Monday, 7 February 2011

Race Review

Race Name

Johnson Crane Marathon, Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon (The first in SA)

Hosting Club

Benoni Harriers Athletic Club



Start Time & Venue

6am at Old Benonians Sports Club, President Brand Street

Entry Fee

R85-00, including goodie bag, t-shirt and medal2

Entry Process

Entry forms were handed out at previous races and you could enter at I am preferring to have my number before the race (where possible) and so I entered at The Sweatshop. I entered Ian for the half marathon and me for the marathon. Alan also entered for the half marathon.
For pre-entry incentive we received a “surprise” in our bag – a large box of business-card-size paper given by one of the sponsors. We also got a green bag and the t-shirt (good quality, too thick to run in and a nice light blue colour – a welcome change from the usual white t-shirts.)

t-shirtgreen bag resize
Number Collection Because I did my pre-entry at The Sweatshop, it was quick and easy.2

Travel arrangements

Alan collected Ian and I at 4.15am. He figured it was a 45 minute drive, he took his bicycle (in order to join me on the road after he finished his half marathon). We got there just before 5am, got good parking near to the field and had enough time to use the portable loos, chain up the bicycle, meet up with my running partner and get to the start.
Me on the sports field, at the RWFL tent

Race Start

There was no seeding for this race.
We stood quite close to the start line and even then it took us 2 minutes to pass under the banner. There was a huge crane holding up the start banner.
You can see from the photo, it was very misty and the mist hung around for about an hour, which made for comfortable weather to run in.
Start time was spot on according to my Garmin but we walked for a couple of hundred metres until we could start running slowly.

start resize
Gals at start resize

Personal Race Experience

Up until half way, all was well. The wheels fell off as I past the 21km finish turn-off. As this was my first marathon, I would like to give a very detailed report of my experience and will post this during the week. In the meantime, its enough to say that from personal experience, I can’t give this race any points.0

Race Route

According to the Nedband Runners Guide, this race was rated 2 and hence my choice to run it as my first marathon. It is a circular route, with the marathon running two-laps of the half marathon route.
There were toilets at every watering point which was FANTASTIC!! I got to use the one at the 18km mark Smile
The watering points were THE BEST!! Every one of them had more than enough Coke and Water, some even had marshmallows and potatoes and other sweets and a container of salt. There was loads of ice which was just great 5 hours into my run.

Race Finish

I got a cup of coke at the finish.
There was an official timing clock at the end which showed me finishing in 5:35:36, the same as my garmin. The official cut-off for the marathon was 5:30:00, so I didn’t make it into the official results. There also were no medals available, no t-shirts or goodie bags left. There were bits of paper lying on the table and somebody said that if we write our details down, we will be contacted to arrange to get our t-shirts. Fortunately, before I walked away, a lady came carrying a box of silver medals and I did receive a medal. My husband got a bronze medal but I’m not fussy, I really needed the medal to validate my first marathon!
(A week later and I haven’t heard from them but Alan did manage to collect my bag and t-shirt on my behalf before I finished)
JC Medal

Race results

Unfortunately the quality of the printed race numbers was not good (the organisers have sent out a message of apology and requesting people to contact them to confirm finishing times). My husbands number came off his vest and he managed to keep it with him to the finish where he held it up for the referees to see and register his finish time. My number also came off but for me it didn’t matter in the end. I also saw a few numbers lying on the road en-route.
I’m not sure if pictures were taken along the way – I can’t remember seeing any photographers but I’m not sure enough to say that there weren’t any (Isn’t it strange what happens to your brain when running long distance Winking smile)

This is a picture of my feet when I got home – can you see the sunburn? I only realised when I got out of the shower that I was very burnt behind my knees, on my shoulders and of course my face and feet. I had put sunblock on but with the amount of water I was pouring over myself, it didn’t last.

Sunburnt feet resize
The Total Number of Points Awarded for this Race13/18


Johann said...

Well done Staci! I didn't realize you were doing Johnson Crane. I thought you would wait for Vaal maybe. You are brave and did well. Your first marathon will always be a special one. Congratulations! I find the "flatter" marathons like Johnson Crane and Vaal really hard work. The ones with more hills and downhills are easier for me. Rest well!

Kate said...

I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering what you were up to. Congratulations on finishing your first marathon! My first is in May, so I'm looking forward to reading your detailed report. Your poor feet! Sunburned feet are no fun.

Ewa said...

Congratulations on your first. This is one cool medal. Glad you got it. Those toe nails are cool too.

Natalia said...

Staci!!!! I had no idea you were doing your first marathon. Congrats, and well done you! That was a super job and you should be very proud of yourself. It certainly sounds as though there were some tough moments, but you did it. Nice job, and lovely medal. Hope you enjoy the high, and looking forward to hearing which you sign up for next.

Char said...

Great report. You're no longer a marathon virgin. Thank goodness you got your medal!