From the gun you start to climb 71m in the first km and like many of the years before this old man was fighting for the lead...
I was feeling a lot better than 2 weeks ago and set a good pace as the climb steepened... 105m in 2km and 116m in the 3rd! There were only 2 of us still in the running, if I wanted a win or even to take the king of the mountain he would have to break, The tempo was high, and I hate to admit it, but I was having fun!!! This was a real race lung burning stuff and yes he would pull ahead by a couple of meters and I would fight back and hit the lead. Tour De France stuff as we blow the competition away turn after turn...
We turned the last hairpin and headed up the steepest section to the bridge. In the old days I would walk half of this... but today I couldn't show any weakness. Then it happened, he broke... I took the lead and kept running 130m climb in that km. The top was just over 1km away, but the worst of the climb was over only another 63m to climb and plenty of flat running... He was running again and caught and past me even opening a gap. I tried to close it on the last kick to the top, but he took the King with me 5sec back. 5.3km 26:40 (my best times to this spot is 25:48 10 years ago, and 25:52 19 years ago!!!)
From the top we run a 5km loop around one of the dams and head back down. As you all know; no contour path is flat and neither is Table Mountain isn't flat, so I felt I was pushing hard, but in hindsight I could have given it more... I was now 10sec of the pace as we turned to cross the dam wall. 100m of single track took us there and I closed the gap to 5sec, but SANPARKS is looking after all the paths far to well and he had made it though over on dam and was away.
With 2km of the top left to get back to the King and our descent we had the oncoming traffic of the slower runners and my race was over. I had no chance of catching some-one 4+min faster than me other a flat 10km. 19:19 for the split round the top, a far cry from the 17:55 of 16 years ago.
I didn't race down, I just watch behind me to keep the 2nd place mine... Then with 2km to go I saw a man in black chasing hard!!! but not hard enough, I just put in a sub 3km!!! and picked up my 11th 2nd!
My finishing time of 63:58 was 5min of my best, I had lost another 3min on the down. Yes I'll be back next year and my aim, another sub 26min to the top, and for the rest of the race, what happens happens.
|Detail from Endomondo