Thursday, May 9, 2013

SA Champs Jonkershoek 2013

What lay ahead
SA Champs, yes "they" have decided to have SA Champs in Trail running now that I'm old and slow, I was always going to run Jonkerhoek Mountain Challenge, but now I had to run well. With African X a couple of weeks ago I had a little distance in the legs and then with last weeks 15km I know I had a bit of speed...

It was a strong field that stood on the start line on Sunday morning:

And we were off
No I'm not in the lead, I let then go I think it was 6 of them, then cam the chasing pack Derick, Jock, Lympson , Charl and Myself. I looked at the guys the group and decided that I should take them all... Derick was setting the pace as we climbed the first hill to the single track, Lympson and I followed, I didn't want to work that 1st hill I still had a long way to go... Derick was running hard and would blow, I would make my move then, or if he didn't I would wait till 10km and the climb...

Was he running fast, was I running slow, but I had to let him go, my plans of an attack would have to wait... Derick, Jock, Lympson, Charl got to the climb about 60 sec ahead of me, so I had a bit of work to do, and work I did. Over the next 2km we climbed 424m (10:27, 11:46 km splits) I passed them all and had 60 sec on them as we reached the top.

The front 6 were about 5min ahead and now I had to get into my running so as to run down anyone of them who would falter...

No that wasn't going to happen I was still running slowly and one by one Derick and the boys started to pass me again... Then a couple of others guys also caught me... Andrew was one of them, he was going well and would catch 2 of the front group. I've run in heavy rain and with the mountain covered in snow, but today in perfect conditions my trail running body was on leave.

But all was not over another climb and I took a couple of places back only to loose then again... Now I know you all like a down hill, well how about one with 194m drop in it... No it's rocky and slippery and as I didn't have my trail legs on I was slow (8:16 for the km). I could still see Derick and as I hit the contour I got into my running and set off after him.

No he wasn't coming back he was still flying (maybe he's been training).

Now the boys at the front of the field were had the hammer down and from what I hear Kane, Mike and AJ had got away. I think AJ was leading on that single track, but once on the gravel road Kane, sill feeling good made his move, while 3-4 mins back Thabang turned on the gas...

I was just running and enjoying that fact that I could have a bad run and still run, not have to walk (this has happened before.) The road went on to the finish, but we turned off the road onto another single track through the forest on the side of the mountain. After a couple of km we joined a mountain bike track and then hit the down hill another 2km 244m drop, but this was runnable and I should have been flying, I wasn't, I was hobbling like an old man!!! Then and old man passed me!!! Oh dear... 3rd 40+ now (ok Noel is 50+ so I was still 2nd).

The last couple of km were a great way to finish the race... Now 25min earlier the front boys had passed in a cloud of dust, Kane had run out of legs, leaving AJ to make his move down the hill with Mike hanging on, While all the time Thabang had put his body on the line and even with a couple of tumbles he was closing...
Mike says the lead had change a couple of times over the last 2km and then he had the lead, that was till a fly Thabang took them both in the last 100m... Their time: 2h59:56, 2h59:58 and 3h00:00 yes it was down to the wire... Kane was about 2min back. Then in 17th place was me in 3h27:32. (last man home was about 7h00:00)

Last 50m


  1. Looked like a brutal course! i think downhills are harder on the body than up, actually. Sounds like you managed more than fine, though!

  2. Brutal. Give your body a rest coach, just like im not doing! Watch for my blog on easily a worse performance later today!

  3. Is it worse to be passed and put back into 3rd place or to be passed by someone in an older category?

    I once was passed by a man who looked at least 15 years my senior (or who'd lived a really hard life) on a long hill at the end of a half marathon. Actually I think it was more a mountain. As he passed me he quipped that next year he'd have to do some hill training. He was lucky I didn't have my handbag to whack him over the head with.

  4. Crazy course. You ever run flat courses. Hahaha!

  5. Going downhill is very hard on the legs, especially if you have doone a long uphill stretch just before. most people who pass me are much younger !!!

  6. completely unrelated question, are you on FB? Only person of the small handful I've 'met' through my woeful blog who I'd be sad to lose touch with. I don't really keep up with it and was thinking about shutting it down. Soooooo are you on FB?!

  7. I meant to say, the only person of the small handful who I'm not already FB friends with, you're not THAT special ;D

  8. That elevation profile is out of control, wow! Great job as usual out there.

    Thanks for the really long comment about form, once I am cleared for running I am likely going to take a running form class to learn more. And I will try those drills you were talking about.

    Also, since you are from South Africa, have you seen Rodriguez perform? I watched the Searching for Sugarman documentary, fascinating. Wish I could have been at his first concert in SA in 1998 - that would have been epic. You know anyone who was at that concert? I saw Rodriguez perform at Coachella, it was an honor to see him in action. He isn't moving very well now, but he still has it. Great times.