The 50km race had started 30min before us and us we set off the race was on to catch them. I shot to the front from the gun (OK there wasn't a gun, it was more like: You can do now!) Knowing the route I wanted to set the pace for the first couple of hundred meters before settling into my pace. I wasn't alone up front, but Kevin was with me...
The first loop was through Newlands Forest, my running home for 35 years, so I just had to set the pace, the legs felt good and the running was easy. (but then the 1st hour of a 3-4 hour race always is...) I like to say I've run every path in the forest a hundred times, but the climb to the contour path, I might have only ever been up once! By now we had started to reel in the back markers of the 50 and on route to Kirstenbosch and our climb to the top up Nursery Ravine I start to test Kevin, but he didn't have and weakness! The race was still in the early days and it was looking like it would come down to who could pick up the pace at the end.
I pushed a little up Nursery and smiled to myself as I opened a little gap (30sec). I thought I was moving OK as I headed for the concrete road, but Kevin caught me on that single track and the dumped me as we headed up the road... I thought to my self: he's gone to early, I don't have legs to run at that pace to the dams.
I conned myself into thinking I would catch him on the climbs to Maclears, but as I reached them I had legs to pass a friend, Jana, doing the 50km, but the gap on her didn't grown and the gap to the lead did... I was getting slower. I reached the top and turned to Maclears. Still feeling sluggish, Jana caught me and with her pushing from behind I was able to up my game and lead her to the highest point of the race.
The path back to Platteklip has the most amazing views from the face of the mountain, then Jana turn to head to Corridor I turned down Platteklip...
Boy was I slow, the clock doesn't lie, it was my slowest time ever! 5min slower than I should have run and 10-12min slower than I use to run! On the way down I lost 2nd place to a youngster who bounced down the rocks with no fear of death!
|Running so fast the mountain was blurred (no eyes floating in lactic acid)|
My leg didn't have any go left in them, I'm guessing racing 25km 2 weeks before and then a week spending over 3 hours training on the mountain didn't help!
|Selfie on the run!|
I was passed again before the climb up Devils, and I then passed on the climb to the saddle and wait for it I was caught again while heading to Mowbray Ridge. The 10 min scramble down took 20min but I was almost home...
|No floating over the rocks today|
4h36 later I crossed the finish-line in 6th place almost 30min behind the leader... I bet I'll be back next year and I hope I'm better prepared.