After my tough run at the Om Die Dam 50km the previous weekend I was sure to take things very easy at this race. Having said that, I still had it in my mind to maybe do the full marathon and not only the half. However, I woke up to the sound of rain and decided it was a good day for a half marathon.
The race venue is only about 10km from my home and I arrived with plenty of time to do the usual rituals. It was misty with some fine rain, but by the time we started (6:30) it was wet and misty only and we had no rain during the race.
As I mentioned above the first part of this race is tough and testing. Right from the start there are some long and steep hills and it is wise to take it easy for the first 13km of the half marathon.
Some tough hills right from the start…
The race goes through Mondeor, the suburb where I grew up and where my parents still live in the same house today.
In the 1980’s these roads were my training grounds…
The weather was great and I’m sure the runners in the full marathon was grateful for the cloudy and cool conditions. The hills did make me sweat though…
I ran very comfortably and was happy that I didn’t feel any discomfort or tiredness from the previous week’s 50km. I was very happy as I confirmed my strength on the hills. I also confirmed again that I suck at downhill running. Luckily this year is an up Comrades…J!
I took the photo below just for Sandal Girl (Staci). A barefoot runner just for you! The area on the right is part of the nature reserve where I do most of my trail training.
After a nice, long downhill there was another steep tester to take us to 14km. Then it is gradually down and even to just before 19km. The last 2km is up and many runners find this tough. This is not an easy finish for any race and the marathon runners didn’t enjoy this at all.
One last tester.
Gradual climb the last 2km
I ran comfortably the whole way and never pushed very hard. I finished in 02:19 which is good for me a week after a very difficult 50km race. I was still feeling strong at the end and recovered almost immediately. I feel this was a good hilly training run.
…and the medal.
A happy week to you all. Keep it going!