Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Soweto Marathon 2012

I am so privileged to have a wife who only needs the hint of a challenge and shes up to it. Our wedding anniversary is the celebrated the world over by Fireworks- Guy Fawkes day. So we have tried to do a special race on the day or near it. Last year we did Kaapsehoop marathon, took our moms away with us and had a great time. We thought about doing the same this year but our tennant was going to be away so we decided on a new challenge from our list, Soweto Marathon, known as a tough hot race where organisationnormmaly is not that great ... it is however on the bucket list of todo races.

The weather looked shocking leading up to race day but race day looked ok. The link below should take you to Google Earth and show you the route.

We got there at 5AM for a 6AM start, I do not like being stuck in traffic before a race, so it was nice to be relaxed, take our time, find the Tog bag area for Liz as she needs to change straight after a race. It was nice being a club race so we had a gazebo with eats etc. we do not have food tables for everyone after a race like most of you seem to have, we may get water and coke after a race but thats it.

It was good to get near the start as with 9000 odd runners it can be a bit of a slow start. My first k took 8:12 so I must have been near the front. My goal was to see what I could do, get my pace as low as I could then tray and keep it there. I try not to go below 7:00/km on marathon as that can be energy sapping. By my fifth k I thought I was doing well, accum-pace was 7:18 now to keep that below 7:30 would be my goal. The route profile I saw before the race was not near what we encountered https://dl.dropbox.com/u/50543704/Soweto%20Marathon%202012-11-04%2C%20Elevation.png we ended up with 14km of down, 14km of undulating the 14km of uphill.
We ran out of water at 18km and about 24km , after which most residents were handing out water form hose pipes, bottles, buckets etc. I drank some coke- I normally do not - but still managed to keep hydrated . One nice touch was a Naartjie ( Tangerine) which really went down well. At around 4ks a walker went past me, he looked pretty fast at that stage , but until around 15km he was never more than 100m in front. I caught him at 31ks and nver saw him again. I passed a few other walkers at around 18km but doubt there were many of us in the race.
I must say I struggled up the last 14ks but it was still a great experience. I still averaged below 7:30 at 30km but ended at 7:39, I am happy with my time and race. 5:25 for a personal worst on a marathon, but it was a great experience. I see it as a good LSD for my upcoming Tough one (32k) and will keep my legs strong for my Comrades qualifier in Early Feb where I must do a sub 5 hr 42k.
We are looking at some odd runs for next year, they will be tough to racewalk, but fun none the less
or what have you...any suggestions