance coach and has worked behind the scenes in some of the Olympic programmes since the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Between 2001 and 2008 he worked with double Olympian and Commonwealth champion swimmer, Chris Cook (opposite page).
World Class During the last 15 years he has worked with gold medallists, world record holders, top five world ranked athletes and championship winning teams. Coaching at the highest level of sport has included spells in the UK’s Premier League football, Premiership rugby union, First Class County Cricket and Super League as well as international golf, tennis and motorsport. He now helps achievers from all walks of life to use the techniques employed by world class sportspeople to reach their goals. In his latest book, How to Shine, he outlines how these traits and characteristics can be adopted by all of us. “During the past few years, I have been studying the traits of world class performers, both in sport and outside. Unsurprisingly, I have found that the traits that I see in truly world class athletes and sports teams (including Olympians) are also present in high achievers such as Michelin star chefs, world leading adventurers, world record breakers and world champions across a huge range of disciplines.” Simon has taken the same sports psychology methods used to improve
The British Sailing team went that extra mile to shave 1-2 seconds off their times by incorporating a special type of paint to boost the vessels’ performance.
Behind the stars
performance for athletes and transferred them with amazing results to the modern workplace. He has coached individuals and sports teams and also law firms, recruitment consultancies and bakeries. In each case they went on to outstrip their rivals, increase their wins, reputation, turnover, profitability and market share. In working with sales teams he looks at areas of human performance such as confidence and motivation and also deconstructs the idea of pressure by removing employees from their comfort zone and developing their ‘mental toughness’. Simon explains: “We teach athletes how to develop mental toughness because coaches understand that they are not going to perform at a
really high level unless they’ve got it. So it’s not one of those things that we take for granted or leave to chance, it’s something that’s actively fostered and nurtured and developed within them. We have strategies and processes to do that. “My experience has shown me that sports psychology is a bit of a misnomer as this is actually human psychology, human performance psychology. “It doesn’t particularly matter what the discipline is – it could be sales, it could be anything. Those elements that help human beings perform are the same, whether they happen to be in the Olympic swimming pool or in an office. The mind-set that drives high performance applies to everybody. Athletes are at the very sharp end. They have to ensure their mind-set is absolutely right because the margins between success and failure are tiny. As a sport psychologist, understanding how changes in mind-set equate to changes in performance is key to being able to apply the principles to other walks of life.” In today’s working environment there are more demands on people than there have ever been. As a result, Hartley suggests ‘mental toughness’ is a particularly useful quality. “With more adversity, more uncertainty, higher targets, bigger demands and tougher challenges, results don’t come as easily,” he says, “and people tend to have more doubts, more stresses.” Hartley says ‘mental toughness’ comprises three qualities. These are: Resilience, or the ability to ‘bounce-back’ and thrive in adverse situations. Tenacity – the ability to keep going and push to the very limit. Composure – the ability to make really good decisions and execute skills to a very high standard, whilst under pressure.
Hartley looks at how these qualities played out during Andy Murray’s Wimbledon Final against Roger Federer. “On that occasion Murray displayed some of the elements of mental toughness but I don’t think he displayed composure all the time,” he says. “When he perceived that he was under pressure he missed some pretty easy shots, shots he would normally execute very well and he made some decisions which were pretty poor decisions. If we took away the surrounding – centre court, the cameras, the crowd, the occasion – and pitched him against a ‘faceless opponent’, I think he would have made different decisions and executed better. I suspect the situation got the better of him and therefore he lost composure. “Although other factors played a part, Murray’s gold medal performance against the same opponent during the Olympics suggests he didn’t let the occasion affect his composure.” Typically, a lack of composure occurs in businesses and their employees when challenges arise. “Some people might hide, some people might blame other people, or blame circumstances, and some will start to panic, throw out the game plan or perhaps call emergency meetings. “By contrast, instead of displaying such signs of weakness, teams with ‘mental toughness’ will rise to the challenges, respond to the pressures and raise their performance in just the same way as an athlete approaching the finish line.” n Simon Hartley is the founder of the Be World Class Conference events featuring award winning achievers and speakers from sport, fine dining and science. For more information see www.beworldclassconference.com
Post Olympics inspiration
- itâ€™s not all about the gym! THE Olympics is a time to celebrate the worldâ€™s best athletes. It is the ultimate endurance test in competitive sports, demanding optimum levels of discipline and fitness. Most of all, it is a time of inspiration, as you are exposed to some of the healthiest individuals on the planet and watching them in action could motivate you to get into better shape. Sufficiently inspired, if you think you only need to head to the gym to get fit, think again! Workouts are not just about the gym. There are various outdoor activities that can compliment your gym routine. The following examples of exercises involve a strong element of cardiovascular training that improves the blood flow and helps your heart to cope with stress. Here are few you can incorporate into your daily workout regime that will help you achieve better results and add variety to your current workout routine.
