Monday, 25 October 2010

Race Report

Van Gaalens Trail Run 9.6km

What a great day!!! 
Excellent company,  Enjoyable route, Great venue, Well-organised race, Impressive Value-for-money. For the R80 (approx $10) entry fee, we got two watering points on the route, a choice of water or coke at the finish and a meal of chicken prego and salad for lunch!!

The gals and I travelled with my dad. A 6.30 start had us arriving at the venue at 7.30am.  The conversation in the car was non-stop with lots of teasing and joking and even more laughing. A great start to the day.

The Gals - Ready to Race

Alan  started at 8.30 after Erik (owner of the farm) gave a brief route description and mentioned that there would be watering points at 5km and 14km. 

Alan at the start
The gals and I started half an hour later.  Erik gave us a route description which also included the floating bridge which didn't please Nola at all. She isn't comfortable on bridges and Erik clearly stated that we need to 'sprint down the centre of the bridge to avoid getting wet and not to go on the left side or the right side to avoid falling into the water'.  This obviously was not what Nola wanted to hear. I said that when the time came, I would carry her over the bridge.

The Floating Bridge (picture from
Val went off in front of us and faster than us from the beginning. Karen, Nola and I ran together over many bridges, down and up and up and down next to the river. The weather was cool, slightly overcast and most of the run was under a canopy of trees.  The route wasn't at all technical (at least comparted to the two Trail-Series races that I have done) and was generally easy running in my HUARACHES.    I had almost made up my mind that I would train myself to run trails in my Huaraches and seeing the venue this was confirmed.  I am so much more comfortable in my sandals than I am in shoes.  Nearing the end of the race, just before the floating bridge, a 20km runner past me wearing 5-Fingers. I chatted to him after the race and he said he runs road races in Luna Sandals but hadn't tried them on trails.  We stopped to refuel our water bottles and the 5km mark and continued along the river, under the trees. 

As we neared the floating bridge, Nola was infront of us and had crossed the bridge before we got there.  After Karen had crossed and we congratulated Nola, Karen continued running while Nola went back onto the bridge so that I could take a picture of her with her mobile - proof that she had achieved what she was so dreading!  We were very proud of her!!  Nola and I took the rest of the race easy, stopping to enjoy the scenery.

Nola and I finished comfortably in 31st and 32nd women in a time of 01.20.53. Karen was  the 28th woman in a time of 1:17:52 and Val was the 12th women in at 1:01:53.

Shortly after we finished, we had just got our coke, I turned around to see Alan coming to the finish. He came 16th overall in a time of 1:51:57
Alan at the finish - just a little bit finished

We ate our lunch and then we had to stay for prize giving - Alan was the first Master and won R200 (approx $25) and Val was the second Veteran Lady and won a bottle of wine.  Congrats to them both!!!

My feet after the race

Race Report 2 will follow soon


Johann said...

Nice report and great fun it seems. This just didn't fall into my schedule but I'm sure I'll run there one day. Congrats to all those winning prizes. I love that photo of your feet! Have a good week Staci! Sorry we've not been able to meet but I'm sure we will eventually.

Ewa said...

This is NOT a bridge. I would be scared of this thing too.
Looks like a great race. Congrats!

Emz said...

Awesome rr - yay for you!!

Love the photos!