Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Trail of Two Oceans

OK that heading isn't really true, but it sounded good... This weekend past was Easter, and for us in Cape Town that means Two Oceans. Long gone are the days of only a 56km race around the Peninsula... In this current era of mass participation it's all about numbers, so to get the numbers up they slackened the qualifying time for the 56km. Than as a money spinner they through in a half marathon. But wait it didn't end there... They also jumped on the trail bandwagon and now you can run 1 on 2 trail races on the Friday before, and this is where you can find me!

I've run the 56km race 11 times and I guess I will be back in years to come. I will never run that half, who really wants to line up with 16 000 other people to run a stupid race and miss the fun of the ultra...

So over the last couple of years I have lines up for the trail races, and this year saw me on the start line again.

Before we get to my race I feel I should tell you a couple of things: Oceans is big with almost 25 000 people lining up! With so many people the Expo is busy... I bet I could do a whole post on the expo, I was there on Wednesday, Thursday, and then after my race on Friday I took Dawn down to spend money... :)

Good Friday, and the Mountain was ours... 800 trail runners set off the test their bodies, to see if the months of training had paid off. The 10km loop set off 1st in waves and then at 07h30 I was on the start line with the big, young, fast, strong, boys of trail running... Luck for me I'm not intimidated, the route doesn't scare me and the boys don't scary me!

I had hoped for a good run, I wanted to be there up with the kids... I went from the gun and as we left UCT for Devils Peak I was only a few meters behind them. Then my body told me I was old and as they changed gear I found that I had no more gears. No worries, I could smell carnage up ahead...these boys had to die!

No I didn't think I could beat them, but maybe one would come back to me, with me I still had Jock Green and Lucky, he had started easy!!! I had no plans on breaking a leg, so I took the first single track easy and the small gap I had opened on Heart Break Hill (this is a really hill) Jock and Lucky closed, then on the long flat (this is as flat as Boston's little hill!!!) they broke away, we were back on gravel and the running was easy.

Then 30min into the race things get narsty we climb about 300m in 2.5km!!! I wasn't running well but i was still making ground on Jock. I didn't catch him, but as things eased I started getting into the race and I decided that Jock was mine. The loop around Devils brought the 3 of us together and as we started the next climb I took the lead (ok we were fighting for 5th) I thought I was climbing well, but Lucky was playing with us and passed me near the top, I had again opened a gap on Jock and set off after Lucky...

Top path on Devils
Maybe I wasn't running as fast as I thought I was, but lucky was gone... For a moment I hoped thought he had taken a wrong turn but then I saw him in the distance.

Bernard on top of the mountain (the winner)
No I could only see Lucky, Jock was a bit behind and catching again, what was wrong with this guy, why wouldn't he 'die'... I don't think I decended to the Bolckhouse very well, but Jock was slower than me and I had a gap again, this was going to be a game of cat and mouse. I look back at the race, and say to myself: Why didn't to just run those sections faster? (it's always easy to ask those question after a race.)

We were now in Newlands forest and I would pull ahead over a couple of rock and he would rrun me down. Now I know this route well and was going over it in my head, if this than that, and so it went on... I thought about the last decend out of the forest, if I could open a gap I would put a nail in the coffin!!!

working to hard!
Dawn was at this corner before the down hill, I went hard, but not hard enough and Jock stayed with me...

Now what is the difference between 6th and 7th? Nothing, so I let Jock go on the field and sprint for the 6th place, I just waved at the crowds 7th was good enough I also had 1st 40+ and was 5min faster than last year and a minute faster than the year before.

That was Oceans for me, but 27 000 other guys still had to run, I was going to be there: So Saturday morning I was up the watch the masses... OK I was only watching for my friends.

First it was the half marathon at 5.5km, it was dark and not easy to spot them as they flew past, we didn't stay there to long as we had to get to the 17km mark. there we watched the leaders fly through at sub 3:00 and then the boys started coming though, from Mike on 77 pace, running with him wasn't easy to Jess at 90:18 (so close) with so many inbetween.

from there it was off to the 28km mark to watch the Ultra guys... and again I was running up and down with almost everyone I know... Now not wanting to miss the excitment we headed back, this time to the +_48.5km mark and there we stayed. It was easy for us, and while the guys looked good at half way, it was a different story with 7ish km to go. I love this part of the race... I leave Dawn to sit on her chair with the dogs and I run up and down the road talking the guys through the last couple of km. I normally only stay with them for a couple of 100m, but it can really help some-one going through a bad patch. then I jog back to Dawn. We were there for over 2 hours and had been on the go for over 6 hours be the time we got home.

Now because I am mad... I had Ms 310 on and every time I set off running with a friend I logged it! Oh you can't call that running a friend told me, well I logged 18.5km (95min) for the day!!!

So much more I can say, but that is enough...

1 comment:

  1. As I was reading those last couple of paragraphs I was wondering exactly how much running you do as a spectator and there you have the answer for me. I don't know what's crazier - logging your spectator miles or running 18.5k while you're watching. Doesn't matter - crazy is good!