Rowing is a great exercise because it uses large muscle groups. It works your lower body, core and upper body together and the large proportion of muscles used helps burn significant amounts of calories in short periods of time. One hour of rowing can burn up to 511 calories.
Lower body Most of the power in rowing comes from your legs. It works the calves, hamstrings, shins and thighs helping you develop strong, lean leg muscles. Core The constant expansion and contraction of your legs and arms works your abdominal and lower back muscles while the constant back and forth movement uses your core strength to help balance your body. Upper body The upper body is a crucial muscle group for rowing. It primarily uses muscles in your back, but the load is also shared by your biceps and triceps. By simply keeping your hands closer to your body, you can also target your shoulders.
Swimming is a full body workout and extremely effective in toning and defining your muscles. It is not only a good exercise, it is also fun and enjoyable and helps relax the muscles. Moreover, by incorporating different strokes, you can obtain optimum fitness. A one-hour swim (slow freestyle) will burn up to 400 calories but by effectively implementing various strokes, you can manage to gain even better results. One of the most effective strokes is the butterfly as it helps build powerful and lean back muscles while also working your chest muscles. Furthermore, swimming helps lower blood pressure and promotes cardiovascular fitness. Arteries expand more when movement is involved, thus making them more flexible. Exercise in general lifts your mood as there is a constant release of endorphins during a workout.
l All in all, rowing is a full body workout that is fun and very effective but you can incur serious injury by not performing the exercise correctly and in the right posture. l It is important to constantly change your regime to challenge your body. By doing this you will not only remain motivated, but achieve effective results.
53 How to incorporate a new exercise into your regime effectively
Try something new Try a new way to gain fitness such as martial arts, rowing or some swimming. By mixing up your fitness routine, you will stay motivated and force your body to adapt. It will also ensure you donâ€™t hit any dead ends with weight loss.
Start with simple exercises and progress at your own pace Start your new regime in a slow and controlled manner as you will need time to get used to it. For example, try swimming five laps a day then gradually increase the number. Too much too fast can have a negative impact.
Running interval training Have you ever wondered why most runners have perfectly sculptured bodies with a low percentage of body fat? Itâ€™s because the constant running and then cooling-down walk is like interval training. Interval training helps send your resting metabolism rate (RMR) into overdrive meaning you burn fat even while resting. This particular type of training is effective because of the constant increase and decrease in heart rate that burns calories. Run at maximum speed for 30 seconds, walk for a minute and repeating this for just 20 minutes per a day will rapidly increase your RMR, helping you burn fat and achieving your fitness goals. Running lowers blood pressure and improves overall cardiovascular fitness. One of its most beneficial features is its ability to strengthen muscles and bones. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body needs to burn to maintain that muscle.
Maintain an effective diet It is extremely important to compliment your exercise regime with a sound, nutritious diet. You will need to eat the right food to fuel your workouts, think of it like putting petrol in a car. It is also very important what you eat postworkout so make sure you always eat balanced meals.
Correct posture Make sure you assume the appropriate posture while running and rowing. Posture is extremely important and can help to avoid injuries.
Set realistic goals By setting goals that are achievable you will feel good about yourself when you accomplish them. This accomplishment will motivate you to push yourself harder. Lack of achievement can deflate your confidence and hinder your overall progress.
Women and Weight Training… There are many misconceptions about women and weight training. Here Fitness First’s Corporate Wellness Manager, Hisem Hagras, busts some of the most popular myths… Q: Will weight training make me bulky and masculine? A: Due to the fact that women do not, and cannot, naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely doing some weights. Unfortunately, the image that may come to your mind is that of professional female bodybuilders. Most of these women, unfortunately, use anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve their high degree of muscularity. In addition, most also have good genetics coupled with an unbelievable work ethic that enables them to gain muscle quickly when they spend hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights.
