Totalsports Women’s Race on National Women’s Day – By Gill Koch

Tuesday 9th August 2022

Myrun Blouberg is hosted by West Coast Athletic Club and it runs along the Blouberg beachfront promenade.  Relying on volunteers to marshal at the 2.5 & 5km turn around point, Carl and I opted to do exactly this on Sunday 6th August.  Paula v d Merwe had volunteered to manage the 5km distance at the Blouberg Wall so our spot would be at the 2.5km.  After collecting our signage from Tracey Bock we headed off to begin our duty.  Gee it was cold.  With that confounded breeze coming directly off the ocean, I kept my eye on who the last runner was so that we could pack up and defrost in the warmth of the car.

Totalsports WR had advertised that one could collect numbers & Tee’s on Sunday or Monday.  No collections on race day whatsoever.  So after our stint of marshaling, we headed into Cape Town where Carl parked and waited in the car with Basil.  Yes Basil.  Basil had marshalled with us and now he was watching the world go by through the car window – with Carl.  I have to say the organization of collecting one’s number was an absolute breeze.  An pleasure to be sure.  The City Hall is a large Edwardian building in Cape Town city centre which was built in 1905. It is located on the Grand Parade to the west of the Castle and is built from honey-coloured oolitic limestone imported from Bath in England.  Such an imposing building which must surely be steeped in history . . . . and secrets!  Once up numerous flights of stairs the collection points were more than ample – with no queues whatsoever!  Walked straight in and picked up the packages for Paula and I. 

Come Tuesday morning my alarm went off signaling that it was race day.  Paula was kind enough to drive us through and parking was really no problem at all.  If anyone knows where the Dias Tavern is in Caledon Street, there’s a large parking lot opposite the restaurant.  Well that’s exactly where we parked.  There were parking attendants present which definitely offered one peace of mind. 

A short walk to the start line of this long standing race which was originally incepted in 2001.  But first, the most important thing of all before a race, any race – the loo!  I think every (wo)man and his dog needed the porta loo . . . . just in case!  Again, so well organized.  There was an attendee  rolling off lengths of paper for each woman ensuring no shouts of – there’s no toilet paper!!

Once in the crowd of women mostly wearing their pink Tee’s it was every (wo)man for themselves.  The Tee’s I must add were of superior quality, a good honest fit with the option of personalizing it for a small fee.  Squeezing, shoving, waving, shouting and singing, hoping to get just one step closer to the start line.  At eight on the dot, the gun went off and thousands upon thousands of women turned on their watch for the mat to mat timing.  Probably for the first km, one had no chance of running whatsoever.  Unless of course you happened to be one of the front runners – Louise Kumm being one of them.  Louise was ready to run and prepared to knock seconds off her time at the Pinelands 10km.  Paula and I had arranged to meet at one of the gazebo’s after the race then head off back to the car from there.

The route was really interesting.  Lots to see on the way and quite a few hills to tackle too.  Very very well supported with friendly marshals egging one on.  Two water holes offering coke, lucozade and sachets of ice cold water had been placed at 3 & 7km respectively.  Women from all walks of life entered this fun run.  Because at the end of the day that’s exactly what it was.  A fun run.  Ages ranging from the very young to women over 80.  We had the weather on our side and although it was chilly to start with, after a few km’s the sun came out and warmed up the runners.  This one included.  But this runner had suffered a pulled muscle in the thigh which really slowed down things enormously.  Be that as it may, I can honestly say a good day all round and once again extremely well organized.

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