Toontjie 4km - 14 October 2017

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

Monday, 17 June 2013

Napier Patatfees - 10km Run - and Steve's first MTB Race!

 I'm not sure this is really my blog post this time, as most of it is about Steve's mountain bike race, but he did so well and I am really proud of him for doing it.  I honestly didn't think he would!

We went to Napier for the weekend.  We left in the pouring rain and howling gales!  As we had to take the animals to the kennels, we had to go the long way round but at least that meant we were on tarmac roads, not gravel roads.  We also had Steve's mountain bike on the back of the car and, before you ask, no, it didn't fall off the back even once!  Well done to Steve for tying it on so well - on the cycle rack, of course!

At least it stopped raining long enough at the kennels to get the dogs out of the car into their kennel, the cats out of the car and into their 'room', move all the bags around and get settled before it started raining again!

And then we got hungry!  We had had breakfast a couple of hours before, but it requires rather a lot of effort getting packed, trying not to forget anything, and sorting out animals!  We weren't just hungry, we were ravenous!  Trouble is, we are trying to lose a little bit of weight, and it's working, but - what to eat when you are on the road?!  Luckily, we passed a padstal and were able to buy some water, which we had forgotten to put in the car, and - a meat pie each - with pastry!  I'm afraid it was delicious!

Napier isn't very far, and we arrived at our cottage for the weekend about an hour later.  It was still raining and it was still very windy.  We threw the bags in the cottage and decided to go and find a supermarket to stock up for the weekend - on healthy stuff, of course!  We drove into Bredasdorp, the nearest big town, and had lunch there.  Of course, we needed lunch because we were going to exert ourselves a lot the next day - running in my case and mountain biking in Steve's!  It had been rather amusing that, on the drive along the gravel road up the mountain to our cottage, we passed some MTB signs, red ones and blue ones.  Very amusing (to me) because that meant the MTB start was all uphill for the first 5kms or so!  All I could hear was. "What?  We're MTB'ing up HERE???"  I have to admit, it did look rather steep!  And there were rather a lot of puddles - and potholes.  Never mind!  "You can do it," I encouraged him cheerfully, secretly thinking, "OMG!"

The rain coming again!
The rain and wind continued!  All I heard, with each new rain shower or each gust of wind was, "I'm not doing it if it's like this tomorrow!"  I told him, and kept telling him, that the weather would be perfect tomorrow!   That evening, we sorted out how we would 'do' the next morning, and Steve was going to switch on his app on his iphone so that he could record his route and time, and it would also send out a message to me to let me know how far he had got around the course so I had a better idea of when to expect him back.   (Actually, I felt it was more a case of, if he hadn't killed himself or his bike yet, then it would give me an idea of how far he had actually got around the course before that had actually happened!)  I was using my Garmin as usual.  And so, we went to bed, and the rain and wind continued!

Steve had set his alarm for about 6am.  The MTBs were going off first, and the runners about half an hour later, which was good, as it gave me some extra time to sort out running type things!  It was pitch dark but - there was no sound of wind, and there was no sound of rain either.  It was, however, extremely cold!  Still, we did all the necessary things to get out of the cottage, and set off for the local school, about 10 minutes' drive away down the mountain, in the dark.  Excellent.  Enough time for Steve to register and pick up his number.  (I had been able to get my number the evening before, but the MTBers couldn't. "Oh, b***** h***!" came a voice from the driver's seat.  "I've forgotten my phone."  "What?  You've forgotten your phone?  Why have you forgotten your phone?"  I know it was a stupid question but it was early in the morning.  "I left it on charge," he said.  So back we went to fetch it!

We eventually got to the school and Steve got his (red) number sorted out and his bike and then hung about in the freezing cold while they finished registering everyone else.  It was getting light now, though, and the sun was just beginning to poke it's head up from behind the mountains.  There were no clouds, it would be sunny!  It wouldn't rain and there was very little wind!  He had no more excuses to get out of the ride now, and gathered with the other riders at the Start line (near the back)!  I waited at the side trying to absorb any heat that the sun had started throwing out!  Then they were off!
Getting dressed!

Hopefully, I would see him again in a 'sort of' one piece after 30kms!

And they're off...
... at the speed of light!

My run was next and I was surprised how many runners there were, although the 10kms and 21kms were starting together, but would split after about 3kms.  The gun fired and we were off, and we had to run half a kilometre before we even got off the school premises.  It was a lap of the running track and over the Start/Finish line and then off out of the school.  There was a huge muddy patch of at least 30m long, which we all had to wade through - very slowly (and would look forward to again on the way back!)  Then, down the hill and into the village, on to the main road out of Napier and along a gravel road.  A kilometre or so down there, not too bad so far - loved the downhill bit to warm up.  It was quite enjoyable actually, and my time was good!

Then, we turned into a forest and discovered we were trail running.  There were some horrible little hilly bits and very uneven ground, and plenty of mud due to the rain we had had the previous day.  Oh dear, this was slowing me down somewhat.  And lots of twists and turns.  Eventually, we ran through the forest and out the other side and found ourselves back on the main route through Napier.  All uphill from here onwards!  Oh dear!  Even worse hills up to the school and then the pleasure of wading through the mud again before reaching the grass track, and one more loop to the Finish!  My word, I feel I earned my medal!

Overall, a very enjoyable run, albeit not an easy one, and definitely not a PB route, but lovely running on the differing terrains.  Must remember my trail shoes next time!

Official results not out yet but 1:07 on my Garmin.  Very happy with that under the circumstances.

Now to wait for the mountain biker to return!  At least it has warmed up a bit now - about 18C I think.  I didn't have to wait as long as I thought I would.  Steve thought he would finish in 3 hours.  He actually managed it in 1hr 57mins.  So, well done to him!

Funny thing is though, the MTBers thought the Finish was back where they had started, same as the runners.  That is where they were told they would finish.  However, there were a couple of ladies at one of the side school gates stopping the MTBs as they went through.  That was actually the end!  The rest was just a processional!  That's not the funny bit though.  The funny bit is that Steve had been given a RED number - a 60k number.  The 30k numbers were BLUE!  They all cheered as he came through - they thought he was the first 60k back! But he owned up and told the lady that it was actually she who had given him the red 60k number even though he had only paid for a blue 30k number! There was nothing actually on the number to tell him which race it was...

His first comments at the Finish when he met me?  "B***** H***! Never again!  That is my first and only!

Bet it's not! Heh heh!

Anyway, after a shower back at the cottage, we went out for lunch to celebrate and sat outside in the (now warm) sunshine under the vines at a restaurant with some lovely food, watching a procession of old cars, trucks and tractors.

Overall, an enjoyable weekend, and I am so glad the weather changed for the better on the day that really mattered.
And the sun has come out!

And talking about marathon training now:

My training is still going well.  I have been working on my speed, and have also started doing proper hill training.  My long runs are getting a bit longer and I hope to do a 19km run this weekend.


  1. oh I did have to have a giggle at Steve's expense but super well done to both of you xx