Friday, February 10, 2012


What a perfect weekend Cape Town has had with the mercury in the 30's and no wind (a rare thing in the Mother City). After Wednesday's race my legs were sore, yes I also get sore legs, but I don't let it stop me training! So Thursday evening (in the wind) I ran 10 x 400m, 77ish. I hope to be running these on 72-74 in the next couple of weeks...

That aside I was taking it easy (it didn't feel like it was easy.) I had a big racing weekend ahead of me:

First up was the Lion of Africa Half. I could have taken it easy, I could have run the 10, I could have stayed in bed, but why not race a half the day before the Trail Series Final race!!!

I had to race the half, I'm starting to get a little fitness back and it was therefore time to put the hammer down and see what I could do!!! 3:37 it was a little down hill and I formed a group with Roger, Allan, Will, Richard, Mr Defence (40+), Mr Fishhoek, 3:37, 3:39, and I had to let them go... Will and Richard stayed back with me, but the others went. 5km 18:27, the pace was good, but it was hard work, and this early on in a half it should still be easy, I pushed on dropping Will and Richard... Oh looky here, a little hill to 6km and yes I think I can work my way back into that group. NO not on that hill! The legs aren't really working, so I can 'free wheel' down the hill and all that work is lots. Don't worry all is not lots as we started to climb again, to 9, and then the 'biggy' to 10km (37:07) I kept the work up and caught Roger, Mr Fishhoek and Mr Defence, Allan was also working the hills and he had pulled ahead. I didn't join the group and pushed past. Mr Defence ( my competition for 2nd 40+) didn't like that and he fought back, but I had a gap as we rounded the top of the hill... he chased hard almost catching me by the next hill, this was going to be a little battle!

Again I pulled ahead, around the Green Belt and down... I thought for a short moment I had dropped him, but he wouldn't lay down and died!!! He was back on my tail, the race was on again... He stayed with me as we climbed the next hill, and I think that is where he lost the race!!! Because we went down together, then I pushed was flat and I pulled ahead opening a gap on the next climb. (15km 55:14). I nailed home the advantage by trying to run fast down the next hill. 16 to 17 was all up hill and I head the advantage already, I felt the race (for 2nd 40+) was mine!!!

I now turned my attention to the clock and started doing a couple of sums, well at sub 4min/km my maths goes out the window... but I was able to figure out that I couple dip under 78min if I kept pushing. So with the clock ticking I left any chance of a good trail race (to be run on Sunday) on the tar and beat the clock finishing with 77:53!!!! My fasted time in 4 and a half years... a 40+ PR

I woke up early on Sunday and my legs were still shattered from Saturday's half, but that never kept me away from a race!!! I tried to talk the guys into a slow easy start... but that didn't happen!

What lay ahead!
We left the sports fields at Oak Valley for the last race in the Trail Series, with only 4 to count both Nic and Alan weren't on the start line, but the rest of the field was there. (they had already won the series, open and 40+) I was already coming 2nd, but I when I race I race to win, so I wasn't just there to loosen my legs after yesterdays half...

I didn't take the lead from the gun, but let the other set the pace, Derick and Ake took the lead with Eddie myself and a youngster... I promise I wasn't toying with them, but for the first couple of km I could do nothing, but then we started to climb, really just a bump in the path, by Derick slowed and Ake went past...

Like a Tour De France cyclist I covered the move taking Eddie and Derick, but then the path flattened and I found myself in the lead, so I kept the effort up. at the stage, our 15km route joined the XL 25km route, and with people to chase I took my chances...

We crossed a Dam and then the real race started with the path climbing up the mountain bike tracks on the farm. For the next 3km we didn't climb much, but we weaved through the 'forested' gullies. I was running at 4:00/km and pulling away from the chasing guys, but it wasn't till the hill to 7km and then to 8.5km that I really got ahead. I looked back and took a split, 45sec... with it being mostly down to the finish I know I still had a bit of work, so I pushed every flat or bump and cruised the downs.

At 13.5km  I could take see a guy on the XL route about 60 sec ahead, so as I past where he was I looked back, taking a split on Eddie who was chasing, a full minute back.

the finish, no that's not me coming in

The race was mine, the head work was over and yes I would pay for it running hard 2 days in a row, my legs were shattered till Thursday.

Guess what, no races this weekend!!! so what will I do, run on the mountain, tell you about it next week.


  1. Congrats on banging out some seriously hard racing miles in fine fashion! Amazing.

    I hear you on doing math whilst racing. My brain can never seem to get enough oxygen to do a good job at numbers in that state!

  2. Great job on two days of awesome racing! Running hard is the only way to do it. :)

  3. Why is Maths so hard to do when your brain's oxygen deprived?!

    Congratulations on the two race well run. And enjoy your lighter weekend.

  4. Nice one (actually 2) coach! My body is almost back to normal, so hopefully I'll be able to join you for 400 intervals in the low 70s from next week. You racing form is awesome! I've got months of catching up to do in the endurance zone. Are you by any chance up for a 3000m steeple chase the last Saturday in Feb? You did say that you were going to do more track this season. Howz that for an opportunity to have a re-match with the guy that kicked your butt over the mile last year??

    1. I think I have a half to run in the morning, but that will level the playing fields so I might take you on...

  5. Great race and great result, Speedster!