On Sunday I took part in the Bay-to-Bay 30km race which goes from Clifton to Hout Bay and back again. What appealed to me about this race was partly the route; which takes you all along a very pretty stretch of coastal road; AND because you can do it as part of a relay team which makes the distance a little easier to swallow, especially considering I haven’t run any races in a while…
Jo did the first half which is quite tough in that it is at a steady incline for about 80% of the way, I took over in Hout Bay which takes you straight up for about 1.5km and then on a gentle downhill all the way to the finish.
I had this idiotic grin on my face the entire way; I’d forgotten how fun races can be!! NO I’m not alluding to being super fit and so races are no hassle, I’m talking about the people factor of races – you get to see all sorts of people at different mental and physical stages.
Lets take yesterday for example, I ran past 2 guys with the number 70 on their shirt (this is their age grouping) – imagine running at that age!! I also saw people who had clearly been hibernating in Europe somewhere because their skin was so pale I could almost see the colour of their meat and the guy with the hair jersey… yip this man has more body hair than the Yeti which must count against him in terms of wind dynamics.
I ran past people who were having a good run and people consumed by running rage (a special type of bad mood you get while running, a bit like PMS for runners). I ran a short way with someone who was doing 30km for the first time and heard the excitement in her voice as we chatted about her first Comrades this year.
All the people related things I’d forgotten about, just seeing faces you recognise but haven’t necessarily spoken to before, seems to lift my soul and make me excited for the next 4 and a half months I will be spending on the road.
If you don’t know what I am talking about and you are not a runner, then get yourself a pair of shoes and some gear that doesn’t chafe and get out there to see for yourself. For those of you who run and still don’t see it – open your eyes, there are little gems all over the place: in the people, the scenery or just in the way running makes you feel!!!