Ok I will try and keep this post short.
Liz and I both wanted to qualify for oceans early rather than leave it late. We heard that Kaapsehoop was a nice fast downhill race....
While we were doing Two Oceans this year, Liz's sister went to stay in Kaapsehoop with daughter where they went horse riding. I suggested that we get that place and that Di comes with to transport us around and that we take both our moms away for the weekend. The 5th Nov beingout 17th wedding anniversary, after numerous proddings Di contactec the "horsey" place, they were fully booked. Oh well can that then....
All of a sudden Di comes back she has found accommodation, it's rustic,no electricity, ok we book.
Di goes to a mine, hits a warthog and damages her car, ooops. Then we hear her son will be writing a University entrance exam and she wants to be there for him.No second!! Then the rain starts in Kaapsehoop,4x4 not essential but good ground clearance is.
Pierre who we are to be staying with, suggests he fetch us from Kaapsehoop and that we leave our car there. He will give us a lift to the 5:30 start. Pierre's brother has a heart attack , the funeral is on Friday, he will arrange for Leon to take su to the hut. Leon falls off a horse on Thursday and damages some muscles in ribs etc, he needs a few weeks to recover. Mariske will come fetch us.
We arrive there on Schedule and are transported in a game viewing vehicle to our hut. As we drive along I realise that the hut is the same one I hiked to 20 years ago. What a coincidence! I had told Liz about the amazing view from the hut, so we had been back there once after that.
Ok so the caretaker is Mozambican and onbly speaks Portuguese, we manage to sortout everything, Pierre arrives back from the Funeral in JHB. We had some Humus, my favourite pre-race snack followed by a good meal prepared by my amazing wife Liz. A good bottle of Blank Bottle the Spaniard helps to calm the fears. Liz feels nauseous which is not good.
Off to bed we go. Its a downhill race, but I can't find my kneestraps , not sure if they do anything but the fear of change is high. Nothing I can doabout that now.
3:32 the cock crows, 4:02 the cock crows, 4:05 the alarm goes off, up we get. Happy Anniversay dears are shared. Was that rain we heard, yes it was, the grass is nice and wet. 4:50 we head off to the start. It was great to park literally 10m from the start. Liz sorted out her Tog bag, we were still not sure how we would be getting back to Kaapsehoop from Nelspruit,but who cares....
As we line they announce that a deckoutside one of the restaurants ahd collapsed, probably during a brief shower when tooo many people crowded on to the deck. Some entrants would not be able to do the race, they were waiting for an ambulance to take the injured to Hospital. Just under 1000 entrants to the marathon. Lookinga round I did see a couple of walkers that I know.
Off goes the gun we are on our way, it was great to start right in the front of the field, thanks Liz.Within a few km's we get a light shower which is not too bad, but with quite steep roads I was wary of slipping. We went about 4km down a road, just to turn around and go back up. I had settled on a plan to average 7:15 for the first 10km or so, realising that this up hill was a good opportunity to warm up nicely before accelerating. At about the 5km mark I was overtaken by Melanie ,a racewalker that I know from my track work, I discover that this is her first marathon. She is a lot quicker than me on 10km races so I was not sure what to expect. We walked along quite nicely on a levelish section, as soon as we good to the steep down she dissapeared, I was very wary of leg damage going too fast downhill, so ended up going at between 6:30 and about 6:45. I gradually got my overall pace down to 6:58 and was hoping to keep it there as long as possible. Basically if I could would walk at 6:58 then my pace would stay at 6:58 if I did 1 km at 7:40, my final average would go up to 6:59, so I needed to walk as close to 7:00 so as to keep my final pace below 7:07. If the distance is accurate then this is true, every extra 100m adds on 42 seconds. Amazing the maths one does on races.
I worked out tha 5 hrs is 300 minutes so for each 14km to go it is 100 minutes. As it is a count down race, this works well. I went through 28 to in 99 mimutes, 14 to go I was at 196 minutes, so I knew I was on track. But at around 14 to go we hit some quite stubborn hills, they do not look too bad on the profile but they sure felt bad. It was round about here that I caught up with Melanie, her form was looking tired, as I passed her I encouraged her to keep going at that pace. It started getting quite hot now and I took a Sylvasun to prevent Sunburn , but had not put on any suntan lotion, I have the marks to prove that.
As long as I could keep my pace below 7:07 , but I knew some hills were coming so I just kept on going. I really pushed as hard as I could in those last km, but I was really tired, then they made us walk right around the darn stadium and then added some more uphill to the finish. I saw Ken from CSIR and wondered if I could catch him, as I entered the stadium I hear 1 minute to cut off, how far must I go in the stadium? fortunately only a few steps to the finish. I had made it, 4:58:57, which is really my pb because Elands was 4:59:45 or something. Liz finished in 4:10 ,not quite the sub 4, she was not very complimentary about my choice of an easy race. Guess I got that bit wrong
We eventually phoned Pierre and he a came to fetch us, quite a bit of his way but what else could we do. Not sure but now we can enter two oceans. This was also my first marathon in Stability shoes, I wore my Kayanos.
I have also just had dry needling in Gluteus Medius as well as my Hamstring. I have been stetching my Calves as they have been very tight.
Since the race I have had really sore glutes, Shins and calves. I am however feeling much better today.
This shows the relative profile between Elands in Blue and Kaapsehoop in Red.