Believe me when I say that they do not look like that by accident. Women who conduct weight training without the use of steroids get the firm and fit cellulite-free looking body that you see in most fitness/figure shows these days. Q: Will weight training make me stiff? A: If you perform all exercises through their full range of motion, flexibility will increase. Exercises like flyes, stiff-legged deadlifts, dumbbell presses, and chin-ups stretch the muscle in the bottom range of the movement. Therefore, by performing these exercises correctly, your stretching capabilities will increase. Q: If I stop weight training will my muscles turn into fat? A: This is like saying that gold can turn into brass. Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue. What often happens is that when people decide to go off their weight training programmes they start losing muscle due to inactivity (use it or lose it!) and they also usually drop the diet as well. Therefore, bad eating habits combined with the fact that their metabolism is lower due to inactivity, and lower degrees of muscle mass, give the impression that the subject’s muscle is being turned into fat while in reality what is happening is that muscle is being lost and fat is being accumulated. More importantly,
why would you stop weight training in the first place? Q: Is it true that women only need to do cardio and if they decide to lift weights, they should be very light? A: First of all, if you only did cardio then muscle and fat would be burned for fuel. One needs to do weights in order to get the muscle building machine going and thus prevent any loss of muscle tissue. Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want. As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change. Q: Does weight training turn fat into muscle? A: No, the way a body transformation occurs is by gaining muscle through weight training and losing fat through aerobics and diet simultaneously. As I said earlier, muscle and fat are very different types of tissue and we cannot turn one into the other. Ladies, believe me. I have trained with girls that train as hard as I do (if not harder) and they look nothing but feminine. If you want to look great, don’t be afraid to pick up the weights and lift hard!
Want to look great? Pick up the weights ...
MEET THE FITNESS FIRST TEAM
Elly Rivett Regional Group Exercise Manager
SF: Where are you originally from and what is your specialist role within Fitness First? ER: I originally come from England but have worked in the Middle East for Fitness First for four years. My role at FF is as a Regional Group Exercise Manager. I provide support and guidance for Group Exercise (GX) Managers, recruit and train GX managers and instructors, co-ordinate events to maximise promotion of GX and co-ordinate the launch of new innovations to the timetables. SF: Why are you interested in that particular area? ER: I’m really passionate about health and fitness – and in particular GX. It’s so rewarding when you stand on the stage and see a group of 30 members following you and working to their maximum to achieve their fitness goals. I also get the privilege of meeting so many different members in a variety of classes that I teach. SF: What are your proudest achievements in your career? RN: Working my way from GX Instructor to Regional GX Manager within four
years of working at Fitness First Middle East. I’ve had four promotions and the opportunity to work and live in Dubai, Bahrain and Jordan. SF: How can your specialist area be of benefit to Fitness First members? ER: Group Exercise has so many benefits – one of the main benefits is the motivation of training with other like-minded members, they spur you on and keep you going. It’s also a great way to socialise, to meet new people and to have fun with your friends while at the same time staying active. One final benefit is that GX gives you the opportunity to try something new, mix up your workouts and never get bored. SF: How can Fitness First members interested in Group Exercise get involved? ER: There are so many different types of GX classes available so there is something for everyone. I would suggest you try a few until you find a class that suits you. The most important thing is that you enjoy it as you will then commit to attending regularly and see yourself improve week by week. We’re always on the look out for new instructors,
and run a very successful mentorship programme for those members who have the desire and inspiration to train in their favourite programmes and become instructors themselves. SF: What is your background in the industry and how did you become involved with Fitness First? ER: I started as a front of house receptionist and very quickly moved to the Fitness Department becoming trained as a Personal Trainer and GX Instructor. I started working for FF as a Personal Trainer in England while freelancing as a GX instructor across many clubs and working as Studio Manager for another health club chain. My love for travelling and looking for a new challenge drove me to apply to work at Fitness First Middle East in 2008. SF: Were you sporty/fit as a child or did you come to it later in life? ER: I have always had a love for exercising and keeping fit. At school I was a member of the netball, hockey and athletics teams and was also in the school and county dance groups, performing at various shows and theatres. n
FITNESS FIRST SUCCESS STORIES
Member at: Deira City Centre Achievement: Lost 9kg
