|What lay ahead|
It was a strong field that stood on the start line on Sunday morning:
|And we were off|
Was he running fast, was I running slow, but I had to let him go, my plans of an attack would have to wait... Derick, Jock, Lympson, Charl got to the climb about 60 sec ahead of me, so I had a bit of work to do, and work I did. Over the next 2km we climbed 424m (10:27, 11:46 km splits) I passed them all and had 60 sec on them as we reached the top.
The front 6 were about 5min ahead and now I had to get into my running so as to run down anyone of them who would falter...
No that wasn't going to happen I was still running slowly and one by one Derick and the boys started to pass me again... Then a couple of others guys also caught me... Andrew was one of them, he was going well and would catch 2 of the front group. I've run in heavy rain and with the mountain covered in snow, but today in perfect conditions my trail running body was on leave.
But all was not over another climb and I took a couple of places back only to loose then again... Now I know you all like a down hill, well how about one with 194m drop in it... No it's rocky and slippery and as I didn't have my trail legs on I was slow (8:16 for the km). I could still see Derick and as I hit the contour I got into my running and set off after him.
No he wasn't coming back he was still flying (maybe he's been training).
Now the boys at the front of the field were had the hammer down and from what I hear Kane, Mike and AJ had got away. I think AJ was leading on that single track, but once on the gravel road Kane, sill feeling good made his move, while 3-4 mins back Thabang turned on the gas...
I was just running and enjoying that fact that I could have a bad run and still run, not have to walk (this has happened before.) The road went on to the finish, but we turned off the road onto another single track through the forest on the side of the mountain. After a couple of km we joined a mountain bike track and then hit the down hill another 2km 244m drop, but this was runnable and I should have been flying, I wasn't, I was hobbling like an old man!!! Then and old man passed me!!! Oh dear... 3rd 40+ now (ok Noel is 50+ so I was still 2nd).
The last couple of km were a great way to finish the race... Now 25min earlier the front boys had passed in a cloud of dust, Kane had run out of legs, leaving AJ to make his move down the hill with Mike hanging on, While all the time Thabang had put his body on the line and even with a couple of tumbles he was closing...
Mike says the lead had change a couple of times over the last 2km and then he had the lead, that was till a fly Thabang took them both in the last 100m... Their time: 2h59:56, 2h59:58 and 3h00:00 yes it was down to the wire... Kane was about 2min back. Then in 17th place was me in 3h27:32. (last man home was about 7h00:00)