I know I should have written this days ago, but I've not been very good at been a blogger, but it's time to get back into it, so here goes:
This weekend past was African-X weekend and I was there to see if, together with my partner (Bruce Almighty) we could but put in a good showing.
So this is my side of the story:
Friday morning saw Dawn drive me out to Kleynmond to meet Bruce for the start, he had spend the night there as he had traveled from Pretoria .
A quick rundown of the race goes like this: 3 days 85km of trail run in pairs.
Day 1: With Dawn there we she took us to the start and watched us run of down the road, Yes road so Bruce and I fell off the early pace. It was really flat for the first 5km with even the beach which we ran on been hard and easy running. As we left the 'town' of Betty's Bay and headed into the mountain we closed the gap on the leaders. Well on the climb up we started to close the gap, but once on top Bruce's eyes lit up and the slog of the road left his legs and off we went 'bouncing' past one team then another. Down hill on a rocky single track, well I couldn't hold him back, we took 3 teams as they were almost walking down a cliff face (ok it wasn't that steep). For the next couple of km Bruce was like a little kid in a candy store. Then it was over we could see 2nd 200m ahead of us and they had hit the gravel road home (5km of it). The road runners slowly caught us again and we finished the 23.3km in 2h00.33 (6th)
Day 2, after taking the bus from the camp sight to the start we set off on the 40.3km stage of mostlygravel road,
and with Bruce a little off his game we set out at 5min/km and stuck there. By 7km we were lying 10/11th with Nic and Dom. But as the km ticked by we started passing teams. With only 400m of single track this was not playing into our hands. That said the longer the race went on the more teams suffered and we just kept to the 5min/km and with 3km to go we found ourselves moving into 4th for the day. Our time of 3h21:00 was about 15mins off the pace.
Day 3 had a couple of promising bits to it, and uphill start:
but it wasn't long enough. The stretch on the top was great, but again I had to run as a team, I was feeling great and wanted to kick butt!!! but that wasn't going to happen today. On the single track down we did open up a gap of one of the teams who had just try to pass us. That was short lived with 6km still to run of the short 21.3km leg it was flat to the end...
Bruce was strong, but slow (by his standards) so for the 2nd day in a row we knocked out 5min/km. Finishing in 1h44.58, only 8th for the day and 6th for the event.
We ran well as a team keeping our sponsors Hi-Tec happy and who knows, next year Bruce will be a vet (40+) and then we might stand a chance to clean up against the old men...