Alan fetched me at 6am for the hour long drive to Vanderbijl Park. It was really cold – we both had our beanies on.
We had both pre-entered which made the registration process quick and easy. We got temporary timing chips to wear on our ankle and a goody bag. We then raced back to the car to keep warm (I was sure that I could feel ice forming on my pants while we were standing still) and check out our goody bags. Imagine my disappointment when I found nothing from Asics in the bag – there I was thinking they were a sponsor and would put something in the bag, but it wasn’t to be – just the usual roll on deodorant, Lux shower gel, zambuk sachet, heel balm sachet, a religious DVD, race brochures etc. No Asics lanyard, keyring, shoe laces??
Race was scheduled to start at 8am and as Alan and I lined up, we met up with Johann from Run Tall Walk Tall and my training partner Val and Gus. There was an extensive pre-race briefing and then more mingling then suddenly people were moving off. We didn’t hear any official start and so I was still fiddling with my watch 100m into the race.
I ran and chatted with Johann and it was really lovely to catch up with him.
We stopped at the self-help water point where I turned left for the 10km and Johann carried on to do 20km.
Gus kindly waited for me and we ran comfortably, chatting for the rest of the race. We both noticed how quickly time (and distance) passes when you are engaged in good conversation. Hope to be running more with you Gus!
The route was very disappointing. We ran on single track thru’ burnt veld grass, thru’ a building site and loads of garbage. There was a brief stream crossing which i am sure doesn’t count as “Part of route on the banks of the Vaal river” (Taken off the Enter Online Site). Maybe that was for the 20km course only.
Alan had a good run, 47 minutes, which led him to believe that the course was short. My Garmin put it at 9.3km in an hour for Gus and I. We had coffee together after the race and compared shoes (Alan got a new pair of trail shoes).
As much as I enjoyed being out doing another race, I will not be doing this race again, not even for the bling (A keyring rather than a medal).It was far to travel, expensive for a 10km (I paid R56/$8 pre-entry online) and a disappointing route.