Early at the stadium, cold and misty.
The race started at 6:30 and everyone was cold. There was a big field as a 15km race was held at the same time. We ran two laps with a little extra loop on the second lap to make up the extra 2 kilometers for 32. The first lap was with the 15km runners.
Shortly after the start.
I found a few friends and we all started together. After two kilometers I found myself running with my old friends, Seugnét and Anita. They were also there for their last longish run before Comrades. This was great and I decided to hang with them for as long as possible. This became the entire race in the end as we ran and finished together, chatting all the way.
Seugnét and Anita.
The mist stayed with us longer than I thought it would and there were a few places where the wind was quite cold at times.
Misty and quite cool all the way.
The first lap (15km) went by very quickly and I was feeling good and comfortable. I could feel I ran 100km the previous weekend. My legs felt a bit tired on the hills and my feet were a bit tender at the bottom. This is something I always feel after very long runs or races…tenderness under my feet. It is usually more uncomfortable than my sore legs.
To the stadium…lap 1 done!
We left Anita in charge as she was clearly the strongest between the three of us. I had a very tough 100km Easter training run in my legs and Seugnét was just back from a week’s holiday with no running and all the wrong eating and drinking that came with that. On the second lap Anita started pulling away on the hills, but she always waited for us to catch up again. Anita has numerous 100 mile and 6 day races under her belt, including some 1st lady finishes. She is always very strong.
Anita pulling away on the hills. Some sun at last.
The second lap added a 2km loop and here we found the only pretty street of the whole route. The race runs between some factories and other not so cool looking areas so this was a nice change. We stopped and took some photos in the pretty street.
Only pretty street of the whole 32km.
With about 6km to go my legs were getting tired and I just followed Anita who was looking stronger and stronger. I was actually glad Seugnét was taking a bit of strain as well. Bad me!
29km done! How does someone look so good after 29km?
Finally we turned in towards the stadium again and there was 1km to go!
The last kilometer went by quickly and then we ran into the stadium…
…on the track…
...to the finish!
This was a great run with great friends! The last long haul before Comrades is over. Now I can start to cut back and relax for a few weeks. The hard work has been done.
We received a medal, t-shirt and goody bag with a few Colgate items.
A very well organized race that will always see me back. Talking about back…Anita is running her 19th Comrades this year and made me promise to be there next year when she runs number 20. I did, so I am already committed to next year’s Comrades as well!