Thursday, 2 January 2014
According to the printed 'blurb' about the race:
This event is run through a Fynbos coastal reserve and the lovely fishing village of Gansbaai. It starts off on a tarred road and goes slightly downhill towards the coast.
The route then becomes a gravel road which is mostly flat and runs along the coastline towards the finish. Enjoy the scenery around the Danger Point Lighthouse, next to the coastline where the famous HMS Birkenhead sank. You will also be treated to magnificent views over Walker Bay.
What it DOESN'T tell you is that once you have run down the 'tarred road' for about 5km, and on to the 'gravel road' it actually turns into soft sand, rocks, loose pebbles, single track, jeep track, steps, bush and just about everything else you can think of to 'run' over - for the majority of the rest of the race! Only problem with that is that there is no way on this earth that I can RUN over soft sand, rocks, loose pebbles, single track, jeep track, steps, bush and just about everything else for approximately 15 kilometres, I am just not strong enough! Oh, but I just managed to NOT get my feet wet! A bit of positivity there, then!
Have to agree that the scenery was stunning, with beautiful ocean and mountain views - but I was concentrating too much on not losing my footing and running through bushes to get out my phone and take pics! Sorry! Oh, and I had to 'hoik' my skirt up several times as it was disappearing over my hips. Normally, I wouldn't complain about losing a bit of weight and a loose skirt but it gets quite difficult to pull up a rather sweaty item of clothing after a while!
My time was really good for the first four or five kilometres or so, down to the coast, and I was really pleased with my run at that stage, and managed to stay on track (!) for about 12km, but once we had gone off-road proper my pace started to slow dramatically. I really didn't expect to be quite SO off-road, and I got really demotivated after a while because I was running/walking such a lot. I was totally on my own as were most of the other runners that I could see at that point but, eventually, after 21.1 kilometres the race came to an end! As they all do! Hooray!
Unusually, the south east wind didn't cause too much of a problem this year but I did find it very hot once we were running through the dunes and fynbos. It was 19C when we started running at 7 o'clock that morning, and it reached a high of about 29C later that day!
I did make a very silly mistake though (apart from actually attempting the run, that is!). I never do the South African thing of drinking cola at races, which is very popular here! I really can't cope with the bubbles whilst running! At the last water table, I opted for some of the cola instead of water. I knew it wasn't a good idea but I couldn't face any more water by then and I didn't want to use another gel, so I gave it a go. My digestive system didn't thank me and I couldn't run much after that either!
So, overall, not impressed with my speed, in fact I felt quite disappointed. After all the hard training I have done in the last few weeks, I had expected to run it in around 2:20/2:25hrs, BUT (and no excuses here) it definitely wasn't the type of run I was expecting. I'll just put it down to experience and be glad I have some extra calories for FOOD and a drink or two later!
Got my medal though! Time: 2:40.
Happy New Year to you!