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

Wednesday 24 December 2014

48 Hour Circuit Race Report

It's been 3 days since the end of the 48 Hour Circuit Race and I better get this report done before Christmas comes and goes...

In short - it went very well and I achieved all the goals and expectations I had. Yes, I'm finishing 2014 on a high!

My home for the 48 hours.

I went into this race in what was probably my worst shape and state of fitness in more than 10 years for December. After a year of missing goals and races I was not going to cancel or withdraw from the race. Instead I just lowered my goal a bit.

A few handshakes before the start.

My goal was to run at least 120km. This was always the minimum requirement for the 48 hour race so I thought it would be a good goal to aim for. I ran 123.9km and I am very happy! I also stayed within my limits and  I am happy to say I have no injuries or any other serious discomforts after the race and training for January will continue as planned.

End of lap 1.

My plan was to literally pace myself to cover "only" 120km during the race. This meant I could rest during the hot hours of the day and could run when I felt ready and good.

The start was warm and dry.

5 Laps done and all good. I finished with 263 laps.

From the start I just kept going at my own pace with my own race and goal to focus on. As soon as I started feeling uncomfortable  I would slow down and take on food and fluids. Just before I got really tired I would stop for a rest. I never started running again before I felt recovered and well rested.

Taking a break in my tent.

Starting again after a rest break was probably the hardest part of my race. Sore legs and feet became a reality at some point, but I soon found that it took about two and a half 471m laps to sort me out, moving on to the next milestone.

There was not a moment I felt bored...

6 and 10 day runners.

Always someone to follow...

Always someone to see...

Milestones came in the form of number of laps completed and kilometers run. As one lap was 471m there was a bit of math involved to calculate kilometers done. Luckily the wonderful RD, Eric Wright, had conversion tables at hand that made it easy.

Lap to km conversion tables.

Eats and drinks were well stocked 24/7.

RD at the counting station.

The first 24 hours was not too bad but the 2nd 24 had a few mental battles with lack of sleep definitely playing a part. By now I was also quite sore as this was by far the longest run I have done in a very long time. I was very happy that my son Rohann joined me for the last 30 hours for support and help. He didn't sleep at all and was always there when I needed anything.

I loved the night hours!

100km done!

110 done! This was my best part of the race.

I knew my lack of fitness and general bad shape would not be able to recover from a bad patch so I took my breaks just as I started feeling that bad patch coming on. It worked like a dream and I was ticking over the kilometers slowly but surely.

We changed direction every 8 hours.

I could always smile!

I made sure I ate properly and had quite a lot of soup at night with proper breakfast in the mornings. Coffee was also great during the colder morning hours. Still, this is mid-summer here in Johannesburg and the heat was actually the worst enemy. I just planned my run to avoid spending too much time in the burning sun.

Rohann always ready to help.

Get out and run!

I completed my planned 120km with 3 hours and 10 minutes of the race remaining. It was perfect! I did not waist energy on pushing for more laps and just did a few with friends, including one last victory lap,

120km done! Goal achieved!

48 Hours and 123.9km (263 laps) complete.

The race itself was incredible with Eric and his wife Marlene doing an outstanding job to make everything for everyone perfect. Everything was super! There were plenty support and lots and lots to eat and drink all day and night. These guys really go out of their way to put on a fantastic event. Well done and thank you to each and everyone that make this race happen.

Happy and relieved to be done. Thanks Rohann!

My race was part of the Running Festival Johannesburg and there was 10 Day, 6 Day, 48 Hour, 24 Hour, 12 Hour Day and 12 Hour Night races. All put on by RD Eric Wright. All were fantastic!

Receiving my trophy from Eric.

With some fellow 48hour crazies. Brian next to me won the race with 203km.

Although I did "only" 123.9km I am extremely happy with myself. Not many 51 year old slow plodders can boast that they have done this or can do this. It is still a great achievement. It is exactly what I needed to end the year and go into 2015.

Personalized goodie bag with name and race number.

T-shirt and cap.

Sock tan... :)

Rain jacket.

Trophy and distance certificate.

I will be back next year. The question is for which race. I have my eye on the 6 day, but I would also like to do a 200 to 250km 48 hour run... Let's see what I am writing in a year's time :)

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Final preparations for my 48 hour race

The 10 day and 6 day circuit race runners are still going strong. We've had quite a lot of rain here in Johannesburg the last few days but the track is actually still looking good.

My tent is up and waiting for me to move in...

My home for the weekend.

View to the right,

View to the front.

View to the left.

The orange cones in the photo above is at the medical tent. Not far from my spot...just in case... :)

Medic at our service.

I register tomorrow and will move all my goods into my tent, although I will still sleep at home in my own bed tomorrow evening. Friday 10AM is almost here...

My high level list of goodies is below. The detailed lists are very long. I will rather refer to the items as I use them in my race report.

Cooler boxes
Non-running clothes
Non-running shoes & flip-flops
Running gear and bags
Toothpaste & brush
Food & drinks
Gas cylinder
Plates, mugs, glasses
Medic kit
Reading glasses
Paper towels
Bug repellent
Suntan lotion
Hats & caps

I actually have 4 lists in total.

Happy running everyone!

Monday 15 December 2014

Circuit Race Craziness

The Johannesburg Running Festival is in full swing with the 10 Day runners into their 3rd day today. Tomorrow sees the start of the 6 Day race and then it will be my turn on Friday when the 48 Hour race starts. There will also be a 24 Hour race as well as a 12 Hour day race and a 12 Hour night race.

A typical circuit race scene. I love this!

Yesterday I popped in at the track for some support to the brave 10 Day runners... or is that totally crazy 10 Day runners...

I also used the opportunity to walk the track and see what the loop of 471m is all about. It is mostly grass and completely flat. By Friday I don't think there will be much grass left.

I think the whole lap will look something like this by Friday.

As usual Eric Wright, the RD, is putting on a great race and he and his wife's efforts are amazing. All for the love of this wonderful sport. They really go out of their way to make each runner's experience as enjoyable as possible.

Have to know what time it is...

Lap counting and time keeping.

Pool for those really warm hours.

Having a look around also helped me to make sure my list of what to bring is as complete as possible. One thing I've learned from these long races is that I would rather be there with hundred things I don't need than without one thing I do need. My list is long... I will post it some time this week. I wrote it in Afrikaans and need to translate it first.

I also had a look at what is typically provided at the feeding station. The race provides a feeding station with Coke, Powerade and a few different treats to eat. This is a combination of sweet and salty snacks.

Lots of nice treats!


Conversion charts - number of laps to kilometers.

I also chatted to some of the 10 Day runners I know. These guys are really brave and have very strong minds. In the process of chatting to them I kind of committed to doing the 6 Day race next year... We'll see about that :)

This is likely to be the spot where my tent will be.

So I am now even more excited and really getting my plan together. The atmosphere at an event like this is very unique. 4 days to go!

Have a great week everyone!