While holidaying in South Africa I decided to sign up to run a HM. Nothing about the race went to plan from a month of injury and 3 jogs of 5K or less, being taken ill on Wednesday in Dubai, finding out the elevation was 3x that of the Baldock Beast, forgetting my garmin and hours waiting in a queue for my number.
The race starts at 05:50, so an 03:45 alarm was set (my early Sunday runs prepared me well) and I was overjoyed to leave the house in just my vest at 04:30!
Despite a very last minute dash to my pen, I was there just in time for the rousing and emotional national anthem at the start. It is pitch black when you start. The first hill at 2km was horrendous and I really struggled. I was desperately in need of the lift I got at 8km - seeing my best friend for the first time in 18months. There are water/coke/gel/Powerade stops every couple of kms, handed out by African, spirited, dancing and cheering volunteers. I stopped at 11km to drink a coke (everyone else was, so thought I would give it a go!) and when I started to run again I was in a lot of pain. I ran/walked the 2km long, worst hill of the race (where a lady sadly died not long after). Watching the sun rise over Table Mountain was breathtaking and the dramatic mountain scenery and smell of the pine trees was stunning! A great fast finish down hill into the university oval where all my family (and the friends we are visiting) were on the rail (the children still in their pjs as it was only 07:30!) With no timing device, no expectation and a desire to enjoy it - I hoped for sub 2, so was pretty elated to see the finish time of 1:43:36 on the clock. Not a PB course and not a PB for me, but DEFINITELY a personal best for spirit and atmosphere and scenery! I pre-paid the grand sum of £2.80 to have my medal engraved at the finish line which I wore with pride...
With 30 degrees forecast for tomorrow I don't think there will be a recovery run!
Well done Paula that sounds like a very tough run.
Fantastic Paula - sounds like a great run! Remember when going up horrendous hills that what goes up does have to come back down again eventually... 1.43 sounds like a pretty good time to me!
Well done Paula!...sounds like you might need a holiday to get over this holiday!
Makes the hill at FSOTM sound a bit tame in comparison!
Sounds an amazing place to run. Very well done! 🙂