"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Monday, 2 August 2010

Randburg Harriers Half Marathon Race Report

I had a very pleasant run at the Randburg Harriers half marathon yesterday. I planned to take it easy and relax and I did exactly that. To top it off I felt great throughout the whole race and actually felt better and better as the race progressed. At the end I was feeling like superman himself! I felt ready for another 21.1km.

This hasn’t happened to me for a while now so I’m very happy. Maybe it was the chocolate cake I had the night before that did the trick…?


The weather was perfect and it was never too cold and never too warm. There was quite a big field and also a lot of runners for the 10km race. We ran two laps and were joined by the 10km runners the first lap.

Waiting for the start.

The start was without incident even though we were a bit crowded for the first km or two. I turned 47 on Saturday and wondered up to what age I would be able to do this. I saw this guy running in the 75 – 80 years age group and I hope I can still run like that when I get to 75.

Age group 75 - 80...hope I'll do the same one day.

The route went through the suburbs of Randburg and followed some quiet and very pleasant roads. I was feeling very good and could feel the trail running is making me strong on the hills. I think if managed properly the trail and road running could form a very good balance. My plans include both road and trail for at least the next three years.

Perfect morning in the streets of Randburg.

Years ago when I was running at my best, I used to get into my rhythm after about 7km. Yesterday this happened at about 6km and this made me very happy. I could feel something of the runner I was 13 years ago somewhere inside. The hard work is starting to pay off. Somewhere I passed a lady wearing sandals that were basically the soles with some string to keep them on her feet. Probably someone that wants to run barefoot but don’t have the feet to run on tarmac…?

Interesting footwear...

As I went along I saw my old friend Hazel. We were passing each other all the time. I passed her on the hills and she would pass me on the down hills. Hazel is a running legend in South Africa. Since I’ve known her she’s won numerous veteran, masters and now grand master categories in races of all distances up to 100 milers. I definitely consider her as one of my running gurus, as referred to by Meg in this post.

Hazel showing off her Comrades green (10) and double green (20) numbers. She completed her 23rd Comrades Marathon in 10 hours this year.

The route was undulating but never really difficult. Some hills were tougher than others, but I was feeling better and better all the time. I pushed a lot harder during the second half and knew the wheels wouldn’t come off before the finish. I was having a perfect run!

I was feeling great on the hills…

…on the down hills…

…and on the flats!

I reached 17km feeling like superman himself!

Just before 18km I waited for Hazel again and we continued together until the end. We chatted about recent races we’ve done and her great Comrades this year. I was happy. Running was good and I thought about how much this wonderful sport means to me.

Here comes Hazel!

The finish came soon and I couldn’t help to find it a bit ironic that KFC was the main sponsor of the race. Well, no matter how unhealthy just about all KFC might be, they sponsored a very nice race. I finished feeling fantastic and ready to take on the tough training I’ve got planned for the next few weeks.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

23 comments:

Mark said...

Happy birthday!!! Great post!

Julie said...

Hi Johann,
Happy Birthday to you! You look great for being 47....must be the running that keeps you looking so young:)

This was really fun to read Johann! It is so great that you found a race where everything was perfect for you! Everything down to the weather, your mood, your ability and your mojo! Congrats on a fantastic race and finish! I loved all of the wonderful pictures too!

I think it is great that they put age stickers on the back of runners. If I knew that there were runners in my age group ahead of me I think my competitive nature would kick in:) We should do that here in the states...great idea! I hope that you have a fantastic week!

judy said...

What a great post and what a perfect birthday race! I loved reading and looking at your play by play.

hari said...

Hi Johan

I actually saw you at the race, and only realised it afterwards when i saw a pic of me on your blog! No wonder i had this nagging feeling that you looked familiar. Anyways, it was a good race and the next time i see you at one of these races, i'll be sure to say hi!

The Green Girl said...

Aw, I love that you did a birthday race - what better way to celebrate.

I loved reading about the different runners you saw along the way - thank you for sharing.

Meg said...

Happy Birthday, first off! I agree with Julie, you are a YOUNG 47...perhaps because you're running with the heart of a 13 year old? Some days I feel like that, too!
Thanks for the pix of Hazel and the comment about your dad. If you're fortunate to have a GURU that is also a parent, you are doubly blessed!! And Hazel? OK, she's just awesome!!! I need to make a file of all of these rockin' runners who are over 60 for when that time comes, because it will come, right?!

ajh said...

Happy Birthday! How wonderful that you had such a great race and are feeling so good about your running!

I have a birthday very soon but I am a decade older than you!

I have a couple that I see at a lot of races that are in their 70s. They started running late in life - after they stopped smoking. They get a lot of local press and it is very well deserved!

Bethany + Ryan said...

wait, i'm confused...was it YOUR birthday?? why did your cake have a 47 on it? you can't possibly be 47.

you run sooo many races!! wow! i hope to make it so SA in 2013 for Commrades!

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday! What a great way to celebrate; with a brilliant race! Cheers!

Colin Hayes said...

Congrats on a nice race...and Happy Birthday!

Char said...

1963 was a good year for producing quality human beings. Happy Birthday!

Hazel is an awesome lady. 23 Comrades!! She's inspiring.

Chris K said...

Happy Birthday old man - I'm 46 :-) Man, I'm not used to seeing your race pics of you running in civilization.

Natalia said...

Veels geluk vir jou verjaarsdag! What a fabulous way to celebrate, and it sounds like you had an awesome race. I am definitely taking notes!

Quinton J said...

Great race report. There is nothing like finishing a race strong. I say, from now…you do up that exact cake. Congratulations on this one.

Quinton J said...

LOL...When you find something that works...

Scott Keeps Running said...

Very nice. :)

Andrew Opala said...

Johann! What a wonderful stream of POSITIVE!

Happy Birthday buddy.

Must agree with Chris ... humans don't usually show up in your blog!

Andrew Opala said...

P.S. I always wanted to ask you, are you any relation to Cardinal Richelieu?

Molly said...

What a fantastic race! Great job!

Happy Belated Birthday, that cake looks delish!

Christina said...

Love all the pictures and chocolate cake is always a great pre-race food.

Patrick Mahoney said...

I really like the way the course looks...great pics...

Sherri said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love the idea of racing on your birthday! Loved the report and the pictures!

Jill said...

A marathon in sandals? Wow, she's brave! Anyhoo, congrations on your marathon, way to go with that one!! And a VERY happy birthday! I ran my 47th birthday at Boston this year, it was so cool. Nothing like a marathon on your birthday, one you will always remember! Congrats again!!!