Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Leader Of the Pack

Have you ever wondered what goes through the minds of those guys out front, the ones fighting for the top spot on the podium! Well today I plan to tell you...

Over Easter I was chatting to a friends Dad and he told me that Eddie (his son) had entered him in a 15km race the following weekend... Well I spoke to the wife and a plan was hatched, she would come with and after the morning's race would head to the wine district for a cheese and wine pairing for lunch!!!

There was cloud around, so no View!

The race in question was a low key trail race, DUDLEY's TRAIL RUN. Saturday morning came and we headed out to De Grendal Wine Farm. Dawn could have run the 8th race, but didn't know what it was like, so just did her own little run while we lined up ready to race. Standing there on the farm road I looked around... Dawid and John, other than them I didn't know anyone, this is both good news and bad news. Then the gun broke the silence and we were off.

Some guy in blue took the lead and a look at Ms 310 (garmin) said we were going fast There was still a big group as Ms 310 gave me the 1km split 3:23.. OK this is fast and the unknown guys can run, not a good sign. No worries I can (should be able too) run a flat 15km race at this pace, and the running was still flat. With Vineyards to the left and Vineyards to the right the road we were on was coming to an end... We turned left up a short hill to round the trees separating the vineyards and with that the race changed. Dawid took off as we now headed down. You thought 3:23 was fast!!! Well I looked at Ms 310 as the 2 off us dropped the rest of the field 2:50 madness I tell you but if you want the win you can fall of the pace in the 2km, and it was down hill.

Setting the Pace

Lucky for me the down hill didn't last forever and the gravel road turned right and leveled out. We were still running hard and with the running easy I was just hanging on, 5km passed in 17:08. Then 6.5km into the race we turned and hit the first climb of the day... This was a little tester for the 2nd half of the race, and now it was time for the games to start! This race was between Dawid and Coach, and I wanted the win, so I had to play the cards as they fell. I didn't hammer that first hill, let Dawid do the work, I wanted to know if he could climb... OK don't pass him let him get a couple of steps ahead. Oops I've ended up ahead, don't want that now, need to keep my energy for the run back, the 2nd half...

Am I smiling...

Another 3:30, the farm roads are fast and Dawid is not letting up, I might have the upper hand on the climbs, but he has the speed... Next hill this one is steep, I want to hang back, but I pull level and go ahead, but the hill is short and with it flat for a bit I back off and we are together.

OK if I want this race I have to make my move. The 2nd half is more suited to me, more trail and more climb, so as we hit the next climb 10.5km I wasn't afraid I went to the front and started to work. From 10.5km to 11km we climbed 78m and I was only running at 6:50/km but believe me it felt fast. Dawid was broken and I had to push home the advantage while I could. there was a very rocky and steep single-track still to descend and I didn't want to have to race that. I had a 30sec lead as I turned off the farm road. It was good to have that lead as we dropped 80m over the next 500m I had time to dance through the loose rocks while Dawid had to put caution to the wind... he cut my lead in half, but there wasn't enough distance and I was back on the farm roads, so with the running easy I just had a little look over my right shoulder and headed to the finish line...

To the victor goes the spoils!!!

Got set a couple of pictures from the organisers, Thanks Cornel and Jasper.


  1. Congrats.

    The same thing happened to me last Saturday - kind of. I found myself at the front of the Park Run race totally by accident. Now I know how the bunny at the greyhound races feels.

  2. The Coach is on fire!

  3. That sounded like so much fun! Congratulations!