Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Saturday was the 16th time that I've lined up for Red Hill... Red Hill Race offers both a Classic 36.2km race and the standard Marathon. Over the last 17 years (missed 1999 due to an injury) I have only ever run the classic, 36.2km always seems far enough this soon after the Christmas fattening period!

In the old days it was easy to take it really easy and to stop at water tables and have fun. You never feel you need to run for a time because no-one will every ask what your 36.2km time is...

A couple of years ago...
Again I lined up with no plans of running hard... With the start of the race I settled into a nice group with a couple of friends and as we ran and chatted I found out 2 of them were planning of aiming at breaking 3hours, so a little faster than planned, but not to fast...
With the wind still behind us and the route still flat the running was easy and we past 5km in around 20:30 and started the first of 2 climbs at 8km. Dawn was following the race on her bike and had set off at tackle the hill before us. Then, as we were reaching the top, I could see her... Yes I had to pick up the pace and crest the hill before she did!!! She was kind and slowed to say Hi before heading down the hill on the other side...

It's not really that scary...
By 10km our group was back together and about 10 strong, Myself and Will set the pace with Gareth and Duncan in for the sub 3 in the marathon, while Greg, Damian, Bruce and a couple of guys I didn't know.

Now the profile doesn't really tell the true story... it's really flattish between 12 and 20 (the turn off for the marathon) A little down then a little up, but easy running, unless the wind is blowing!!! Wind, what wind? The Cape Doctor! Yes she was out to blow like the BIG BAD WOLF... So we needed a house of brick to be safe from the wind, or a man of TITANIUM, or just a sucker to take the wind... I was in front with Will as we went over the hill, so as we started down the others fell in behind us using a little gravity to make up lost ground.(I was the sucker)

We ran together till about 18km, the wind was bad now and Dawn was heading back she didn't like the wind on the bike and wasn't looking forward to the big hill, Red Hill!!! around this time Will had dropped back to talk to some-one else, I think I had said to much, or hadn't said enough! With the slight climb we had lost guys off the back and once out of the group they quickily fell back as fighting the wind and hill on your own wasn't fun!!! Duncan then joined me up front to check on the sub 3 pace and to say thank you before they turned off for a little 3km out and back...

Over the last couple of km we have past a number of 40+ guys and with John and Johnny running the marathon I was suddenly in 2nd (age-group). We turned to climb the hill, Red Hill (yes it's a real enough hill to have the whole race called after it!), and there were only Will and Greg left with me (Bruce fell of as we started to climb).

Marathon on the left...
We past 21km in 88:15 so if the marathon boys could hold it together a sub 3 was on the cards... The climb was as easy as that hill can get, we had the wind behind us pushing us all the way, like a gental hand just egging us on.

Once over the top it was easy... OK we could have hammered the down hill, but THIS WAS JUST A TRAINING RUN, so it was easy down and what a pleasure running the 8km back to the start. The wind behind us the no hills. The 3 of us stayed together to the end, which is a good sign... We can handle the distance and if we are going to run a marathon in a couple of week the sub 3 should / could be easy.

I know you want to know Duncan finished with 2h58:?? while Garath fell of the pace 3km from the end and finished with 2h59:59 or was it 3h00:00 last I know he was going to find out what the officials had!!! Me, well I had finished with 2h30:36 in 12th place and taking 2nd 40+.

My day wasn't over, as Dawn didn't want to stay for prize giving, So she drove home and left me to cycle the 20km home... don't worry the wind was behind the whole way!


  1. I've heard and read a lot about this one. Maybe one day... :)

  2. Again, so very jealous of those rolling hills you have and I LOVE that your wife left you to cycle home :D I may have to stop looking at your blog though, it makes life in the Houston burbs with the Stepford wives that bit harder to take ;s I thought about you during my marathon when I passed the 5k, 10k etc marks, they meant very little to me (I'm an imperial girl) but are starting to have more meaning since reading your race recaps! I was thinking about using them next time to be my pace guide, that way I can ditch the watch again :)

  3. Epic run followed by a bike ride home--great day! Nice that the three of you stayed together.

    I did get a laugh out of the vintage running clothing--always fun to look back!

  4. I don't blame Dawn for not wanting to cycle in that wind. Your Cape Doctor is famous - or should I say, infamous. Great run by the way.

    re your comment on my blog the other day - yes, one day I'd love to do another marathon but it has to be once I finally get all my hormone levels back on track. I'm starting to feel a bit stronger again finally but I still have a way to go to regain my endurance. Bit by bit! I've got one in my thoughts for maybe October but it will depend on how quickly I recover.

  5. Ever one to read the labels on elevation profiles, I understand that it isn't as scary as it looks – but it does look AWFUL unless you read the labels and is still a challenge even with that knowledge! Well done!