Daily Archives: September 2, 2018

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Battle of the Sexes Medihelp 10km Race Review

And now for something completely different

Ever wondered what would happen if we neutralised the effect of gender at a race, and pitched the efforts of the top males and females against each other on equal grounds? Well, wonder no more. The Battle of the Sexes Medihelp 10km Tekkie Challenge does exactly that. How is this possible? By staggering the start times for males and females by the time difference between the personal records of the top participating athlete in each gender. 

While staggered-start, battle of the sexes type races are relatively well-known in the United States, the Tekkie Challenge is the only one of its kind in South Africa – therefore as a participant in this race you get a taste of something truly innovative and unique. As a female athlete starting out in the front, the “wait”  for the elite males to catch up adds a real element of excitement to the run and you find yourself pushing to see how far you can get before the boys come flying by.

There are countless events taking place in and around the Western Cape, and athletes are spoiled for choice every weekend. In this environment, I believe, event organisers who build innovative elements into their line up increase the attractiveness of their event and, over time, may see their races emerging onto the list of must-do-runs. In my opinion, the Medihelp 10km Battle of the Sexes is definitely one of these must-do-runs. Not only because of the staggered start, but also because the logistics of this event ran like a finely tuned machine in 2018. To top that off, the event is hosted in aid of a worthy cause. More about all of these aspects – and how far I got before the boys caught up – in the official ratings graphic below. 

Battle of the Sexes Medihelp 10km Review

Came close, but not quite as fast as I had hoped!

With the competitive nature of the start line I would have been hard pressed to stick to a low heart rate on this run. Lucky for me this week the programme prescribed a “flat out race”, dividing the run into three sections of 3-4-3. Tekkie Challenge Route Profile

The goal I set myself was to try break 50 minutes. However, sticking to the planned pace without tiring myself too much in the first five kilos proved hard since all the climbing was done on this portion. Although I made up time on the descent, I just did not have the leg speed to bring the pace down enough. In the end I finished 10km in 50:13 and the course (which was just over 10km) in 50:28 (my watch, not official stats). Still very happy with the outcome of the race, and will have to come back next year to try and beat my course best of 47:52. 

Proof that many little things all add up to something great 

At the risk of repeating myself, I would not fault this event on anything this year.

The event master of ceremony was a great entertainer, creating a good amount of hype leading up to the announcement of the staggered-start time difference. The 5km and 10km routes intersect at points, but enter the finish line area through two different gates which worked brilliantly. Yet, everyone finished under the same arch which was surrounded by a lively crowd. It was this type of logistical engineering around all the small details that added up to an outstanding event.

For all my raves about the pre- and post-race details, check out the infographic below. Battle of the Sexes Medihelp 10km Before and After

 

 

SATORI CAMEL RUN 2018 10 miler classic (16.1km)

Sunday 2nd September 2018.  Approximately an hours drive from Sunningdale through to Noordhoek.  So it really was a case of being up with the birds this morning, yes 05h00.  On opening our garage door we were met with heavy showers – a sign of things to come i’m thinking.  So off we set and well within an hour we reached our destination and parked in a well designated area.  The office was open for late entries and number collections – Nico Loubser however, collected his and my number the previous day, so no queing or hanging about for this.  The tea/coffee tents were buzzing with folk getting in a quick hot drink before braving the colder elements, mostly all suitably dressed for what lay ahead.  Possible temperature in Noordhoek a chilly 8 or 9 degrees – with rain or showers even, predicted.  The ever faithful Porta Loo’s were there in abundance, not disapointing those (including me) who needed a last one before hitting the road.  Again, really well organized with very little or no queing and a dedicated official armed with a ‘flushing bucket’.  Very impressive.

07h30 was set off time and that’s exactly what we did.  En masse we left the start line and shuffled our way forward to a narrow opening allowing just 2 or 3 runners at one given time to start the Camel Run.  Once through this and over a small slippery wooden bridge, it was go go go.  Until . . . yes, I have to add this – the dreaded camel hump hills that every man and his dog had warned me about.  Peter Chong had previously posted that the climbs were 329 metres x 2, I would have guessed they were a little more than that.  Torturous to be perfectly honest.  Handsoncoach Alan Green had advised me to run 20 steps then walk 20 steps, run 20 then walk 20.  I really started off with good intention until my second set and then all resistance crumbled.  Yup – all that good sound advice went in one ear and out the other.  I literally had to drag my sorry rear end up the camel humps muttering obscenities at each step.

Absolute bliss at the top of the hill however, one could see for miles if one dared take their eyes off the tricky surrounding terrain.  Down hill’s of grassy patches disguised under moss covered slippery stones – just asking to be slipped on or tripped over.  The remainder of the run was actually quite pleasant, if one likes running in the rain?  I was totally soaked from top to bottom along with every other participant.  Fabulous job from the marshalls – each one cheering us on – flags in hands for good direction.

And so crossing the final hurdle of yet more puddles and rain clouds, the last km became a reality that the Camel Run had been completed.  The hills were hard, no other way to describe them.  A beautiful run in the most scenic surroundings.  Finishers received a Camel Run Buff and I for one shall treasure mine forever.  What an experience.  And of course congratulations to all who entered and finished this course especially Iain Park-Ross who won his age category.  Who knew being 60 could be such fun!!

See you there next year . . . I’m in it for another Buff!  Fat bottom girls you make the rocking world go round.