There's a story to every startline, and the excuses are always thrown around to give your competition hope that they are the stronger runner on the day. It was Mother's and our plans with my Mother-in-Law had changed in the week so I picked up a late entry, excuse number 1
We had had my Mother and some family round for a braai the night before, excuse number 2
Then... the weather, not the current weather, which was perfect for race morning, but the electric storm that had past in the night turning my adorable sleeping puppy into a nervous shaking wreck! Excuse number 3
I didn't go out easy, I went for it from the gun (ok it was a siren) and was joined at the front by Colin, Pieter, and a guy I didn't know...
The first couple of km are easy running, not flat, because there is no such thing as a contour path on this mountian of ours. I tried to dictate the pace to gauge the others strengths. At 1.2km there is a very steep down hill and I went with the 'stranger' and was happy that he didn't have the free-wheel gear some guys do! Pieter also came with us leaving Colin a couple of meters behind.
Taking Colins words on board I didn't gun the climb that followed, but our pace (Pieter and I) was hard enough to see that the Stranger wasn't going to be there at the end! He did fight to get back to us on a down hill, but at 5.5km when we reached Heart Break Hill! Not not some little undulation like in Boston Marathon, but 105m climb over the next 700m...
Good, I was looking stronger than Pieter and he fell back and wait, was caught by Colin... I reached the top and knew that I had to kick along the top, I would rest on the down, down hill was where we had first open a gap on Colin...
I got to the tar road (the one that leads to Rhodes Mem) but Colin was right here, and looking back I could now see the other 2 guys as well. Colin wasn't catching as I set a good pace up the hill, but he wasn't falling behind.
OK I was in trouble... I was working as hard as a could and the gap wasn't growning, and if he was running as to his plan, not going out to hard, saving himself for the 2nd half I wouldn't have an answer...
At about 15km we met up with the 10km route, on a hill Strava calls " Unrelenting Pain" also only 700m, but with 125m climb! I broke trying to weave through walking 10km runners and was forced to walk myself (will have to go back and run it) just too many 10km running in the way so I couldn't focus! Looking back didn't help, was Colin walking or on my shoulder? Over the top and push, now with 10km runners to pass to rocky downhill wasn't fun, but Colin would have the same challenges.
Still no sight as we passed the finish line on the upper paths, 6.5km to go, out and back. Next big hill, maybe 500m long with 90m climb, again I walked as I passed 10km runners, but then I looked back and the white shirt of Colin was there... no more walk breaks, it was race on!
3.5km to go at the turn around and I looked at the time, 12sec to Colin (maybe 20sec lead).
one hill to go, no make that 2... dam, I forgot, they've thrown in a 3rd as they want us to finish from the other side...
|100m to go|
So did you beat him? Cruel to leave us hanging like that.ReplyDelete
Yes I beat him... gap had grown to about 45 sec
That's a killer course. You have amazing amazing determination. Well done!ReplyDelete