Monday, 17 January 2011

Race Report

Race Name: Dischem 21
Hosting Club: Bedfordview Athletics
Distance: 21.1km and 5km Fun Run
Start Time & Venue: 6am, Virgin Active Gym, Bedfordview

Entry Fee: R 65.00 including Goody Bag, T-shirt and medal
R 30.00 or R 80.00 for temporary or permanent Champion Chip
R 10.42 Online entry fee
Optional charity donation to CANSA or Namaqua Dog & Donkey Foundation

Entry Process: The entry could be done online at (the official timekeeping company) or at a Dischem store.
I chose to do it online and found it cumbersome and longwinded. Friends who entered at the stores found that the staff didn’t quite understand the process and communication was a problem and so most of them landed up with incorrect seeding and number of runs.

Number Collection: Race Packs had to be collected at various pick-up points for the 3 days prior to the race. We had a group collection and got our stuff on the Thursday.
We got our race numbers, a goody bag and a white t-shirt.

My Goody Bag: pair of sock, t-shirt, discount vouchers
roll-on deodorant, 2 magazines, corn syrup sachet,
ginger sweets, glucose sweets, fruit-juice sweets, foot cream sachet,
muscle oil sachet, plug-in vapouriser, little toothpaste,
hydrating powder sachet, runners guide log book,

Travel arrangements: Ian and I collected Alan at 4:40am for the 20 minute drive to the venue. Parking was limited but well organized and we prefer to get there early rather than get caught in traffic jams.
We had enough time to put our bag at the RWFL tent and use the toilets before lining up in our seeded batches (Ian and I were seeded in D according to our targeted finish time of 2 hours 20 minutes.) I like race seeding altho’ this is the only half marathon that I have done that does target finish time seeding.

Race Start: Lined up in our seeding blocks, 2 minutes before start time, the tape was removed and the people moved forward. There was someone making announcements but we couldn’t hear him or the race gun. The race started promptly (according to my Garmin time).

Shoes, shoes and more shoes - where are the barefoot runners?
The runners moving forward from their seeding batches

Personal Race: Experience Ian and I started and ran together for the first 13 kms. I ran this race last year, my first half marathon and I had only been running for 3 months. I laughed and walked most of the race. I finished in a time of 2:51:40. I didn’t have fond memories of the race and remember it to be a lot more uphill than it actually was. I stopped to walk and drink my juice at the start of one of the “long” hills and Ian continued. The “hill” wasn’t half bad and I ran up to the top but never managed to see or catch up to Ian. Karen caught me ¾ way up the last hill, which really was a hill and I walked a lot of it. We raced down the downhill which followed and I paid for it with a stitch. Karen showed me her new trick to clear a stitch – lift the knee of whichever side you are experiencing the stitch and hold the knee tight against your chest until the pain is gone. It worked and we continued to run the last two kms in a great speed of 5:35 and 5:28.

Race Route: The route has a difficulty rating of 3 according to the Nedbank Runners Guide.
I did notice that there were at least 3 toilets along the route, altho’ I can’t be sure that there were placed there by the organisers, they might have been there for the security or builders that work in the area.
The watering tables, every +- 3kms were great – well manned, vibey (the last one, on the hill, even had a DJ playing music which was a great boost on the tough section), well stocked and I saw people cleaning up even as I was running thru’. I didn’t drink at all the tables, I had my chai juice with me which I found more than adequate.

At the top of the "hill" that wasn't a hill

Race Finish: Karen and I finished on the field, in a time of 2:22:36. I was very happy with my time. I was working to my marathon pacing chart from Norman and wanted to finish this half in the same time (or better) I am required to finished the first half of my marathon. In this case I beat the required time of 2:24:30.
I now have my ‘first half-marathon of the year’ medal.

My happy face, sitting down to drink my chocolate milk,missed including the medal in the photo :-(

Race results: All participants received an sms from the organisers within 2 hours of finishing, which gave details of finishing time and position. I have also received an email this morning thanking me for taking part. There has been plenty of sms and email communication since I entered the race and all of it has been appreciated. I spoke to a number of runners and they all said the same thing – good to get the info, it was relevant, short and to-the-point and not a nuisance.

The total number of points awarded for this race 17/18

(I will do a follow-up post explaining my new Race Report & Assessment)


Johann said...

Well done Staci! This is always well organised but I must admit I'm not crazy about half marathons with so many runners. I missed this year because it was only a week after my ultra. I would really like to know how you get to 17/18 :). Have a great week! Which marathon are you going for?

Anonymous said...

Just found you via Neil.. I very well may be running my next marathon in sandals!! Looking forward to following you!

Kate said...

Great job! I like your race report format. I may end up stealing it. I'm a little envious of the goody bags I'm reading about outside the US. Ours are usually a t-shirt and a bunch of leaflets for other races. Great picture, too, btw. :)

Staci said...

Thanks Johann. I find (in my limited experience) that the more runners there are taking part, the more organised the race is.
I will post my "formula" for race assessment tomorrow, I gave 2 points for everything except the entry process which got 1 point.
Kate, not all races give goody bags, most just give a medal and t-shirt.