Same race, new strategy
Conditions were good for the running of the John Korasie 30km road race on 19 August 2018. It was cloudy (but not raining), cool (but not unbearable) and best of all the wind was not blistering.
Many runners, including yours truly, use John Korasie 30km as a training run for the upcoming Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. There is enough time for the body to recover well before taking on the 42.2km event in September and for me it helps instill the confidence that I am ready to tackle the marathon distance.
This was my third running of the event, but the first attempt to use it as a low-heart rate (LHR) training run. As a recovering race-a-holic who typically employs the “run like a wild rabid boar is chasing you” approach to events, it certainly ain’t easy to switch the modus operandi that drastically.
It was a case of team work makes dream work
Enter a bunch of the Cool Cats from Norrie Training Group C. We chose to run the course together, stopping to walk together each time a member of our “bus” needed to bring their HR down. The five lovely ladies, and our dashing bodyguard made the vexing challenge of keeping my HR below 140 a pleasant and entertaining experience. Our team spirit was high and the support from fellow athletes and supporters on the road added to the genuine enjoyability of the run. It was great hearing the comments about the “sea of red and blue” as we passed by. And then there was the scenery, it is quite astounding just how much of the proverbial view you miss out on when charging along at (your version) of breakneck speed.
My favourite moment in the race was our sprint finish in the final kilometer as we chased down the Spartan Harriers with whom we had been back-and-forth bantering with all along the route. One of the spectators shouted “West Coast team work is dream work” as we entered the Sports Fields grounds and the race MC welcomed our bus seconds after the Spartans. It was high fives all around and of course a group photo, special moments since I generally do not have the air in my lungs to enjoy these at the end of an event.
So a BIG shout out to Ingrid Minter, Nicky Stander, Angela Lurssen, Zita Brandon and Lizl de Klerk (aka the lovely ladies), as well as Matt Smith (our bodyguard) – it was a delight to run with you.
So how would I rate this race?
The race is certainly growing in popularity with an increase of more than 50% in entries from 2015 to 2017 when there were more than 2000 finishers. My estimate is that this has increased further in 2018, but we will have wait for the official race results to come out to confirm my observation.
Readers of my earlier blog will be familiar with the set of criteria I have selected to rate events that I participate in, and below you will find my review of the John Korasie 30km road race on this set of factors.
What worked and what did not?
Let us start with me before we comment on the race. What did not work was my watch battery, or let me rephrase, my attempt to charge my watch battery the night before the race. It was plugged in, but obviously not properly because at 25.5km it died on me. I am not too fussed as this was a training run and not an attempt at a lifetime PB – but still my Strava now looks like I jumped off one of the cliffs en route! Meh.
Now on to the event itself. I have to commend the race organisers on their continued improvements managing the race entries and collection. My experience this year was by far the best of the three. There remains, in my opinion, only one aspect of this race that needs tweaking – the infamous queue for the loo. Its long, and it takes long to get to the front. Longer than usual it feels, although this may be due to the fact that the drive from home is further than a typical drive and thus the wait feels worse. The pre-run bathroom stop is never going to be the best part of anyone’s race day experience, but perhaps just a few more porta-loos would do the trick.
Read on below for a more detailed review of what to expect before and after the event.
Want to rant or rave?
We all experience events differently, so keen to hear from other West Coasters what your favourite moment of the day was. Or alternatively, what did not work out?