“My old man used to run trails back in the day before trail running was even a thing. He and some friends ran the Swellendam Trail in a single day. They wore Asics Tigers, old nylon vests, Polly Shortts, and sideburns. Their nutrition consisted of smarties, dried fruit and whatever else they could find. Hard men!
“Watching him run Two Oceans as a lightie (when I was seven or eight years old) probably awakened my first interest in the sport. I remember getting up early in the morning and going to watch him do these road races in the dark with my
mom and my sister, not really knowing what it was all about, but enjoying the whole thing.
“Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the Western Cape mountains with my dad, which made me comfortable being in those areas. It definitely created a passion for being in the outdoors, being active and healthy, particularly in the mountains.
“When I was 15 we got caught in a cold snap in the Hex River mountains and had to spend a day or two in the snow, with nothing but survival blankets. It was a hugely sobering experience that taught me how quickly things can change on a range, and how insignificant we are up there. The rescue helicopter arrived as we hiked off the mountain.
We asked John Brimble, Ben’s dad, to tell us about his proudest moments:
I thought very highly of him when he chased a car thief from his flat in Vredehoek, all the way into central Cape Town. What was amazing was that he was barefoot and it wasn’t even his car. I thought that showed a remarkably caring person who did the right thing. And the thief was caught.
Other proud moments were his first major win at AfricanX, and then breaking the record for the PUFfeR. It was a record set by two icons of the local trail running world, Ryan Sandes and then AJ Calitz.
Read more about our cover athlete, Ben Brimble, and his dad, in TRAIL 14.
Follow Ben on Twitter @brimbleben