|Steve posing in front of a statue at Kirstenbosch.|
|Orange Breasted Sunbird at Kirstenbosch|
|Steve's new girlfriend (met at Kirstenbosch!)|
The Peninsula Half Marathon starts at Bergvliet and finishes at Simon's Town. I had decided to use this race as a training run more than a race because:
1. I was due to run a 21km long training run this week
2. I had rolled my ankle a few weeks ago and I am still being careful on it (I don't want to do it again and mess up my chances of running a good West Coast Half Marathon)
3. I have been struggling with having the energy to run in the heat and wind since Christmas, and we have been very busy at work (not a very good excuse, but true)
so I was never going to run this one particularly fast. Anyway, I wanted to enjoy running the distance with other runners around me (and not on my own, for a change!). The write-up that I read on this race is that it is a lovely one to run because it is flat (well, by South African standards, I suppose it is!) and you run through stunning scenery. Well, I do agree with that last one - it was much nicer being 'out there' in the fresh air running to Simons Town, than driving it in a car.
I was glad to be staying only a five minute walk from the start of the race. It meant I didn't have to get up at an even more unearthly hour than is necessary for most races and I was able to use the loo at the cottage and not have to queue at the porta loos. I am hugely grateful for that, as there were obviously not enough of them at the Start as there was still a line of ladies waiting to use them when the gun went off at 7am!
|Before the start of the race - it looked quite daunting!|
|And we're off!|
There were 1840 runners at the start of the half marathon, and it took at least 2 kilometres to get into a reasonable pace. The sun hadn't been up long and it wasn't too warm yet, with very little wind. However, at around 5kms and approaching Muizenberg, wow, the wind suddenly decided it would be fun to blow at us runners and from that time onwards it was 'in yer face' - all the way to Simon's Town!
There were roadworks at Kalk Bay (there have been for about a year!), which rather messed up the pacing, having to run up and down high kerbs, around parked vehicles, and it didn't seem particularly organised in that part for the runners, let alone the poor vehicles having to be diverted literally miles out of their way (including one poor husband meeting me at Simon's Town. He would have done better to run or cycle to Simon's Town instead!)
|Almost there! Just around the corner...|
|Looking down on to the end of the race with the sea in the background.|
We were running with the sea on our left for at least the second half of the race and it looked beautiful with the sun glinting on it. I was actually enjoying it and was really glad I had decided to run it at a comfortable pace. As I looked across the bay, I could see Simon's Town in the distance and over the next hour it slowly got closer and closer, which was quite a relief really! It had also got hotter and hotter. In fact, the temperature went up to 32C that day! Although the head wind was very strong, it was actually quite nice some of the time, as it helped to cool me down.
The last kilometre seemed to be all uphill with lots of twists and bends and I had run over the finish line before I realised that I had finished and could stop!
Not a fast one at all, but very enjoyable. And I feel I earned my medal, it was hard work. One of my running club organisers had come over to the finish line to congratulate all us Whalers as we finished, which was a nice touch, and invited us all over to the Whalers tent for a celebratory drink!
|A drink and the medal!|
Position in my age group: 71/150
After all the excitement, Steve then drove us all the way from Simon's Town back up the N1 for an outside picnic concert on a wine estate in Paarl, stopping en-route to say 'Happy Birthday' to my Dad as he will be in the UK for his 80th birthday party very shortly. The next day we drove into the mountains for a short break in a tent.
|View from our tent.|
|Kitchen and dining room.|
|Wood-fired hot tub - great for stargazing at night!|
|Can you see the nest being built in the fynbos?|
|The little mouse came in out of the rain!|
|Our tent is up there somewhere - bet you can't see it!|