Have you always run races?
And lastly, do you have a favorite race?
I have always run... from the days of asking my Mom to time me as I ran round the house while she worked in the kitchen.
At school I ran Track and Cross Country, and even a couple of road races. Since school and the army the best place to find me has been at the local race... and this last weekend was one of my favorite races!
The Table Mountain 16km
I lined up with the about 250 other runners and set off up the mountain... I know this race well, better than most, with 23 finishes to my name and the start line only a couple of km from home, I've spent a lot of time on the mountain.
From the gun 4 guys took off and sped up the first hill, but the hill doesn't end! After 500m the first of them had slowed and I ran him down... I was feeling good, which was a little surprising to me, OK I had taken Thursday, Friday, and Saturday easy. No not because of the race, but because my calf was playing up after a killer session on Tuesday! So the couple of easy day had worked in my favour and I start to hunt... I love the hunting game, I know they had gone out to hard and they were playing on my mountain. I moved up another 2 places.
After 3km and 300m of climb I caught 'Admire Rushika' a guy from the Nedbank running club. He surged a couple of times to try and stay ahead, but the surges got slower and slower and then from pulling ahead they changed to catching up. I took the next hairpin in the lead. Years ago I had the ability to put the hurt on people, but now I have to just hope what I am doing is enough to hurt them I had about 15m on him as I took the last hairpin and started the steepest part of the climb to the bridge. Dawn had walked up with the puppies and was there to cheer me on. I was still running and feeling good, 'Admire Rushika' was walking, I had to push home my advantage... Over the bridge the road flattened and these young guys are just so much faster than me, so on the hill I had to push hard.
The King Of The Mountain was mine... 26:47 almost 60 sec slower than my fastest ascent!!! Now the race goes around one of the dams and back down. I thought I was running fast, but I was been caught, and Admire past me on the dam wall.
19:11 around the top and back to the King of the Mountain (another 75 sec slower than my fastest) only the down lay ahead...
Have you ever race down a mine shaft?
Have you ever put your body on the line?
Have you ever ran so fast that if you didn't run faster you would fall on your face?
20 years ago I would fly, I could run people down, I had no fear...
That was then, now I just don't have it, that need to win, yes I will fight a bit, but pain and I are no longer friends... I looked over my shoulder and couldn't see anyone, so I guessed I was safely in 2nd. Admire was still in sight, but a good 30-40 sec ahead.
It was good to still be running well as I crossed the finish line 63:47, a long way off my best time of 58:55. I had lost most of the time on the down hill to the finish (17:45 was a full 3 min slower than back in 1995).
|Getting my King of the Mountain prise|
I have a long history with this race and coming 2nd is part of my history... now with 24 runs under my belt I have 12 second places!!! to go with my 2 wins and 2 3rd places...
Next year I will train hard...