On Sunday I found myself standing at the start of the race where everything began – the VOB Grape Run, known as one of the toughest but also one of the most beautiful half marathons in the Western Cape.
The morning was clear and warm as we went winding up into Groot Constantia then hitting the dirt tracks around the vineyards and through the forests, giving us unobstructed views over the southern suburbs of Cape Town.
This being the only race I’ve ever done twice, I was pretty eager to see how much I’d improved since last year’s run with my mom – in tennis shoes, talk about a beginner 😉
Finishing at a sprint (after really huffing and puffing the last 2 kilometres with my music blaring so loudly I couldn’t even hear what JayZ was saying), I came in at 2:01 – that is 17 minutes faster!!
Another great surprise was bumping into a lady who I’d run part of the Comrades with and who had essentially been the deciding factor in me leaving my mom at half-way. I also happened upon Reluctant Runner readers who, when I caught up to them (they were walking at this stage) were very quick to motivate me to try for the 2 hour mark!
Two and a half full marathons (I didn’t finish the one I started with the flu), a bunch of half marathons and the Comrades Marathon later – I feel like the first chapter in my running career has been written and is drawing to a close.
I would like to dedicate my next year of running to all the wonderful people I’ve met and who have motivated me to reach my goals this year. I also have to warn everyone that I have decided to take a few weeks off from running to give my body a break and indulge in the other things which I love doing and which have taken a back seat (my surfing has been reduced to beginner level and I don’t even want to talk about Yoga) so that when I start training for next year’s Comrades, I’m refreshed and ready to take on the challenges that surround getting my body ready for another 89km race…