On Sunday I lined up for the Table Mountain Race for the 21st time, and this is my story:
In years gone by I thought I was strong on the hills and loved running on the mountain, so it was only natural that I fell in love with this race. Back then I was hungry to do well, win, break an hour, and yes I have been lucky enough to do all of that, but those days are as good as over. That said I still train hard and hope for the best!!!
At the start this year I was first out of the blocks and started opening up a lead. This was short lived as a guy from Jo'burg joined me at the front after the first turn about 2km into the race. This was good for me as it kept me honest and I had to work to stay with him I wasn't going to be beaten up my mountain. With one turn left to the bridge I thought I had him as I was pulling ahead, I hoped he would falter and start walking... But no he pulled back and joined me for the steep section to the bridge. The race now flattens and I felt we really picked up the pace I wasn't worried about winning I just wanted a good time. I had a look at my watch at the tap, and then started scheming about how I could take the King of the Mountain. On the last steep bit he slowed, I think because of the mist he thought the climb was starting all over again. He had no clue, I guess he didn't even know there was a prise to the top. I bolted and set off like a rabbit scared sprinting like Ben Johnson (yes a man on drugs). He was never far off but I went over the line first and then I slowed with the idea of letting him take the wind for a bit, but he had also slowed. Again i thought I had him so I upped my game and pushed for the dam, but no sooner had I started to pull ahead he decided it was time to close the gap. It was turning into a nice race and I was really enjoying to games we were playing. I was the using every game in the book to stay ahead and he just kept fighting to get back in the picture.
I think the top dam was leaking as the road was under water, again I took my chances and went for it hoping that he would tackle it like a fairy... again my lead didn't last long. I had one more chance to break him, the single track to the dam wall. This was going to be fun, was I able to take him to pieces in the mist on the wet rocks...? Almost, I heard him slip in the first couple of steps. I think this is were he realised that he had a race on his hands so he wasted no time in catching me on the dam wall. I want to say he was here to win and had taken it easy till now and now he had a race on his hands. We climbed up onto the road and started to run back, he was now uping the front pushing the pace, but noticed that I couldn't keep up so he backed off to keep the games up!!! It's all ways nice to be in front running past the back markers and having them all cheering for you. I sped past the marshals at the King and started heading down... He stopped and I hoping he was a spend case, but all he was doing was stopping for was sherry!!! He was playing with me and had caught me by the time we past the tap. I was running for 2nd... with about 2 km to go he left me for the last time and finished about 30 seconds ahead. My time of 65:44 was the slowest time I've every raced that race, I think I'm getting old, or did Saturdays Trail race take to much out of me?