Yesterday saw me on yet another starting line, for my 3rd marathon to date. For those of you who have been with me from the start, my début marathon was on the Peninsula 42.2km so I was really looking forward to this. Unfortunately they changed the course route from one which had it labelled as the “Fastest Marathon in Africa” to I don’t know what, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to write it here without a PG rating.
I started with an old running partner Micheal aka “Old Faithful” aka “Too-Old-To-Attend-Raves-But-Doesn’t-Know-It-Yet”, we had a fabulous 19km together which consisted of him complaining about the route and his splits and his cold and me telling him to man-up, and unfortunately the fun had to end when I needed a pit stop and told him to go on ahead.
Half way up Red Hill, with my iPod doing damage to my inner ear, I was tapped on the shoulder by another runner who clearly wanted to chat to help make the hill go by quickly. Chatting to runners like this can be a bit of a gamble, some make you regret ever taking your earphones out to contribute to the conversation while others result in a friendship that is carried from one race to another. On this occasion I struck it lucky with Christopher from Atlantic AC who had me laughing in no time. The top of the hill came very swiftly where we were caught by a fellow Atlantic club member Adrie (if I’ve spelled it wrong I’m really sorry) who very enthusiastically contributed to our conversation as to why sunglasses get fogged up when you run (I’m not going to divulge our theory here because it was fuelled by 23km of running and an almost certain sugar low).
For 10km the 3 of us laughed and theorized and shared running tales until Adrie and I got our second wind and broke away from the pack, running together until the 37km mark where all the potatoes I’d eaten along the way finally resulted in a surge of energy and I set off to finish in 4:21 (sprinting at the very end which makes me think I really should have tried harder during the race).
I haven’t enjoyed a race like this for ages and I want to say thanks to Michael, Chris and Adrie for running with me. I also want to thank my trusty seconds Nicolene, Jeanene and Mary for being there with food and encouragement along the route.
Oh and I almost forgot, for the first part of the race I was lucky enough to be in the vicinity of the 9 times Comrades Marathon winner Bruce Fordyce, who I might add is a barrel of laughs and an inspiration to any runner!