... was held on 15 April 2017. I had successfully obtained a place through the ballot and was delighted to be able to run this race at last. Having run a Bed & Breakfast for so many years with Steve, I had not been able to run at Easter so this was a bit special for me. It is also the first race I have run since last December, and that was a 10km, so really wasn't sure how this half marathon would turn out!
Sam and Finn were staying with us over the Easter period so I had booked a house not too far from the Start and the Finish so we could have a bit of a break in Cape Town as well. On the Thursday before the Race, we all went to Cape Town, and I did the Expo.
|At the expo at the Cape Town Convention Centre|
|Picking up my number|
|Complete with number and goodie bag - a bit scary really!|
Steve bought me some running stuff birthday presents while we were there 😊and we all picked up our numbers for the Fun Run that we were all going to run with Finn the next day. I also picked up my Half Marathon race number too, and goodie bag.
On the Friday, we all made our way in our running stuff to Rhodes Memorial where the fun runs were starting, and we did our 2.1km. Well done to Sam, Steve and Finn for doing it so enthusiastically!
On the Saturday, I had to get up at 4am for the 6am start of the Half Marathon a kilometre up the road outside the Brewery in Newlands. It was still very dark and quite chilly, but Steve walked me up there, where he left me and I sorted myself out for the pen I was to start from - C. It is a big race and it made me feel quite small standing in the middle of so many people around me - 16,000. And then there were the 56km runners congregating behind all of us - another 11,000!
Just before 6am, they played the national anthem, and then we were off. Steve said he had been watching from the Engen garage just up the road from the Start, but neither of us saw each other - too many people. It wouldn't get light for at least another hour but it was quite nice running in the dark with the street lights. When the street lights ran out on the dual carriageways, some very kind marshalls shone lights for us. We were steadily running uphill for the first 4 or 5kms and looked down at all the lights in the towns below us - very pretty. Then, the D and E groups caught us up and started overtaking us - well, all the quick, young ones anyway!
As we turned off left and ran over the road towards the mountains, I could see it was getting light and we ran a kilometre or so in one direction before turning back on ourselves on the other side of the road doing a switchback. It isn't good seeing so many people ahead of you, but it was good seeing so many behind! And we continued running towards the mountains.
We ran along Constantia Nek under the trees and it was such a long incline. It seemed to be uphill most of the time, and I had to walk in places. At last we reached the Kirstenbosch gates and the road opened up and there were some very welcome downhills. In fact, it was mostly downhill from Kirstenbosch back to the Finish at the University - about 3kms. One more uphill just before the Finish, which was a killer at that stage of the Race, but it was great to see Steve at the side of the road just a couple of kilometres from the Finish.
|Nearly done! Just a couple more kilometres!|
The last 100m or so seemed so long, but eventually I ran across the timing mat managing a finish of exactly 2hrs 30 minutes. I was very pleased with that as I had thought it would take me something like 2:45 with so many hills. It is not a flat race at all!
Eventually, Steve found me where we agreed to meet and we started walking back to the house. I knew there were a couple of coffee shops on the way, and we stopped off to buy a coffee and a custard pastry - the best food I had that day! After that, we carried on walking back to the house, where Sam and Finn were still in bed!
I was very achy the next day but managed an enjoyable walk around Kirstenbosch with everyone.
I mustn't forget that Alfie ran just about every run leading up to this race with me, so huge thanks to him for accompanying me. I am going to treat him to a new running harness! He is the most enthusiastic running partner you could ask for - never complains (but sometimes wonders why we go up and down the same hill a lot on some runs) and is always ready to come out with me for another run!
Time: 2:30:51 Chip Time, 2:30:05 Actual Time
Position: Category position: Ladies in my age group: 78/267 before cut-off.