Monday, 13 September 2010

Race Report

The Citizen/Rockies Gerald Fox Memorial Half Marathon
Johannesburg Zoo, 12 September
Great to go to the race with Nola (her second half marathon) and Karen (her first half marathon). I really appreciate the friends I've made in the last year thru' my running.
The 10km and 21km started together, a chilly 7am start, and was therefore really crowded and slow. The 3 of us ran together and at the 2km mark I was a bit concerned that it had taken me almost 15 minutes to get there - not looking good for a 2.30 finish.  I had set my watch to virtual partner me to a 2.28 finish, but it wasn't working as I expected. (I know now I was also supposed to change my display settings :-)) By the 3km mark, Karen had moved slightly ahead of us and i decided that I really want to push for a 2.30 finish.  My watch was giving me my kilometre splits and I knew that as long as I was below 7 minutes each km, I could make it. I just wasn't sure how to make up the slow start. 
Medal for finishing,
cap for pre-entering
There were noticeably no toilets along the route and some of the watering points were poorly manned - coke not poured, water not cold. Was feeling really good at the 9km mark where the 10km runners turned into the zoo. The road emptied out and Nola and I figured that if that was the first half, we were thrilled to do the second as there were no major hills or other difficulties. We were however in for a surprise when suddenly we were in Rosebank and we realised that the second lap was slightly different.  At about 13km I pulled away from Nola on the uphills and at the 14km mark I calculated that if I continued to run as I was, and there was no reason why I couldn't, that I could easily do 2.20ish.  I caught up to Karen just before the last watering point (they had no water).  She was thrilled with herself for having run so far and was really excited to finish her first half marathon.  We chatted and joked right to the finish inside the zoo. Nola finished a couple of minutes behind us. Both Nola and I had a PB by about 10 minutes. I enjoyed the race and was thrilled to have done 2.20 - Alan owes me Chinese dinner.

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