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

Monday, 16 July 2012

Springbok Vasbyt 10km Race Report

I decided to give myself a good recovery week after the Num-Num Challenge. This meant that I didn’t really plan to run a race this past weekend, but when my wife Anette was keen to run the 10km Springbok Vasbyt on Saturday I was very pleased. This gave us the opportunity to run our first race together!

The Springbok Vasbyt is a tough 25km and 10km race that includes a bit of road and some nice trails around the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. I love the race and was very keen to be there. We were really excited to be at the start together and knowing that we were going to run the race together made it even more special.

Happy to start and run together!

The start of this race is always something great and this year there was a fly over by the Harvard Club of South Africa. There was also the usual canon that made everyone jump and then we were off.

On our way!

The first 2km is on the road around the monument. This race is really hard so we decided that we would walk the uphills and run the rest. Anette is still building up her running and I think for this race it was the perfect approach.

Just before 3km we turned off the road onto a section that usually have a small dirt road. This year they cleared a wide area but left the grass that was cut lying on the ground. The grass was actually quite slippery and you had to run very carefully. It was also impossible to see what was on the ground beneath the grass.

This grass was slippery.

This was a nice downhill section but we ran it slowly as there were some hard climbs ahead. Anette was struggling to feel comfortable but going along well. She always takes some time to find her stride so I wasn't worried about it. I could see she was battling a bit but knew she would become stronger as we carried on.

After the section on the grass we turned onto a smaller gravel path that went uphill. This came out on a road that was going up really steep. Luckily there was a water point on this road. We got some water and coke and walked to the top of the hill. Here we turned onto a trail and almost immediately Anette found her stride!

This is some tough single track with a hard climb but we cruised over this part of the course. I was feeling great and I could see Anette was now also feeling the same way. I had to rush to keep up with her... :)

The trail climbs to a tower near its top and then joins a road again. We made excellent progress to the top, passing people all the way. Anette loves the trails and we were both smiling.

Anette now happy and in full stride!

The road takes you to the top of the hill where we ran through an old fort. The race is really unique and offers a bit of everything. We were in good spirits and enjoyed the second water point at the fort.

Running through the fort.

From here we ran down the hill on the road and Anette was feeling comfortable and relaxed now. We had a great time counting down the kilometers and our progress was good.

Me with the Voortrekker Monument in the background.

The race has one last sting in the tail which you hit in the second last kilometer. A tough climb on a trail. I remember this hill smacked me the first time I ran this race and I think it smacked Anette a bit too. It is steeper than it looks and comes at just the wrong point in the race. We walked the hill and I could see Anette was now ready to finish.

This last climb can be a killer.

With one kilometer to go the route goes into the grounds of the Voortrekker Monument and we ran around the monument inside the impressive wall. The stairs to get there were met with mixed feelings…

The very impressive monument.

Once around the monument it is downhill to the finish. We saw Staci (Sandal Girl) here and greeted her quickly. She had already finished her run and it was good to see her. Then we ran the last part and finished our first race together. It was awesome!

A tired Anette with me at the finish. Very happy!

Anette did great and I am very proud of her. I am sure we will run many races together in the years to come. This was a very hard 10km race and she handled it extremely well. It was also just the right run for me a week after the Num-Num Challenge.

I also enjoyed watching the other people at the back of the race that found the 10km a real challenge. I could see how everyone was giving their best and running at the best of their ability. I once again gained lots of respect for the people that finished their first ever 10km and some even their first race ever. Again…it was awesome!


Jill said...

Wow, that race really covers a lot of diversity of terrain in such a relatively short amount of mileage. That really makes things interesting, I think. Anette is one seriously tough cookie - congratulations to her!! SO happy you ran with her and together you guys did the race together. I'm sure it will go down in your memory bank as one of the best races ever :).

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Another great race. I agree with Jill. Lots to see for a 10k. I'm booking my flight now for vacation(kidding). SA is on my list someday because of your blog!

KovasP said...

So great you ran together -- my wife and I rarely run or race together so it's always such an interesting experience!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Congrats to your wife. I always loved when my husband was running/racing. So neat that you can share your passion with her.

Karien P. said...

How awesome to race together! Great job, Anette!

HappyTrails said...

That is a lot of variety to pack into 10k of running. Very nice and bonus on getting to race with Anette! :)

Liz said...

It must have been great to race with your wife. Amazing scenery as usual!

Kate Geisen said...

I know you were so thrilled to race with Anette and really proud of her tackling such a tough race. My husband is a total non-runner, so when we do orienteering meets, our strategy is always walk the uphills, run the downhills, and see how "we" feel on the flats. :) It works, and he always runs more than he ever thinks he will.

Unknown said...

You have the most interesting photos from your races. I'm envious.

Congrats to your wife for a job well done. :-)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

It's really interesting to see the race courses that you run. The stairs look pretty tough! Congrats to Anette on finishing her first 10K!

Char said...

I've been really enjoying seeing the photos of you and Anette together. You both look just so happy. It's lovely to see.

Paul said...

Love all the cute photos of you two 8)

Good going to both of you!

Fun race! Great photos! Thanks for sharing.

Average Woman Runner said...

I love that first picture of you 2! So all your races sure make us look like wimps out here! Our road races seem so easy in comparison. This was a unique race for sure with the mix of trail & road.

Amy said...

How awesome that you got to run together! Some of my favorite races have been with my husband - it's a fun thing to do as a couple!

Robin said...

That's awesome, congratulations to both of you! Great pics again! Looks like a challening 10K!

Unknown said...

That is so awesome. I've only done one race with Andrew...... Hope I get a chance to race with him again.

I wish the two of you many successful races together!!!

ajh said...

That looks like a very tough 10K. Congratulations to Annette. And you did a great job recording all of it.

Giorgio said...

You are a long distance runner, Johann ... how can you enjoy a 10km race? :) Congrats to both of you on finishing that tough race! There were a lot of things to see along the running path ... I've never run through an old fort. Beautiful report, as always!

ajh said...

I love your idea of visiting NYC AFTER doing the Vermont 100.