My best friend’s wedding date was fixed and all I wanted was to fit into a gown and look good in it. I was left with no choice other than hitting Fitness First because now they have a new branch in Deira City Centre I couldn’t use my normal excuse that I didn’t have one close to me! It was at Fitness First DCC where I was introduced to Manoj Kotian. When Manoj asked me what I wanted to get out of his training, my reply was: ‘I want to lose weight and look good, how we go about it is up to you!’ And from that day on, I’ve just followed whatever he’s said safe in the knowledge that he’s a health and fitness expert. He made sure that cardio was a part of my daily workout. He combined it with workouts for my upper and lower body. He regularly kept checking my progress in terms of weight loss and muscle build up, and based on that he would change my workouts and diet pattern accordingly. The best part about his workouts was that they were never monotonous. I’ve tried out a lot of diets – the Atkins diet, detox diet, miracle soup diet, liquid diet… the list is seemingly endless. The problem is anything I lost due to these diets came back to me in double quantities once I finished them. But Manoj gave me loads of nutritional advice, things like never to skip a meal, how it’s important never to stay hungry for long, why I should include fruits that were rich in
Before – 69kgs Vitamin C in my diet – as that would increase my immunity and also was good for my skin. He stressed how the intake of water aids in weight loss and lot’s of other valuable advice. Now I get compliments not only about my weight loss but also about how my skin is glowing, and I have just one answer –Manoj. He makes sure that I work out regularly. As I was getting closer to my goal I realised that the hard work and commitment Manoj was putting into my fitness regime and the time I spent sweating it out wasn’t just something for the short-term goal of fitting into a gown. Today I’m 9kgs lighter and feeling much healthier. My goal for life is to stay fit and maintain this level of healthiness.
Manoj’s verdict I spoke with Saminey about her goals and the time period within which she wanted to achieve them and then assessed her according to her strengths. From that I planned a fully functional exercise plan that targeted specific areas she wanted to tone up. At the same time, as a qualified nutritionist, I changed her diet plan accordingly to suit her workload and rest period. The important factor is not the training that I give her, but the motivation of Saminey to achieve her goals. In addition, one thing she always mentions is that the atmosphere and the staff support at DCC add extra positive vibes for her training. She is a great example of what can be achieved when you put your mind in to it.
Now – 60kgs So guys, if you want to achieve your health and fitness goals then Fitness First DCC is the place to head to and Manoj is the guy you need to meet. He taught me to read ‘impossible’ as “I am possible”. Frankly speaking I used to always think twice about spending money on a gym and a personal trainer but I’ve just changed my attitude. I don’t consider it as an expense; I consider it as an investment in myself with high returns for a lifetime. I’m keeping to my word, you can still spot me at the gym. I’m easily recognisable – just look for the girl who’s huffing and puffing behind Manoj and all the while adjusting her ponytail….yes, that’s me !
Pre workout fuel
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In order to perform at your best you need to nourish your body and mind with the correct fuel. Here are some tips on what and when to eat prior to a workout.
AT a meal three to four hours before exercise and have a small snack ideally between one and two hours before your workout. So, if you plan to go to the gym at 5pm, try to have a meal (lunch) at 1.30pm and then a snack around 3:30/4:00pm. The most important thing in any pre-exercise meal is that the food is familiar and you know it settles well. Eat a meal made with primarily slow-release carbohydrates (oatmeal, bran cereal, a whole wheat bagel or toast) for lunch (with a glass or two of water). Complex carbs are the body’s main source of fuel, so they should make up about two-thirds of the average pre-gym meal. They keep blood sugar steady and provide protection against a crash in energy levels. A little bit of protein is good but not too much as it takes longer to digest and breakdown than the carbohydrate. More protein should be taken on board after the session to help your muscles recover.
Here are some ideas for a healthy, pre-workout lunch: A small baked potato with tuna and reduced fat mayonnaise Brown rice with vegetables and lean meat (eg turkey) Whole wheat pasta and sauce (low-fat tomato sauce or bolognese) Rice cakes and cottage cheese followed by a piece of fruit A small baked potato and baked beans or cottage cheese Toasted sandwich With lunch digesting away and re-stocking your energy levels it’s a good idea to top-up your fuel with a quick snack around 90 minutes before you start getting some active.
oaded d is a carb-l A baked spu utter! b e easy on th treat but go
Try these in the run up to getting your gym gear on: Half a banana (too much too quickly can cause acid reflux) A protein bar One slice of toast and peanut butter A small bowl of cereal Stay hydrated One thing to bear in mind throughout the day is to maintain hydration. Water is important. Lack of hydration affects performance by up to 30% so keep a steady flow of water consumption throughout the day.
