Advocate, ultra-distance athlete and coach

Ann was born in Harare, Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa as a very young child. She grew up and attended school in Howick, a small town in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, attending university in Pietermaritzburg where she completed an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) in 2003.

Prior to being admitted as an advocate in 2017, Ann worked for 8 years as an attorney in Johannesburg, specialising in competition law (anti-trust). Ann has a Masters in Law which she obtained through the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2012, after being awarded a Chevening Scholarship.

In 2013, Ann and her husband David founded the Born2Run Athletics Club with branches in Johannesburg, Durban, East London and Cape Town. Their vision for the club was to establish an environment in which talented club runners could be nurtured and encouraged to progress into the ranks of the elite. Between 2014 and 2016, Born2Run became home to several established elite female athletes including Julanie Basson, Salome Cooper, Yolande Maclean, as well as the young and talented Stephanie Smith.

In 2017, Ann left the management of Born2Run to start a new, elite and sub-elite ladies only team focused on the marathon and ultra-distance events. This team, sponsored by Massmart Holdings, became known as Team Massmart and focused on the development, sponsorship and mentorship of South African sub-elite athletes. The team was particularly committed to assisting female athletes of colour to excel and move into the elite ranks. Members of this team included Two Oceans and/or Comrades gold medalists Stephanie Smith, Katy Van Meter and Ramadimetja Babili, as well as elite athletes such as Renata Vosloo, Victoria Cotter, Enie Manzini, Melinda Jansen van Vuuren, Jenni Kruse, Caroline Poonan and Kate Murray (nee Roberts).

In May 2021, David, Ann and the members of Team Massmart aligned themselves with Phantane Athletics Club, an elite and development team based in Avoca Hills, KwaZulu Natal. The Club was founded by Mduduzi Khumalo in 2013 to service the community in which he lived. Acutely aware of the hardships faced by young athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds in townships and rural areas, Mdu formulated a plan to identify young talent and assist up-and-coming athletes to receive support and earn an income through their running-related performances.

The Johannesburg branch of Phantane AC was registered with Central Gauteng Athletics in October 2021.

In January 2022, Ann joined the Hollywood Bets Athletics Club, the new elite kid on the block. Ann hopes to be able to mentor and assist her teammates as the club continues to grow from strength to strength.

Ann is passionately committed to the development of the sport and hopes to inspire the next generation of female talent to aggressively pursue their athletic dreams.

Ann is proudly supported by Hollywood Bets, Totalsports, Polar, Nuun Hydration, Julbo Eyewear and HyperIce.

PBs & Notable Achievements

(1) Valencia Marathon (42.2km): 2h35.44 (13th lady) [2018]
(2) Comrades Marathon – Down (90km): 6h10.04 (1st lady) [2018]
(3) Two Oceans Ultra Marathon (56km): 3h47 (7th lady) [2022]
(4) Loskop Ultra Marathon (50km): 3h24 (1st lady) [2019]
(5) Comrades Marathon – Up (87km): 6h27 (4th lady; 2nd South African) [2019]

(6) Ultra-Trail Drakensburg (100km): 12h59:43 (1st lady, new record; 7th overall) [2021]

(7) Karkloof 50 miler (80km): 8h15:58 (1st lady, new record; 3rd overall) [2021]

(8) Ultra-Trail Cape Town (100km): 12h50:57 (4th lady; 16th overall) [2021]

Social media

You can follow Ann on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Coaching

Ann has coached athletes for more than 8 years and currently coaches elite, sub-elite athletes and non-elite or club runners who participate in road and trail races ranging from the half marathon to ultra distances.

Ann’s coaching style and ideology is based on her own experience as well as the information she has gleaned by attending a range of online classes and seminars related to optimal training, supplementation and nutrition including the 7-week course entitled ‘Women are not Small Men‘ offered by internationally renown physiologist and researcher, Dr. Stacy Sims. Ann is a vociferous reader and can be relied upon to stay up to date with scientific research related to optimal athlete performance, despite adopting a “gut feel” approach to her own training and coaching.

Ann believes athletes need to train smarter, not harder, and that good nutrition (both in terms of eating well and eating regularly) is critical to an athlete’s performance.

Ann is also an advocate of run-focused strength training as well as low-grade cardio cross-training.

Ann is unfortunately not able to take on any new athletes at this time given her own running and work-related commitments.

_