|Can you see me in my Orange hat?|
All that said I was at the start line chatting to my friend before the gun went off and while a couple of guys set off round the tartan track as if it was all they were doing we didn't. It didn't take long for a group of guys to join me: OK let me see if I can remember who all was in the bus as we headed out for the 35th running of the Winelands Marathon:
Coach Dion, Richard, Sam, Stef, Ake, Marko, Seppie, Ryan, William, 'Celtics' x 2, 'Strand', and 1or 2 other guys I couldn't really see, Oh so that was about 15 of us, but in any case it was a nice group and with the running easy and the early km slightly down hill we hit the 5km board in 19:47. Stef was the only one complaining about the pace as I had told him 4:00-4:15... He was nicely hidden at the back of the pack and with it down hill he stayed with us as I guaranteed him we would slow at the hills started.
|This is at about 20km|
20-25km took us past the turn-around 20:37. The little climb to 24.5km we ran a little fast and I had to pull the guys back, but then it was a nice down hill, and all I could say was don't let it hurt you... Stef and William let us go, and now the group was maybe only 6 big... I had hoped that 5 or 6 of us could run through to the end together, but had wasn't going to happen.
Dawn (my wife) had been on the side of the road taking a couple of pictures and watching the race, and as we over-took a 40+ guy she told me I had moved into 4th! Those 5km had been mostly down hill and our split 25-30 was quick 19:12, but then we turned of the main road onto a side street for a 3.5km out and back loop. That first little bump (don't even want to call it a hill) dropped the guys Seppie, Richard, Ryan, while Sam and I kept the pace...
OUT and back... I could see Dwarsrivier leading the 40+, but he didn't look good, Andries was strong in 2nd and Nedbank in 3rd, I was 60sec back... I was chomping at the bit but the last 10km of a marathon are a long way and with 60+ marathon under the belt I know a few things.
We had just seen the leading lady before we turn back onto the main road and started the last of the big climbs. I told Sam not to work to hard on this hill but then... but then!!! Dawn was on the side of the road and told us that Dwarsrivier was walking.
|Time to go...|
|The Winner takes it All|
In fact I was now far enough ahead that I could jog in to get my target time of 2h49:36. 13th over all and 1st 40+. 3 guys from my club were really happy to see me, saying: Mr Dion we knew we could count on you! And with that we had won the team prize!
|Alan is on the Wine, I'm on the beer and Shandy Dog is resting after a long morning supporting|