What not to eat: Creamy sauces on pasta or curry While the pasta is good, the richness in an accompanying sauce, with seasoning and spices, can upset your stomach and easily cause heartburn when you start moving.
fried fatty snacks will slow you down. It might seem like common sense to avoid fatty foods before exercise, but even healthy high-fat snacks like almonds can make you sluggish. Fat is turned to energy far less efficiently by the body than carbs and protein.
Sugary sports drinks
Potatoes are a good workout food, but don’t settle for a quick fix with some French fries. Deep-
Too much refined sugar found in carbonated drinks or specialist sports drinks can cause a spike
and crash in energy levels. In addition, the sugar and/or fizziness can cause bloatedness and other stomach problems. Research has found that caffeine can provide an energy boost before exercise and masks the discomfort sometimes felt in muscles during and after a workout. An espresso or a small black tea might be more stomachfriendly than a caffeinated or carbonated energy drink.
STAY ACTIVE AT WORK Make sure you don’t become a workplace slouch... In certain types of job it can sometimes be hard to find ways of staying active during the day, which leads to weight gain. But even if you spend most of your time stuck behind a desk there are ways you can incorporate some mild physical activity into your office life. Below is a guide to staying active during office hours and getting paid while you flight the flab!
4 Increase your N.E.A.T N.E.A.T stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenisis, which basically means the energy you use for any movement that isn’t intended as exercise. Tapping your feet or moving your legs from side to side while typing, pacing up and down rather than sitting while using the telephone, twiddling your thumbs, gesticulating while speaking…you name it. Research has shown that you can burn around 600 calories extra per day just by increasing your N.E.A.T. 4 Get moving during lunch time Just because it’s lunchtime, doesn’t mean you have to sit down the whole time. Use half the time to eat and the other half of the time to go for a short walk, even just up and down the stairs or around the building. A change of scenery is also good for your mind as well as your body.
4 Run more errands Time permitting, try not to save errands up to do in one go. For example, if you have to go and do some photocopying and also have to take some files to the accounts department, try to do the tasks separately, forcing you to stay active throughout the day. Also, if you have to communicate with a colleague, get up and go and see them rather than emailing or calling them. 4 Get involved in coffee breaks Even if you don’t actually want a coffee, or you’re saving money, it’s a good idea to tag along with colleagues to the local café for a coffee break as a quick and easy way of getting some exercise. If you make coffee in the office, don’t wait for someone else to make it, get up and go to the kitchen yourself!
4 Stretch, bend and tone There are many gentle exercises you can easily do at work inconspicuously such as squats (no weights needed, just keep your back straight and hold onto the back of your chair), touching your toes or star jumps. Just 10-15 of each every day will greatly improve your condition and these exercises won’t leave you sweaty and tired. 4 Stairway to fitness heaven It’s an old one but probably the most important of the lot. Say “no” to the elevator and “yes” to the stairs. If you substitute the elevator for the stairs each time you enter or leave your office you’ll be amazed how many extra calories you burn each week. Where fitness is concerned, every little helps and if you make lots of small changes to your level of activeness throughout each day you’ll see huge gains in your general fitness and a big improvement in your weight control.
Run for your
LIFE WORDS: RICHARD BEVAN
HE motto of the London 2012 Olympics was ‘Inspire A Generation’ and there were few more inspiring individuals on display than South Sudanese marathon runner Guor Marial. You may not have heard of him. He didn’t win a medal, he didn’t even finish in the top 40. But he didn’t have to, for this remarkable man had already beaten astonishing odds in order to take his place among the 105-strong field in the English capital. For a survivor of one of the most horrific conflicts in modern history, just being alive was a victory. Qualifying to compete at the highest level on the international stage represented a triumph of extraordinary proportions. “It’s amazing,” said Marial, who finished the race in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 32 seconds in 47th place. “It’s one of those miracles through which God has shown the path he wants me to follow...He’s using me to help other people.”
Guor Marial with Brad Poore, the American lawyer who lobbied the world in order to make his friend’s Olympic dream come true.
