Nipples. Not just a word to get your attention but also something we all have two of. I saw real-life lady nipples for the first time when I was 12 years old and those nipples belonged to Kate Winslet. Not bad for a young lad’s first boob experience, eh? Some people say that because it was on Titanic it doesn’t count, but to those people I say, “That’s crazytalk. Don’t let the facts get in the way of stories about boobs.”

Besides being the time-honoured subject of mankind, nipples also have biological functions: women’s nipples are designed to distract men, while men’s nipples are designed to get chafed while running.

Arthur Jones, my co-worker and proud owner of two nipples, has told me about this chafe zone that I can expect to run through this Saturday when I run the Two Oceans. And Arthur’s nipples know a thing or two; they have endured the Comrades and a host of other friction-inducing physical activities.

Since my race history comprises two 10k races, I haven’t run through the Valley of the Shadow of the Chafe yet. My tender chest is about to feel its wrath. Arthur told me to skip the ointments and go straight for the plasters. Pulling them off afterwards might be a bit uncomfortable he warns, but I reckon that will be child’s play compared to the time (the first and last time) I was coaxed into having my chest waxed.

Now that I’ve got that issue…ahem… covered, I gleaned some more advice from my pollyshorted colleagues at Runners’ World magazine. Deputy editor Allister Arendse said that during the race I should visualise myself being pulled by one of the runners in front of me. He also recommends that I start hydrating in small sips with a sports drink or water about an hour before the race.

Thanks for the advice, fellas. If nipples could talk, mine would say, “Bring it on.”