Carnival City Half Marathon
Alan fetched me at 5am for a 7am start - turns out Brakpan wasn't as far as he thought and we were really early. We stayed in the car, in the parking lot until I needed the toilet and we made the long walk up to the start in the blistering cold wind. The good thing about being early is that there isn't a queue for the loo :-).
I used the loo and then we waited and waited and waited ...
Just as I lined up, Val and Norman joined the masses and we had a quick chat before the gun announced the start of the race and off we went. Val ahead of me and Norman behind. About 100m down the road, I was joined by a lady who was curious about my sandals. We got chatting about different sports including downhill cycling which her son is involved in. It turns out that Greg Minnaar, from Pietermaritzburg is a World Champion. Just before the 1km mark we closed in on Karen and joined the conversation. New lady was faster than us (and only running the 10km) and moved on ahead. Karen and I settled into a comfortable pace and chatted about her previous night out. We easily passed the great watering points and were suddenly almost half way. The 10km runners continued straight and we turned left to repeat the route. I was a bit disappointed to just repeat the square - an uninteresting route - nothing to see except the highway. (This is why I am trying trail running). Karen and I were also disappointed (and desperate) that there weren't any toilets at the watering points!! This is an important feature in rating a race! At some point we turned right instead of a repeat left and entered a suburban area. At this point we were joined by Stan, who was interested in my Sandals. We ran together for 2kms and we discovered that my grand-dad (dad's dad) was his dad's bank-manager, about 30 years ago. Running is a small world.The wind was really harsh along some roads and I needed to walk the small uphill over the highway bridge. Karen also walked, but faster than me. In fact, we had walked thru' all the watering points in order to drink our water or coke, to blow our nose and/or recover. We were both feeling good as we neared the 17km mark and decided to "race" it. I was sort of looking to do a 2:24 half marathon - not to keen to put pressure on myself but also wanting to make sure that I stay close to my previous best half marathon of 2:20. At the 17km mark, I was aware that even if I walked the last 4km I would still break 2:30 so if I "raced" I would seriously impress myself. Off we went running hard - almost time trail pace and I did the next 2kms under 6 minutes each. The next km was on a slight uphill and I was out of breath so I walked a bit and still managed a 6:20 km. I finished behind Karen in a time of 2:18:32. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I forgot to take my medal which I believe is quite a nice looking one. However, I did get my t-shirt which is way more important; unfortunately they only had size large.
|Front of t-shirt|
|Back of t-shirt|
Overall, a good run for me and an okay event because they didn't have the correct size t-shirts (given that it was pre-entry, I would think they could order accordingly) and no toilets on the route.
Value for money rated great - pre-entry goody bag with a few product samples, good watering points, medal and t-shirt all for R50 (about $8).