HE marathon was an obvious choice for Guor Marial – he’s been running since he was a young boy. But when he started out, he wasn’t running because he enjoyed it or because he had any aspirations to become an athlete, he was, quite literally, running for his life. The 28-year-old grew up in Sudan were one of the most bloody and brutal civil wars ever known ripped the east-central African country apart and left two million dead. Among them were 28 of Guor’s family, including eight of his ten brothers and sisters. His remote village in what is now South Sudan was burned to the ground by soldiers nearly two decades ago and as an eight-year-old boy he escaped from a refugee camp and headed north to seek out relatives in the Sudan capital of Khartoum where his parents, who also survived the slaughter, thought he would be safer. He ran out of money on the way and had to do jobs for the Sudanese army to get by. He was then kidnapped by nomadic herdsmen and forced to tend their cattle but after a year he escaped and ran as fast as his legs could carry him before being captured again by an army captain who took him to western Sudan and kept him as a slave. Eventually he got away again and made it to his uncle’s house in Khartoum but in 1999 the Sudanese police broke in, took his uncle away and smashed Guor’s jaw with the butt of a rifle. He fled to the relative safety of Cairo in Egypt, aged 16, and was later joined by his uncle. The pair moved to the USA in 2001 and Guor was finally able to start living without fearing for his life when he was granted refugee status and enrolled in Concord High School in New Hampshire. It was a world of freedom and opportunity that he never even knew existed. “Growing up in the war it was dangerous and hard,” Marial explained. “It was about survival of the
fittest. If you survived one day, OK, what’s going to happen the next day? Growing up there, I did not know the outside world. “When I left the village and (went) to the city and came to Cairo and the United States, the world kept opening and opening. There are other things, not just killing each other.” It was in high-school that the concept of running for anything other than survival was first presented to Guor when gym teacher Rusty Cofrin noticed his incredible stamina and smooth running style and suggested he join the athletics team. The teenager initially resisted the idea but eventually relented as he thought it would be a good way to make friends. “I used to hate running,” he said. “I was running back home to save my life. “To run (meant) you were running from danger. So when I started to run in 2002 — when my teacher told me to start running — it took a couple of months to convince me. I told him, ‘Running is something I used to escape with my life. So for you to tell me to run (for sport), it’s impossible. I cannot do that.’ ”
Scholarship The decision to change his mind proved to be a good one for it was his talent for running which gained Guor a scholarship to Iowa State University where he was to become an All-American in cross-country before graduating with a degree in chemistry in 2009. He found that after the hardships he’d gone through to reach a life of freedom he could face up to any challenge both on and off the athletics track. “In the refugee camps it’s hard, you’re isolated,” he said. “You only think about what there is to eat. That kind of toughness, being able to survive those critical conditions, had an impact on my daily life and how I face things.” Remarkably, far from getting caught up in self -pity, Guor is actually thankful for the toughness that his former life has given him. 4
“I was running back home to save my life. To run (meant) you were running from danger. So when I started to run in 2002 – when my teacher told me to start running – it took a couple of months to convince me. I told him, ‘Running is something I used to escape with my life. So for you to tell me to run (for sport), it’s impossible. I cannot do that.’ ” – Guor Marial
“I feel fortunate to have that, to have that background. That’s helped me with my running and my everyday life.” After leaving college Guor decided that he wanted to pursue a career in athletics in order to, “show my appreciation to the people who have supported me.” He ran in what was only his first marathon in Minneapolis in June last year and finished in a time of two hours, 14 minutes and 32 seconds – just quick enough to secure Olympic qualification. While that in itself was a phenomenal achievement it also presented a problem. Not yet an American citizen he couldn’t be considered for the US team and his native country, South Sudan, has only been in official independent existence for 13 months and has no Olympic body yet. He was invited to run for Sudan but refused saying: “If I ran for Sudan, I would be betraying my people. I would be dishonouring the two million people who died for our freedom.” The only chance he had was if he was allowed to run as an independent athlete under the Olympic flag, but the prospects didn’t look great until a California based lawyer named Brad Poore, who he met while running his second marathon last October, took up his case in June. Poore lobbied anyone he thought might be able to help – congressmen, committees, journalists, the United Nations. He even got the President of South Sudan to write a letter to the International Olympic Committee on Marial’s behalf.
