Friday, August 11, 2017

HBTC 2017

This weekend's HBTC told me a couple of things... the first was: After this rest week I had better put the last 4 weeks of training to proper use... (more about that sometime)

Life at the front of the field and life at the back are very different... and when I say to the back of the field runners that I'm not racing THEY DON'T BELIEVE ME!

I wasn't racing HBTC on Saturday... but that said it doesn't mean I wasn't looking to climb on the podium!
We set out from Hout Bay Harbour and I found myself next to Kane (who would go on to break the record). Ok I'm not afraid of flat tar... but this was short lived as when we left the harbour it was time to climb! A sandy track between the roads and as we hit this Kane kept running and I started to walk (power walk) for you who don't know the route, this is the start of the first climb... saying: don't race Dion don't race...
Kane pulled ahead, and while someone went with him that was short lived... Mike then past us and powered up the hill chasing Kane, but it looked like he was happy catching the other guy.

Kevin (an old man like me) and another kid I didn't know just followed me up the mountain with Lucas and Wesley a bit back.

Kane was heading down about 1-2min ahead of us after tagging the first peak. And it didn't take long for us to make the turn as well...

That first bit of down went well and while the kid who was running with us old men danced over the rocks past us he didn't disappear as before we drop down to the beach we had a little bump to climb over. Over easy, but down the other side was a different story... a slow story but while Lucas and Wesley flew by Kevin didn't drop me till later!
I was now alone as I hit the beach and started to climb again. Without good climbing legs I was surprised to catch a couple of guys as we reach the top and headed down to the end of leg 1.


I didn't rush through the changeover, and as I left I had lost one place to a team runner and I heard the first lady coming to chick in... with LLandudno corner ahead I set off on Leg 2

I've climbed faster, but that said I was catching the guys ahead... slowly. At first I thought I was making no headway and kept telling myself not to race (it was far to early to put the hammer down).

With the climb out the way it didn't take long to catch one of the guys who had flown down leg 1. I was running nicely along the top, and while I wasn't breaking any records I wasn't killing myself and felt good for what lay ahead.

Unlike the road where the km tick by, it's Landmarks you looks for and one at a time you tick them off.

Not having run a lot of trail in the last year my pace on the rocky / bushy single tracks aren't what they were in years gone by and I was been caught from behind... Meg was flying and I guess she's spent the hours on the mountain trails and it was paying off. (she wouldn't break the Ladies record, but the route was longer and harder this year!) Lucky I'm older now and don't feel i need to race the young ladies, so I settled back into my running, and it was paying off... before the downhill to end leg 2 I had past Lucas, Wesley and Mike... I was 3rd man (still 2nd old man, Kevin was flying).
Leg 2 2h02:19. While I've run faster, I'll take it, I was younger then...

Leg 3 has a very unfriendly start up Vlakenberg and it was getting hot and the leg now knew they had been out for 3h30. I could see someone ahead, so I set about power walking up the mountain...
I was pleased the legs were still doing what I asked of them and once other the top I set about trying to catch Kevin! That wasn't going to happen I didn't have any downhill dance in my legs, not on those rocks. I could now see a team runner and I was catching... then trouble was I wasn't going fast enough to keep for another team catching me... Last climb and a look back told me that Lucas had come back from the dark place I had seen him on the earlier leg. I had to pull finger! I didn't have any fingers left to pull as I headed to the manganese mines. I could run slow, but this part of the race needed something faster and he had it! I didn't even try go with him. I did catch that team and while a couple of other teams also past me I held onto my 4th place and 2nd old man.
Leg 3 1h42:12. slow... I should have been 10-20 min faster, I've got a bit of work to do, and mostly that will be just running on the trails so my easy pace become a little faster.

Total 5h17:31 for the 39.8km with 2500m climb
Old Man Contego can still mix it with the young boys!

Thanks to FB I was able to fine a couple of pictures to tell my story.