Monday, 9 May 2011

Sudwala Screaming Monster Half Marathon Race Review

Thanks for your kind comments.  I so enjoyed the weekend away and it so delivered exactly what I needed.

The race started and finished at Sudwala Lodge, Mpumulanga.  Organised by Legogote Villagers running club. Running through the Sudwala Caves.

We were fortunate enough to stay at Sudwala Lodge so we had a relatively late start to the day – only walked to the registration area at 6:30am.  Mingled around, didn’t have any of the coffee on offer, and then strolled to the start.

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270 runners/walkers started, including my husband and I – the first time in a very long time that we ran the whole race together!

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The first 2kms were out of the resort, onto the main road and flat.  Turn left and the climbing started.  5kms gradually uphill, twisting and turning.  We past lots of people walking, and I got a comment about my sandals that I’ve never heard before “She’s running in Moses sandals!'”  That almost beats a comment a few months ago “Do you think she walks on water too?”.  We also passed a group of guys who were seriously discussing the merits and workings of heat pumps.  As we moved in front of them, they were all silent until one of them said “Now I’ve seen everything.”

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The watering points were fantastic! Even if there were only 3 people there, they were efficient and encouraging and brought a smile to my face every time.  There was a table at the turn around point that had so much food on it, I could’ve sat down to eat. 

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Ian and I ran the uphills, slowly but we ran them.  We were passed on the down hills.  Ian has dodgy knees that pained him going down.  My legs held up although’ I didn’t enjoy the downs.  It really is horrid to be passed on the downs and see all the hard work of motoring up the hills be erased.

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We entered the resort again and it was lovely to see my children, mom and dad (he finished half and hour before then) standing at the finish.  We still had to run up a very steep 1.7km road and 75 steps to the cave.  We managed to run about 50 meters and the rest we walked, slightly faster than a stroll. I had big plans to run the steps but my legs didn’t manage.  We were welcomed to the entrance of the cave by two drummers.

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The cave was/is awesome!!  I stopped still as I walked in and was almost overcome with emotion.  I was very aware of our smallness in the world at the same time our magnificence.  The path was beautifully lined with candles and Stefa, a cave guide was standing at the monster, applauding and encouraging all who came thru the cave.

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The run down was slower than our run on the 5km uphill – it was so steep, I ran sideways and Ian only just managed. 

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We finished together, got a lovely t-shirt and medal and we will be back next year!!

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Kate said...

What great pictures! How wonderful that you guys were able to run together. It makes a race or run so much nicer.

Char said...

You get to do the most interesting and amazing races. I always enjoy reading your reviews and looking at the pictures.

Paul said...

"Moses sandals"..that's funny 8)

I think you are the only person I know that ran a race through a cave.

Spooky monster indeed. I can imagine seeing that by torchlight for the first time!

Johann said...

Super race, run and report Staci! I'm certainly keeping this one in mind for next year. Good excuse to show my son Sudwala.:)