Sunday, February 5, 2017

Comrades 2017 Qualifier

Sasolburg 42 2017
After last year when I struggled near the end of the marathon this year I decided I needed I needed more of a cushion...
I have never started a marathon this fast averaging  below 7:00 /km right up to the 35th km, whereas previously even on my fastest I only just got below 7 for a few kms. There are pros and cons of going out to fast when a fade is inevitable and  trying to stay at a consistent pace - in half marathons I really enjoy negative splits where the second half is significantly faster than the first half. Like when I do a social walk for say 7 or 10km then race to the end. The benefit of knowing and understanding the route was emphasised by the result yesterday..


The hills are not really steep but they are slow poisons- long and never ending: from 17 to 30 is a long slow grind which is not felt on the first lap when still fresh! The hill at the end is much easier when you are within time and do not have to force the pace. 
At around 3km I was joined by a runner from my previous club, we have both moved on and we managed to stay together till the start of the second last hill at 34km. Where he went ahead and joined Buks in his 5 hr bus.  It was really great to chat along the route sharing stories and experiences.. The kms just flew by.
I tried some 32GI Race tabs for a bit of extra energy and used Creme Soda from the 32km mark for a bit of help... Never quite sure how much sugar helps but at the end of the day I managed to do my sub 5 and achieve a marathon PB time of 4:55:16 on a relatively flat course, probably not the easiest but one I have come to enjoy.
I did the first half in 2:25 and the second in 2:30, I did not push hard at the end as I knew the qualifier was in the "bag".. Now the serious training begins..