Thursday, July 18, 2013

Salomon Bastille Day Trail Run

With pictures like this of the 2012 race:

I jumped at the chance of running when my sponsor "CONTEGO" offered me an entry. There are 3 distances to choose from and with a couple of other big races coming up I opted for the middle distance 25km...

Franschhoek, where the race is held, celebrates Bastille's Day is if they were French!!!

The 35+km guys (and girls) set off at 07h30 on their 40km run and I waved them off as I got ready to run...

From the gun, which I think was just a count down by Trevor, I took the lead!!! Yes I wanted to win, but I was really just wanting to set the early pace and check out who was there...

Kane, who is getting ready to head to world champs, Christiaan, who is just back from world long course champs, Nicholas, and a few others who I didn't know... Kane and I pulled away setting a fast pace for the 3km 11:30, then we climbed a bit and Kane kicked. He had said he was going to take it easy with just 2 weeks before champs! Oh to be young and full of energy!!!

km 4 was hard work and the gap behind to Christiaan opened... The road (ok it wasn't really a road) flattened and I could stretch my legs again 3:48. Then Trevor hit us with a single track and a fire break and we climbed 123m in the next km to get on the most amazing single track around the mountain. I want to say I was flying round the mountain but after almost diving off the trail into the bushes below I had slowed a bit and was hugging the mountain side... maybe a bit to close to the mountain!!!

Christiaan had been catching and I needed a mountain to climb to open another gap... but Trevor sent us over the saddle and down... I put in a couple more sub 4's but so was he.... I even almost caught up to Kane who had backed off a little, but after seeing us he put the foot down and left us.

More rocky single track lay ahead of us and I lost my 2nd place in the water!!!

Maybe 5 river crossings!
I wasn't running badly and on the next climb, a gravel road, (No I wouldn't take my bakkie on that road!) I caught up again... The race was afoot...

I was hoping that his race of the other week was still in his legs, and I could break him on the fast trail. BUT he tied and invisible bungee tow rope to me and let me fight the wind as we sped round the mountain. (4:13 4:06 4:09 3;55 4:13) He hadn't broken and his young legs danced down the rocks as we left the trail. I thought I could get close enough on a last little climb to run him down on the road to the finish, but it was to short and with another double river crossing I was left behind...

Kane had won in 1h56:48, Christiaan 2nd and in 2h00:09 with me 3rd 2h01:01, not bad for an old man...

the route


  1. Ok, now I know what to shoot for this weekend when I run a 25k! ; )

    Sounds like a fun day.

  2. I love that photo of you tiptoeing through the water.

    For the rest of us non-South Africans - what's a bakkie?

  3. Nice work on 3rd! And 5 river crossings is crazy lol

    I think you're right about what my plan should be when I return to running - some flats, some hills, some speed - keep it varied