Toontjie 4km - 14 October 2017

Toontjie 4km - 14 October 2017
Alfie's first medal

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cape Point Half Marathon 2012

Buffels Bay on Cape Point Nature Reserve
This was quite an important race to me as the Cape Point Half Marathon in 2010 was the first half marathon I had ever run.  I wanted to go back and see if I could beat my time.  So, last Saturday morning saw Steve chivvying the guests out (!) of the house so that we could get the animals into the kennels before 10am (the cut-off time on Saturdays)!

Cats were not impressed, particularly Sid, who hid under the bed right in the middle where we couldn't reach her, and had to find something long enough to prod her out with!  Dogs were just hyper with excitement at going out!  Car piled high with bags, food and animals, we eventually got them to the kennels for about 10.30, and breathed a sigh of relief as we drove away.

We were staying in a remote cottage just outside the Cape Point nature reserve, and arrived there late afternoon.  Well, we did have a lot of shopping to do at the mall on the way there!  It was great to get our bags in, sort ourselves out and sit on the stoep with a drink, watching the sun go behind the mountains.  I was drinking water - water I had taken with me, not the water that came out of the tap.  That was very dark brown water and I daren't drink it, even though there was a filter for drinking water, as it was still very brown, and I didn't want to risk a poorly tummy during my run!  It was interesting having a bath later, as the water was so brown (it was mountain water), that you couldn't actually see the bottom of the bath!

Front of the cottage

The next morning, I was up at about 5am, and we arrived at the nature reserve gates at about 6am.  It was a very bright, sunny morning, with not too much wind about for a change.  I registered and picked my number up from the office at the main gate (great number - 234) and we drove down into the middle of the park.  It is quite a long drive down to Buffels Bay, where the parking was, and as we drove along a heavy bank of mist came in and totally obliterated the sun.

After parking, we walked up the long, steep hill to the Information Centre, where the race was to start.  A couple of visits to the park toilets later, and I walked up to the start.  The route had changed slightly this year, so that we ran right down to the bottom of the Cape of Good Hope and then turned and ran back uphill, continuing along the main road, which meant we were running uphill for about 10kms (!) and then at about 16kms turned into Circular Drive, into the heart of the nature reserve, before being sent along a trail for a couple of kms.  It felt harder than when I did it last time, I think because of the extra few kms added on due to the longer downhill at the start of the run, and then an even longer uphill middle part.  The last few kms were a fast downhill to the finish by the sea.
The first kilometre - the warm up

The long plod uphill - ouch!
I had seen Steve at the side of the road at about 15kms with the camera - not good because I had just started eating some jellies and a bit of one had gone down the wrong way, so I started spluttering!  Which meant I was also walking! Oops!  Hurry along and pretend I am alright!

It was quite a lonely run as the majority of runners were way ahead of me, and us at the back of the pack were very spread out.  From kilometre 15, I thought, 'Right, now to start catching some of these people up', and I managed to overtake 7 people, and they didn't overtake me, so well pleased with that.  However, we were all about 50 metres or so apart, and I felt it quite hard running on my own in the middle part of the run. Once I had got to about 15km, I thought I had better get a move on and work harder!  So, I changed gear and 'cruised'!

Downhill to the finish
I saw Steve again on the downhill section to the finish and he helped push me to get there in my allotted timescale.  I had seen him at the side of the road (couldn't really miss him as he was the only person there and was wearing a bright green t-shirt) and passed him, and then I had heard footsteps running behind me.  I thought, 'Oh no, no-one is going to pass me now!' and I ran harder.  Until he came and ran alongside me, I hadn't realised it was Steve running behind me.  It was rather scary though as I was terrified I would trip up and fall flat on my face.  As you know, that is something I have done before with dire consequences!  However, the Finish was coming up faster now and I crossed the line in 2:27:39.  So I PB'd! A good result.  I would have liked to do it just a few minutes quicker but I will obviously have to work harder to achieve that!  But I am happy for now!

At the finish