First of all thanks Trevor for putting on a great show. It all seemed to go smoothly (for me anyway). The week leading up to the race was filled with late nights and trying to catch up to work so no real focus on my little jaunt around the flat top. By basic strategy was to run leg 1 in 45 min, leg 2 in under an hour and then see if I could run about 2:15 for the last leg…
I stood at the start checking out the nervous faces around me. There was Bruce, Dion, Jayde, Katya, Caroline and Ryan Scott looking like he had just stepped of the cover of Men’s Health. This are the dudes and dudets who were supposed to produce the goods and there I was.
Chicken Man (Aka Trevor Ball) counted us down and we dashed up the first hill. I counted 18 runners ahead. Hmmpf I thought. “I can’t be that kak” Then Katya Sogot skipped past and my legs were burning already. This was serious. I could not get chicked so early on. Jayde (who promised to run easy) and my other buddies had disappeared into the distance. My ego shouted at me to get my legs into gear. To quote Herda: “I felt like I had a puncture in each leg and I only had one spare.” This was going to be a hard day if I did not TTFU (I will explain that tomorrow).
I decided to hang in as long as possible and see what I could do later on. First check point arrived spot on time despite my legs feeling like they were dead for most of the long drag up the hill. I was just behind Katya who dived through the turn stile without evening slowing down. Darn shorties I thought. My buddy Jayde could just be seen in the distance. I pushed until I caught him just before the aloes. We passed a couple of teams who looked like they were struggling and let downhill master Andrew Hagen past on the switchbacks from the aloes. He was gone in well under 60 seconds! The rest of leg 2 was pretty uneventful with pretty flat running.
Constantia Nek was a hive of activity. I thought I was pretty quick through the checkpoint but Jayde was faster and had about a 500m gap and was going great guns. I once again closed the gap in the forest and we ran together along the contour around towards the bottom of Llundudno Ravine. Dom Wills who was in a team passed us after a brief chat and I plodded up the steep climb thinking Jayde was just on my heals. Jacques Marais was just around the corner and I laughed as I passed him. Always nice to see him smiling and cheering us on when we are kaking off. There were some more runners struggling up to the top of the mountain. Some seemed quite relaxed though. I caught and passed Ryan Scott who had shed some layers. Then Dion who was nursing a calf. I was hoping that I would make up some positions if I could run here. Or at least not lose any more positions! Well I did not see another runner for ages.
3h30 at the top of Kasteels Poort. Hmm the questions was asked in my mind. It thought it would be possible- just! I pulled out all stops on the steep rocky descent where I passed a couple of runners. Then onto the “flat” but treacherous Pipe Track. I gave it whatever my legs had.
Check out the link here for my Garmin download. Let me know if you like this and I will do more of these in the future.