The Iron Crown Trail Run takes place in Heanertsburg, Limpopo and is hosted by the Haenertsburg Rotary Club. There is a 5, 10 and 21 km run.
We drove thru' from Joburg on Friday afternoon and it took a little over 4 hours to cover the 360km.
We checked into our room at The Pennefather, our self catering accommodation for the weekend. It is located on the main street and a short walk from the race registration and the start of the race. It consists of 6 double rooms and we had booked them all.
Registration was quick and easy for those of us that had pre-entered online and for those in our party who were entering for the 10km. We were even given 2 age category stickers to wear on our vests. They did have a requirement that we needed to show that we had a road running license or buy a temporary license.
A quick walk thru' 'town' and we were at the Iron Crown Pub & Bistro for dinner and drinks. Tasty homemade burgers, friendly service and a festive atmosphere.
|Festive atmosphere the night before the run|
|Dressed for success after removing at least one layer|
The race started promptly at 7:30 after a short race briefing describing what fauna and flora we could see out on course and a description of the coloured race markers we would need to follow. Francis and I started the run together and kept a comfortable pace on the jeep track. The climb starts immediately and is steady up to the first watering poing. It lets up a couple of times thereafter with a couple of fast and steep downhills before another climb to the second water point at around 6.5km. Then the single track starts and the climbing is steep, 500 metres of elevation in under 5km. Francis moved ahead of me while i was stopping to
|The views were worth the climb|
I will thrilled to cross the timing mat and then immediately disheartened when told I still had further to go to the turn around point. I walked to the bakkie to be greeted by one very cold but friendly marshall offering a drink of Old Brown Sherry. (There were two marshalls but only one of them was cold). I happily climbed to the radio beacon, officially the highest point in the Limpopo Province and took a couple of pictures. I drank cold water and no sherry. (Up until this point I was feeling very nauseous and had been stopping every now and again to retch. I don't think it had anything to do with the burgers or beer the night before). I even started drinking Powerade in the hope that something in there would help me feel better.
But, I certainly started feeling better when my legs were carrying me downhill and I could do a little running. I am not very brave running down hill trails but I try run when I can. I hooked up with Agnes and we ran down to the end of the single track together. It was good to have some company. What took me 1:05 hours going up, took me under 45 minutes to come down.
|Friendly and somewhat cold marshals all along the course|
This race is very well marked, marshaled and catered for. What race have you done where there is a table cloth and flowers on the water table?
In the last 7km I ran a bit with a couple of girls from Pretoria and a local man as well as Agnes. But I could smell the finish and ran off on my own. The last bit of the run, going into town is serious downhill and quite slippery before turning right and running to the finish field. I was not the last of my group of friends to finish - Shawn, Paula and Bernie went to great pains to make sure that they were the last. Ian finished well in 3:09 with Judy who won R300 for being the first Masters Lady (the importance of age category tags cannot be underestimated). Francis also had a comfortable finish ahead of me and had ordered the pancakes already!
|Everybody had a great run and a festive finish|
We had a celebratory drink at the pub, a cocktail at the Holistic Fair in town, followed by a great braai in The Pennefather driveway.