Independent “I made a couple of calls, and it kind of snowballed,” said Poore modestly. “The entire world came together to make it happen for Guor. No-one was paid a dime, they did it for purely humanitarian reasons.” Guor only found out he was competing as one of only four independent athletes at the Olympics three weeks before the marathon was due to take place and with little proper preparation time and, still largely inexperienced as a marathon runner, winning the race was always out of the question. But he finished the race, which is something that 20 of the 105 starters didn’t achieve, and he did so in the top half of the field, just over 11 minutes behind winner Stephen Kiprotich. Marial has no coach, no sponsorship, no real training facilities. He works full time during the day at a care home in Arizona, where he now lives, and trains at night. And yet he earned his place alongside the best long distance runners in the world on merit. It was never about the time – he was there, that was the main thing. He may have been racing under the Olympic flag but South Sudan was very much in his heart and Guor wanted to finish the race for his country
to show them they were being represented and to give hope to displaced people the world over. “I have no problem,” said Marial who had a South Sudan flag draped on his bedroom wall in the Olympic Village. “I live in the United States. I have running shoes. I’m fine. What about the people who are out there? This is the reason I was finishing the race. For those people. They are in a rough condition, and I hope that the world is able to help them. “I said, ‘Hey God, make me finish. Just let me finish. I was not worried about the time’. “It doesn’t matter how long the marathon was, whether it was 40 miles. I would have finished. Because this moment was for them. “In my heart, I feel like I was carrying the flag of South Sudan. South Sudan has finally got a spot in the world community. The dream has come true.”
Guor was also running for his parents, whom he hasn’t seen for 20 years and who still live in South Sudan. They walked 30 miles from their village to the nearest city in order to watch the son they encouraged to flee to a better life all those years ago achieve his dreams on television. “This is for them, especially,” he said, before indicating his desire to continue his Olympic adventure in Rio in four years’ time. “If they will be still alive, 2016 is another chance. And hopefully, there I will be in a better place, a better time. And I’ll be able to know that I’m training for the Olympics.” If the 2012 Olympic Games were intended to inspire a generation to strive to achieve their dreams, to show courage, determination and a will to succeed no matter what obstacles and challenges they’re faced with then Guor Marial is surely the greatest champion of them all. n
GETTING TO KNOW: JAMAICAN SPRINTER YOHAN BLAKE SF: Where did the Beast nickname come from? YB: It was something generated from training. My work ethic is amazing so it came from that. SF: It’s a golden era for Jamaican sprinting isn’t it? Yourself, Usain Bolt, Warren Weir – it’s incredible isn’t it? YB: Yeah, Jamaica is elated by what we’ve done. It was the 50th anniversary of our independence this year and we couldn’t have given the people a better independence celebration. SF: What was it like lining up with your two Jamaican colleagues (Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell) for that 100m Final? YB: I’m telling you man, it was nerve racking! If you were to have touched me I would have dropped down, that’s how nerve racking it was! That’s why we try and do stuff before the race to keep calm. SF: Deep in your heart do think you could beat Usain in a race that big? YB: Usain, don’t take offence (he’s my friend) but yes, of course I do. Deep down I know I could beat him. SF: What do you need to do to make that happen? Work harder? YB: It’s not about working harder. On the day I just need to be at a certain position at a certain point in the race. You have to pressure him at the start of the race. SF: You train all the time and it all comes down to less than 10 seconds that you have to deliver on the day – how do you get your head around that? YB: My coach Glen Mills is at my house every night trying to get that mental part of my game right. The physical part is good but he’s always talking to me about what to expect. That’s what he does to get that mental part of my race going. SF: What did it feel like when you crossed the line to win the relay, to do it as a team? YB: We were over the moon. To run 36.84s – that was some fast running, and we’re planning now to go 35.00s. In Jamaica they were saying we’ve got to be the first to go under 37.00s and that’s what we did. We came home with the World Record and I think they’re really proud of us. n
Vin Diesel’s lean muscular figure has graced the silver screen in smash hits such as Pitch Black, Boiler Room and The Fast and The Furious but how does he get into such great shape?
The Vin Diesel Workout
Day 1 Chest, Shoulders and Biceps 3 sets of 15 reps each: – Dumbbell press – Dips – Chest Flies – Lateral Dumbbell Raise – Bicep Curls Day 3 Legs and abs 3 sets of 15 reps each: – Squats – Deadlift – Lunges – Sit-ups/crunches
Day 5 Back and Triceps 3 sets of 15 reps each: – Pull-ups – Rows (several variations) – Tricep extensions (cable and dumbbell)