The RAC Long Run is not an official race but a 60km Comrades training run hosted by Rand Athletic Club in Johannesburg each year. This was the first time I decided to do this run as it has never fit into my training plans before. I Googled the run and found this description by someone who ran last year:
“The RAC club organizers seem to be a special kind of sadistic. The run seemed to climb forever and as we got to the last 20 km it just did not stop, hill after hill rising until the end.”
This description is 100% accurate.
The run started at 05:00 so it was another very early morning. This is all part of Comrades/Ultra training. You have to get used to getting up at 3AM and then go run for the rest of the day. It’s not only about the running; it’s about being awake, active and on your feet for many hours.
Waiting for the 5AM start.
The first part was very dark and I just settled into a steady rhythm. Today was not about time, only about distance. I also wanted to experiment a bit with fueling and a gel/liquid combination.
Running in the dark.
I felt good and concentrated on holding back and saving energy. The run took us through many familiar areas of Johannesburg and I enjoyed the sightseeing on foot. There were some serious hills to deal with right from the start but the worst hills were towards the end of the run.
Sightseeing through the suburbs.
It became quite hot later on and everyone was taking a bit of strain. Because we had to share the roads with traffic I opted to run on the pavement most of the time. This was great as many parts had no pavement and only some “trails” to run on. This kept me entertained for many kilometers and I loved not running on the road all the time.
Running on the "trails" was great entertainment.
Towards the end I saw Sandal Girl’s (from She Runs in Sandals) husband at the water points and he gave me some ice that was just the right thing to keep me going. He said Staci was moving along well and would finish her first ultra distance run. Well done Staci!
57km done, 3 to go...heaven on earth!
All in all I had a very good run with no problems. I went slowly and the hills towards the end were killers, but this long run was a total success. This gave me a good boost for Comrades and the heavy training still ahead.
Some killer hills towards the finish.
I thank RAC for hosting this training run. It was well organized and I will be back next year if it fits into my training plan. My Comrades training is well on track.
Have a super week everyone!