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

Monday, 16 April 2012

The race that became a “breakfast run”


I’ve pulled out of races two times after entering at the start and just not feeling like it, but I’ve never been late for a race. Yesterday I was on time again for my race…or maybe I wasn’t…I didn’t hang around to find out.

The Slow-Mag Half Marathon started at 6:30 and we left home, at 05:09. It seems that was probably too late. We joined the queue of backed-up traffic on the highway at 5:35. We were about 6km from the race venue and start.


With “we” I mean Anette and I. At first we weren’t phased by the traffic, but when we realized we were literally moving forward at a “single car length at a time” pace we started lifting our eyebrows. The talk in the car became something like this:

Anette: “This is no serious or big race for you is it?”
Me: “no, it’s just a training run. Just me doing another half marathon. All part of my Num-Num training.
Anette: “Good, so if we maybe don’t get to the start in time it will be ok…?”
Me: “Yes, I won’t mind missing the race; I’ll just run 21km at home.”
Anette: “Because at this pace we won’t make it.”
Me: “I know, but then we’ll just go find coffee somewhere.”
Anette: “Mmm…that is almost tempting…”
Me: “Almost…”


We crawled forward at a very slow pace. There were just too many cars for the roads leading to the venue to handle. I still had to collect my bib and visit the loo before the start as well. Not making the race in time was becoming a reality fast.

I was still not upset or sad or anything for that matter. Missing the race was not going to be a bad thing at all. It will just take me a bit longer to some year run my 2000th race. I am currently on 1361 races and this race was just another click of the counter.


At some point runners started getting out of cars and ran/jogged to the start. I knew some people will use the marathon to qualify for Comrades and for them this was a huge problem. I was lucky I was not one of them. We crawled forward and the time went passed 06:00. Soon after this people started turning their cars around and head back home. We stuck around until 06:12.


Me: “There’s no way we can make this.”
Anette: “You wanna run to the start and I park the car?”
Me: “No way, I still need the toilet and get my bib.”
Anette: “So are we going home?”
Me: “No, we are going for coffee!”

With that I turned down the first possible side road and drove away from the race. I was relieved and happy with my decision. There was no urgency for me to run this race. It was really just another 21km training run and another click of the counter.

I decided to head for this place…



For some awesome coffee and great breakfast…


We were happy…very happy actually!



Life is good! I had a fabulous “breakfast run”!


Have a super week everyone!

24 comments:

Christi said...

Looks like you made the great decision!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Coffee and breakfast with the wife over a half-mary any day! :)

Ewa said...

What a sweet story! Now imagine your wife were not with you while you were stuck in traffic. That would not be fun at all.
That breakfast pic makes me hungry! :)

Kate said...

Really nice of Anette to offer to drop you off so you could get your stuff. I'm really glad that this was a no pressure race for you so you didn't have to stress about missing the start...especially since there as nothing you could do about it.

Way to make a good situation out of a less good one. :)

Mike said...

Great story,(and what looked like a good breakfast). I especially liked the dialogue.

abbi said...

Sometimes things work out like that, looks like you had a great morning without the race!

Emz said...

you are so awesome. I love this post. Way to roll with it.

I loved this: "Yes, I won’t mind missing the race; I’ll just run 21km at home.” so funny. love it.

Char said...

I love the relaxed attitude. I'd be such a stress-head in the car when really in the end it doesn't matter and most of the time a race is just the precursor to a nice breakfast. So what does it matter if you forgo the precursor?!

ajh said...

How funny that we had similar race mornings. I cared very much about making my race as it was the half I based my training around. I am doing four halves this spring but this was the one that mattered!

Glad you had a good breakfast!

Michael said...

You are awesome. It's almost time for bed and now I'm craving breakfast!!

ultra collie said...

im with you johann..go with your flow. besides teckon that brekkie looks awesome :)

Amy said...

Just reading about being in all that traffic, late for the race, was stressing me out - good for you for being so relaxed! Glad you ended up having a nice morning together.

Staci said...

No wonder Ian didn't see you on the road.
He must have got there just before the traffic started. This seems to be happening quite frequently now at the Jhb races.
Glad you had good company and could enjoy breakfast together.

Lisa said...

Way to keep a positive attitude and just go with plan B. :-)

Matty O said...

Honestly, one of the greatest posts EVER! Hilarious.

What I find even more awesome is that you are THAT close to 2,000 races?! unbelievable!

Keep up the great work man!

Molly said...

Like you said, it was a fabulous breakfast run! : )

Raina said...

I think this woman Annette has done wonders for you, Johann :)

2000 races? That's just unfathomable to me. Some day. I will need to pick up my pace though!

Black Knight said...

It was a great decision and thanks to it you have spent wonderful time with your wife in a beautiful place.
Long time ago I arrived 3 minutes late at the start and it was a great race. What a wonderful experience to smoke step by step many runners!

Karien said...

Wow, that's some crazy race traffic!

Amazing how you've almost done 1500 races...!

Robin said...

Sounds like you made the right decision! The smiles say it all....

Andre said...

Ag hoe lekkerrrrr!!**

Lauren said...

What a wonderful story. I've been late to a race -- had to run to the finish line, toilet in the bushes on the way -- not fun. I should have done what you did! Breakfast. : )) I really enjoyed the picture of your breakfast. I love, love, love seeing what other people around the world eat for specific meals. In California, USA, our breakfast potatoes are usually shredded or cubed. And I've never had a slice of cheese with my breakfast toast (though I would love it), nor ever in my life have I been served a tomato on my breakfast plate. Love it! Also looks like something other than ketchup on the potatoes. Here it's ketchup or salsa all the way. Thanks for sharing.

Lauren said...

LOL. I meant "had to run to THE START LINE."

Thomas Bussiere said...

Great post and an example of making a positive when the situation is out of your control. Good decision and breakfast looks really good.