Kloof dad and daughter complete 5-day ‘ultra ultra’

2008-10-17 00:00

At the age of 56, he coughed up blood after running a five-kilometre fun run on the beach in Durban. That was his first attempt at running. His daughter, who was 32 at the time, ran the race with him. She persuaded him to come back the next week and the week after that. He never looked back.

That was in 1999.

Last Sunday, Tony Bishop (65) and his daughter Karen (41) finished the gruelling Cape Odyssey ultra-marathon. The duo, from the Hillcrest Villagers Athletics, who entered the race as the Bickering Bishops team, ran the equivalent of four marathons (42,2 km) and one ultra marathon (50 km), covering a distance of 202 km in five days.

Altogether, 160 two-person teams, some from as far afield as Italy, England and Germany, started the race in Hermanus on Wednesday, October 8, and finished at Boschendal wine estate on Sunday.

According to the retired general manager, he was never keen on running.

"Yes, I remember my first run well. Before that, the only running I had ever done was only short distances at school. My daughter forced me to come back the following week and the week after. ‘It gets better, dad’, she said to me at the time. We just improved from there. … " said Bishop.

Bishop started and finished the Comrades marathon in 2000, 2001 and 2003, but he rates the Odyssey experience as the greatest sporting achievement of his life.

"This is the ultimate. Although the terrain was extremely tough, the scenic beauty on the route more than made up for it … To be able to do it with my daughter was tremendous," Bishop said afterwards.

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