Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Race Report

Race Name

Cape Gate Vaal Marathon

Hosting Club

Vaal Athletics Club


42.2km, 21.1km, 10km and 5km Dash

Start Time & Venue

Sunday 6 March, 6am, Dick Fourie Stadium, Vereeniging

Entry Fee

R90.00 for the marathon and R55.00 for the half marathon


Entry Process & Number Collection

Online entries and entries at sport shops.

Alan did our entries at The Sweatshop so that we could have our numbers. (A bit of a mix up when he did the entries – they gave Ian a full marathon number. Fortunately they picked up their error and Alan went in to change the number.)


Goody Bag/T-Shirt

T-Shirts to the first 500 entrants. I made sure we entered early – there is no ways I was not going to have a t-shirt to show for my marathon efforts!


Travel arrangements

Alan picked us up at 4.25am for the 45 minute drive to Vereeniging. It took us 1 hour from home to the RWFL tent where we left our tog bags.
There was a map on the entry brochure, well sign posted from the hi-way off ramp and marshals at relevant intersections. Parking was slow due to the number of cars, but well managed and marked. (The Circus Trucks were parked in the open field when we got there, but weren’t there when we left.)

Circus Truck


Race Start

No Seeding. Great big banner announcing the start.

Official car with timer on the top.

Started promptly according to my Garmin.

Ian and my feet lined up at the start


Personal Race Experience

Excellent!! I had a great experience while achieving my marathon qualifying time for Comrades. My personal experience, in more detail, is here.


Race Route

The route is rated a 3 according to Nedbank Runners Guide. “This 2-lapper gently meanders through the four suburbs of Vereeniging. While it is fair to say that the route is flat, it is by no means the easiest marathon, you will have to work the whole way.”

Lots of porta-loos at the start as well as toilet facilities for the ladies. I enjoyed the route, we ran next to the river for a bit, there were some beautiful houses/estates to look at and shady roads in the first half.

I only saw portaloos at the 12km mark but there were 3 of them and that was adequate.

The watering points were adequate to great. There were 2 points that had no water sachets on the second round and the fantastic point at around 12km were giving out bananas (the same point that had porta-loos, a canopy shower which was most appreciated) on the first round when they weren’t really needed and then there were none for the second lap. There was also a point that had the assisstants leaning against there car smoking while we poured our own coke. One of the runners did have something to say to them and it appeared that they moved forward to pour some coke for the next group of runners. Thanks to all those that kept the energy up and went to such effort for us runners!!

Marshals were great. A lot of them seemed to be students and there were 2 girls in particular (around the 15km mark) that were cheering us on in loud energetic voices. It really made me smile. It’s great when the marshals are so full of energy and encouragement. Thanks gals.

Also, a big thank you to the residents of the area that had their garden sprinklers out for the runners. It was greatly appreciated by all around me.


Race Finish

My watch was 1 second out from the official timing clock that was well displayed at the finish.

Walking thru’ the finish tape, we collected our medal, our t-shirt and got a cup of coke and there were some cold water sachets.

Bright green t-shirt and orange medal


Race results

Race results will be available on the www.raceresults.co.za website, usually in a couple of weeks.

I am not aware of any official photography company taking pictures.




My very dirty feetMy feet were really dirty after the race – Alan even said I couldn’t get into his car like at (obviously joking). When we got home, I got into the pool to cool my legs off and the dirt didn’t wash off. This is what they looked like before I got into the shower. Recovery pose - legs up the wall

After my shower, I lie on the floor on my back and put my feet up. I do this for at least 20 minutes. It feels good and is supposed to drain/stimulate the blood flow.


Barefoot Neil Z said...

Congrats! Nice report, sounds like it was a strong run overall!

I have 2 friends that are coming from Calgary to run Comrades. 1 of them is Martin Parnell, you may have read about him on here. He completed 250 marathons in 2010, and the other is Ellie Greenwood who is the reigning world 100k ladies champion! She is there to try and win... and is a super nice person!

Johann said...

To be honest I rate this year's Vaal lower than pevious years. At 27km we didn't get any water and the last two water points we had to pour our own coke and/or cream soda. Other than that all was fine. I should just run faster next time.:) Pick 'n Pay 04:59:10, Vaal 04:59:13! At least I know how to get sub 5! Enjoy your week!

Char said...

I read this and your personal report together and I'm sooo happy for you. Well done!

Staci said...

Thanks for your support and kind words.
Neil, i would love to be in touch with the two people you mentioned and follow their Comrades run.
Johann, sorry I didn't see you at the end. The watering points were disappointing but you should run faster ;-) you are seriously cutting it fine but as you say you know how to make the cut-off and that's a good skill.
Thanks Char.