Pinelands 10km Road Race – By Gill Koch

“Pinelands 10km Road Race & 5km Fun Run/Walk

Sunday 31st July 2022

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by
You know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good

Chirpy lyrics from the incredibly talented Michael Bublé.  Just what was needed on the coldest Sunday known to mankind.  I’m not 100% sure of the temperature but it wasn’t much at all.  Making it cold.   Very very cold.  After spotting a post from our Social Organiser Tammy aka Tamster -Tam – and even Linda, Tammy announced – I am in, who is joining.  Well it would be downright rude not to seeing that official runs have been ever so thin on the ground of late – what with Covid blah blah blah and not many sponsors jumping to the fore.  So what’s a gal to do but gather other gals to make up the numbers and offer support to our neighbouring club – Pinelands Athletic Club.  I’ll admit it didn’t take too much persuading before the head count came to a healthy five Westies ready to run the challenge. 

Trudy and Paula offered us a ride through which we gladly accepted, with Megan and I prompting Trudy to keep that heater pumped up as we drove to Pinelands.  Once there it was time to collect the running numbers – which happened to be the small pink cards to be completed and popped back into the plastic zip lock bag.  As time drew nearer to 07h30 it was clear that there was a good field of runners – over 1600 – who had turned out for the morning.  Various busses were available, for the ever fit over achievers to 60 and 65 minutes – my kinda bus!

Slight delay in taking off due to who knows what, but we started five minutes late and when we did start there was such a bottle neck of runners that it really was difficult to get going.  It started evening out after the first km or so and by that time my bus had left the station and was long gone!  Such a pity as I had hoped to be a passenger.  Many runners – including me – ran wearing long sleeves/jackets as the elusive sun had not yet made its appearance and by the looks of things, it wasn’t going to happen anyway.  The route had been clearly set out with ample marshals egging one on, waving their flags and offering words of encouragement.  And no, it wasn’t – net om die draai – it was a 10km run!  A slight short incline was included in the route but other than this, it really was a pleasant flat run – as advertised.

There was one water/coke table that I recall, but didn’t bother stopping as I was watching the time.  I did however remove my jacket and slipped it around my waist, still no sign of the sun, just cooking from the run.

Before too long I hit the 10km marker and knew that it was only a matter of time now before I crossed the finish line.  Alongside hordes of others, we seemed to open up a bit and put voet!  Unfortunately for me though, the Club Standard wouldn’t be mine on this race.  Just meters from the finish, the commentator started his count down to under 60 minutes – and I missed it by exactly 8 seconds!  A miss is as good as a mile they say but honestly, I could have scampered off and cried buckets!

Be that as it may, our Sonja Brand came in before me as strong as an ox.  Paula managed to achieve a PB on this run followed by Trudy and Megan.  Once over the finish line we made our way over to Bruce who was waiting for Tammy to make her appearance.  Camera at the ready, it was Tam’s time to shine.  Loads of shouting and cheering as she ran on to the field and crossed the finish line with determination.  Once all the Westies were in, we gathered to chat, compare notes, drink coke and pose for photos.  This is genuinely one run that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Well organised.  Well run (no pun intended)

Podium Winners Elisabeth Stavenga won 3rd place in ladies 40+ age category plus a bronze club standard.  Louise Rudolph Kumm won 3rd place in ladies 60+ age category plus a silver club standard.  Other bronze club standards winner were Ren James, David Yuill, Angela Lurssen and Sonja Brand.

I’d like to add that this was a good morning out!!  Thank you Pinelands Athletic Club.”

WCAC Results:

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