Saturday, September 19, 2015


I’ve been racing for a long time and I never really have been a all my eggs in one basket kind of guy… That said I don’t race every weekend, while I might find myself at a lot of races I do use a number of them as training…

Now over the last couple of weeks I have spent a lot of time on the mountain training for an Ultra 55-60km with 3000m climb. Most weeks would start with me thinking about what sort of route I should run as training! So while I was thinking wear to run I realized since it was TMC on this weekend I should plan my route around the race so I could watch / support…

Next thing I know I had entered…! Yes it’s now 10km longer than the old days and at 44km a lot longer than I wanted, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do! I didn’t taper, I didn’t rest up, I just told myself: I’m not racing, it’s just my weekend long run…

I lined up with the elites on a perfect morning...
What a start area!
Trevor counted us down and I took off 100m dash style... 
My Vivo's are like spikes on a track!
That lasted all of 100m to the first hill... There I started to walk, Micheal kept running and broke off the front, Nic and Edson follow and so did a couple of the other guys. I was going to take this easy and after that short hill and the decent that follow we started climbing up to the Signal Hill Rd, I was in no rush and started walking again, infact everyone was walk the climb...

Once on the road the race started, I counted the guys up front and moved up a couple of places to 10th... With Table Mountain ahead of us it was going to be a long day. Leg 1takes you to the Block House above Rhodes Mem.
Early Days
I ended up running with Tim... Micheal was out front with Nic and Edson chasing, they had 3 guys not far off and the about a minute back it was my group of positions 7-10... 10th place didn't stay with us long and on the last climb to the check point William pulled ahead.

62:56 12km run with 600m climb and that was the easy leg...

Constantia Nek here we come... I lead Tim at a comfortable pace and be all means it was easy, this is our home ground! We caught one or 2 people, but they were running one of the relays and it wasn't till Kirstenbosch and the Aloes that we made up ground on 7th... we only took him on Rooikat.

I was still taking it easy without racing, walking the steep bits and not letting fly on the downs (PS when racing races that take over 5 hours that's the way you race!)
Gorilla taking a dump (I scared the shit out of him!)
I could see some of the front guys ahead and it didn't look like we were going to catch them any time soon... That said I had already though about that I wanted to catch a couple on leg 3...

Leg 2 was over 11km 71:58 only 420m clim, but lots of single track. one leg to go but still half the race. Dawn was there to cheer me on...

In years gone by I had half my kit out ready for a kit check, but I wasn't rushing, and I waited for Tim who was starting to take strain.

Down from the nek we ran together, but Tim wasn't up for the next bit, I wished him well and walked away up the steep hill to the fence. I was alone and while I didn't want to I started to hunt! 

I saw someone ahead at the top of the forest and while I was carefull not to run I was closing the gap with a bit of power walking! On the single track now a contor to Llandadno corner. i ran relaxed and passed to guys, in fact I was so relaxed I kicked a stone and took a tumble, not once, not twice, but 3 times... Tim had made up ground while I was playing in it and was right with me as we started the climb...

Hout Bay in the background
It was fun out there and still a long way to go, I climbed well and closed the gap on a couple of the guys, Edson wasn't having fun... and there on the last climb I saw Nic, he was in 2nd place and only 2 min ahead.

The top is easy and the running is easy... OK that's not true! it's anything but flat and easy, it bumps along over the 12 Apostles on a tiny rocky single track... Run a bit walk over this 'bump' hop down these rocks climb down this cliff face don't get blown off the mountain.
I picked up 3rd place but didn't drop him and the 2 of us stayed together till Kasteels.

I surprised myself and went down Kasteels nicely, and will 4 hours on the legs I must be getting fit! I hadn't closed the gap of Nic in 2nd, but it was flat and easy to the end from here and I was feeling good.

The pipe track would take me to Kloof nek and the last little bit to the finish... Wait... after 2km of hobbling along the rocky path my adductors started to cramp!!!

NO NO NO, ok it wasn't to bad I was jogging again, but there a little steep downhill and they didn't like it I had to walk... walking isn't good for your time if you are racing (and I was now racing). I also walked jogged up the other side and There was Dawn and the puppies to cheer me on. Bernie was out on a training run and joined me for a bit as I waved to Dawn... I looked back and 2 guys were running down the section I had just walked, No wait one of the guys was a girl!

Kerry-Ann passed for the 2nd race in a row, she's running really well! Neil, whom I had been running with on the top had now tucked in behind her and took back 3rd!

I was still moving, but slowly and the finish was not far off...
leg 3 was long and hard 20.7km 2h44 with 1140m climb

Now it's time to taper and hope the legs are ready for 55+km (3500m climb) at Marloth in a couple of weeks time.


  1. I spent all day yesterday complaining about all the hills in the race I did. Compared to yours I have nothing to complain about. Man, I'm soft!