Thank you to Gill for another beautifully written account of her experience of the 2022 Two Oceans Half Marathon.
If any other members would like to share your own running experiences and battle stories on this platform please speak to Justin.
When the entries opened for the Two Oceans I was absolutely hell bent on entering the Ultra. I had never run one before and seeing Heidi du Plessis wear her running T shirt on our morning runs, I decided that I’d like one of those. And so I entered my name into the draw and lo and behold I received an email saying yes, with proof of a five hour marathon (or less) I could participate in the Ultra. After running Hemel & Aarde in Hermanus, I began to question my running abilities. Although I finished the marathon in 5 hours, I was well spent and all I could think of was adding yet another 14km’s to my completed 42. Two weeks later I ran the Weskus Marathon up in Langebaan. Well that’s another story. First 21km went swimmingly well. And even up to about the 30km mark I was doing ok. And then my wheels fell off – both of them, and I ended up walking, fake running and dragging my very sorry backside along the remaining Km’s waving and nodding at spectators and talking 100% bullshyte to Tania Mehl who joined my quest of defeat to the finish line! It was probably there and then my mind was made up that the Ultra would not be taking place – for me. I was disappointed in myself, but after a long chat to me, not running would definitely be the lesser of the two evils.
On Monday 11th ladies that lunch (Zita and I) were chatting in general – oh ok, it was about running – what else could it possibly have been?? Zita suggested that I ring Two Oceans to enquire if I could enter the 21km. To my surprise, amazement and sheer delight they were still taking in entries and there and then I was in like a long dog!
On Wednesday Sofia and I piled into Janine’s Fortuner and off we went to the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Half and hour drive in, half an hour at the Expo and half an hour to get back home. Done and dusted in chop stick time, even stopping for a light bite and a cup of tea.
Saturday morning 04h00. Yup, that’s the time my alarm was set for. Enough time to get down to the San Souci Girls High School in Newlands. Janine had purchased a parking ticket which would ensure safe parking and avoid coasting the narrow one way streets of Newlands. But guess what? The gates to the ever so exclusive school were well and truly locked with not a soul in sight to open or unlock the gates. We drove around the block not once but twice in the hope of the gates finally be opened and having access to the prepaid parking facility. But again, that just wasn’t going to happen. Numerous cars had the same thought as us, hanging around a while ….hoping! I’ll have a refund thank you! Eventually we parked on the side of the road alongside many many other athletes and walked to our starting pens.
Great morning for a run. Bit windy to start off with but nothing to write home about. The gun went off and with just two minute intervals between each batch, we were off and on our way. I managed to keep my pace following the 02h15 bus for the first 10kms. Stopping at each watering hole satisfying my now southern suburbs thirst. Plenty of tables very well equipped and supported with Coke, Energade, Fanta and water. A couple of the bigger clubs had set up gazebo’s along the way offering their members good things to eat and drink. The spectators had turned out in their droves with banners, fancy dress, music and so much more, obviously looking out for their runner of choice. West Coasters had their very own Jacqui Giles and Bruce & Tamster handing out waves and words of encouragement. Really good to see you peeps. Thanks so much for being there.
Once up Edinburgh Drive it became a pleasant run to say the very least. No big surprises. Just trotting along enjoying the tarmac. By now the sun had come out but not to the point of baking one alive. Just enough to take the chill off and warm one up a little. As we got closer to Rhodes Drive I asked a fellow runner which hill we were on as we approached the top as there was lots of noise and much excitement going on – he confirmed we’d just run up Southern Cross Drive! I have Wietse and his Saturday hill training runs to thank for this. Such good practice to get out there and run Durbanville hills. I can honestly say thank you Wietse!
So entering Newlands confirmed we were just about home with approximately 5 or 6km’s to go. Still spectators lined the streets, cheering and clapping as we made our down and even closer to home by now and once the grass was beneath our feet, well it was all over. Another Two Oceans half marathon done. Receiving cans of coke at the finish line was most welcome and made a pleasant change to the half filled paper cups. So that’s it for another year then. I thoroughly enjoyed this race, from beginning to end. In my opinion, well organised – apart from the non existent parking and well supported too. The Ultra however remains on my bucket list……”