Wake up to a damp, cool morning (not as cold as last year thank goodness)
Head to the pick-up
Stand in line at the pick-up point for the buses (read: local minibus taxi) to take us into the forest
Finally get into a minibus taxi
Get to the drop-off point in the middle of the forest
Find a bush to have a wee
Shaun and I start making our way through the 6 000 people lining up at the start
The start rifle (it was actually a rifle and not a gun, I had a look) goes off
Cross the actual start line and finally manage to start running!
Pass the first km marker – that’s 9min/km!! Holy Cow, we need to move through the people faster than that!
The field finally thins out and we manage to strike a rather fast pace and stick to it (Shaun wanted to do a sub 1:50, I was just going to hang on for as long as possible). Take off warm top I’m wearing and throw on the side of the road for the township folks who are lining the course, waiting for this annual race to top up their wardrobes.
Shaun and I realize that our consistently fast pace is not going to get us to the finish in under 2 hours. We are bummed. Can’t understand how we can be running our legs off and still be so far behind. We decide to sacrifice talking for a faster pace.
Shaun manages to persuade his legs to go a bit faster than mine and surges ahead.
I hit the grass on the field and hear the guy announcing that we have less than 60 seconds to make it over the finish line in under 2 hours. I manage to force my protesting legs to sprint the last few hundred metres.
- 10:something am
I cross the finish line in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 33 seconds.
- In a race with 6,000 people (most of them seriously under trained, and not just my type of under trained but unfit and still marginally drunk from the night before) we should start in the front or not try and go for a PB.
- The Knysna Half Marathon is spectacular in terms of scenery and is still a great weekend away.