Not being brave enough to enter a half marathon (and also missing the entry cut off by about 2 days) I decided to join the Two Oceans franchise by doing the trail run. At the time of entry the furthest I had run was 7km on a trail, so the 10km short trail seemed like an achievable option.
I arrived in Cape Town on the Wednesday before the race, and experience my first solo Capetonian driving experience trying to get to the expo centre to collect my race number. Of this experience I shall not speak, suffice it to say that the taxi drivers are worse than Joburg and that people seem to just be wherever they want, whether or not this happens to be a road.
The Two Oceans Expo is something else. Anyone with any sort of love for sporting goods would have had a fitgasm walking in the door, and even I managed to buy a windbreaker and a hat (good move as it turned out). So, credit card feeling the burden, cool lime green and blue race bag on my back and with several parcels, I set off onto the road once more (eek!).
Having been utterly terrified by the snaking highways and highly populated city roads of Cape Town, and having absolutely no clue where to find Jameson Plaza at UCT where the race started, I roped in my lovely and long-suffering (recently became a Capetonian – again) boyfriend Darren to play driver on race day. As a testament to his awesomeness, he got up at 5:30 without complaining (much) and off we went. My start batch went off at 7:20, and being the naive Joburg girl I am I didn’t realise this meant it would still be practically dark. And freezing. Thank goodness for my pink windbreaker. <3
And then there was the race itself. Which I have to admit was breathtaking, and not just because despite my best efforts I’m still almost entirely unfit. Trail running in Gauteng has nothing on the Cape, we don’t really have the mountains. Or the scenery. The hills above UCT and around Rhodes Memorial and Devils Peak are blanketed by forest, crisscrossed by little streams and just generally incredibly tranquil (apart from my huffing and puffing).
It was also by far the most organised trail run I’ve ever been on. Generally in Joburg you get sent off by the starters and told, see you when you get back. There’s possibly a sweeper running behind everyone to make sure nobody dies, and I don’t think anyone has ever gone missing for long, but nothing compared to this. Aside from the seemingly endless photographers, there were also marshals all along the route, and even a checkpoint (!) just over halfway in case you got lost in the 3km stretch that the marshals couldn’t get to. Oh, and timing chips, so I’m assuming my provisional time of 1:40:19 is fairly accurate, and it mostly correlates with my watch.
The last 500m of my run proved that you really do get four seasons in one day in Cape Town (or at least two – stinking hot and bloody freezing). I literally ran straight into the cold front that came down off the mountain with teeth, bringing the delightful ice cold rain that the Half and Ultra Marathon runners had to contend with the next day.
All in all it was a beautiful race, and I’m really keen to do it again next year. Next adventure is the Iron Girl race in PE a couple of days before the Iron Man, which my (idiot) brother is attempting for the first time along with several of my brave (idiot) friends. I’m going down to support them (love you guys) and thought I should do something to counteract the lazy. Plus there’s a pink shirt. Wicked.
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