Last Saturday was the "Leapfrog Gordon's Bay 21.1km Race" which doubled as the Western Province Champs... And I was going for GOLD!
In the weeks leading up to the race I would have been happy with a Bronze medal, but as Saturday came closer, so did one of Cape Town's famous cold fronts!!! And on Saturday if you had any double as to why the sailors of old called the Mother City "The Cape of Storms" you just had to but waking up in the dark on a Saturday morning with a cold front rolling in...
With weather like that (and cross country in the afternoon) my chances of gold improved!!! No I wasn't going to be running faster, I was going to be on the start line, the question was how much of the competition was going to be there with me?
Lining up 5min before the gun went off I pulled into the front row and it looked like only Graham was there...
I would love to say: The Race Was On. But Graham is in another league and could beat me by more than 5min. I took off at the sound of the gun and went straight to the front! The rain
had taken a break, but the wind was pumping... from behind, and I wasn't going to
be left behind... My lead was short lived as the youngsters passed me with
easy. The wind at our backs wouldn't last long as we turn left and went around the
block and now the race had started, the next 8km would take us into the teeth of the wind to The Strand.
I had spoken to my friend Kent before the race and he was looking to run the same sort of time as me, so as we ran round the block he joined me. The leaders were long gone and ahead of us was a group of 4 guys with Will (one of my athletes) and Graham (the leading 40+). I was the bus driver of of our group of 4...
I had no 40+ guys chasing, so silver was mine for the taking, so I was racing the clock, which ment one thing: I was setting the pace as the km headed into the wind... km after km I powered on. My speed of 15years ago is long gone, but I'm as strong as ever and a little gale force wind wasn't going to slow me down...
5km 17:45 (that did include the start with the wind) next 5km 18:10, this was the 5 that things started to happen... the group ahead fell to pieces losing 2 guys leaving only Will and Graham. My group lost the 2 hangers on leaving only Kent tucked in behind me. We weren't alone for long as the 2 guys from up front joined us,.
Then I looked up and Will had dropped Graham... No ways was this possible... was there trouble, was he injured? As we caught him I pushed on trying to leave him fighting alone before the turn for home. I was going for GOLD...
I pushed, hurting the guys trying to stay in my slipstream, but Graham didn't drop, he wasn't injured he had stopped to tie a shoe lace then slowed up for us. We turned and with the wind at our backs I turned to Kent and told him to go, I had done all the work for him to run a good time... He and the others took off, while I just plodded on. 18:17, I lost a bit of focus on a little loop we took and my pace dropped. 17:50 for the 5km to 20km and then 4:17 for the last bit 76:23!!! my fastest time in 6 years, While I was 10th over the line I was 2nd 40+, the silver medal was mine.
This is were I should be posting a picture of that silver medal round my neck, but I left long before prise giving and will have to wait before I get my prize money and medal...
Well done Dion, strong and aggressive racing!ReplyDelete
Very nice coach. What an incredible time!ReplyDelete
Well done. You were a man on a mission - silver is great!ReplyDelete
Sounded like a great race! Nice work!ReplyDelete
And yes, you (and Sports Illustrated) might turn out to be right that Africa will end up taking all the mens and womens races 1500m and above. Though if the US only ends up getting 1 medal in those events, I'd go with 1500m women or marathon with Flanagan. Should be fun to find out!