Cape Town Marathon – Sunday 16th October 2022

Sunday 16th October 2022 – by Gill Koch


Let me just get this out of the way. Three months ago I injured my hip. An MRI scan showed a stress fracture. My worst nightmare. I would be out of the running for not only many races but the CTM too. Totally devastated. But what’s a gal to do but dust off the running shoes and wear flip flops instead. If only for a while . . . . . . . .
Come race day, Mary L rang to say that they – Susan & Gillian G – had arrived nice and early, got a good parking spot and been at their destination from 07h00. Now that’s what I call dedication! Mary was giving me the heads up on roads being closed and parking availability. Lucky fish Mary has a rather large 4×4 which quite easily mounts pavements and other tricky obstacles. The plan was for Jacqui G to drive to mine then take off to Rondebosch Common at about 08h00. But being the organised peeps that we are, we took off half an hour earlier. Driving through was I must admit, a complete breeze. In fact just thirty minutes after leaving Sunningdale not only had we arrived at the Common but found parking too. Yup just like that! Done deal. We walked across the road from the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and voila, there we were.
Chatted briefly to Mary, Sue, Gillian and Tamster then headed off down the road with camera to hand. Passed Iain and exchanged a few words when I spotted Bruce. Time enough to snap him up as he took a few minutes out to chat with Tammy before taking off again. Sonja B was the next runner to be seen by me. Running strong. Running solo. Running in her zone. No time to chat or slow down, Sonz put her head down and carried on running.
Refreshment tables were more than plentiful. And as I explained to Tam and Jacqui strategic thinking must be one of my stronger points. I was as thirsty as a sponge and the Coke table had my name on it. The supporters there were more than happy to quench my thirst offering me unlimited cups of my favourite drink! So I took full advantage of their kindness and generosity making that my look out point for a while to come. It just would have been so rude not to?
So many runners out there. And warm too. I reckon it must have been in the twenties at 09h30 with it slowly climbing as the time went on. Folk running past at the time were sweating cobs and really making use of the shade offered at the refreshment tables.
Obviously it was my aim to capture as many West Coasters as humanely possible but with my haste of getting a picture their name came and went in one second flat. So I was left to shout West Coaster – look this way!! I sincerely hope nobody took umbrage to this shout out but it was that or nothing at all. Take it as a form of endearment instead. West Coaster!!
Of course, it was wonderful to see first time marathon runners competing in this epic race. So right here and now I’d like to congratulate and take my hat off to Paula van der Merwe, Bronwyn Adams & Christa de Beer. I’m sure that are more out there but those are the only ones I know and know of. So, to every single peep out there running their first marathon – well done you fabulous West Coaster you!!!
After the majority of our club members had passed us supporters on the side of the road, Jacqui and I decided to call it a day. Head back to the car and drive on home. Tammy on the other hand drove down to the finish line as did Iain and Mary in her 4×4. Enough supporting for one day. It’s hard work yelling, taking photo’s and being vigilant as not to miss a club member!
Driving home was as quick as driving in. A U-turn opposite the children’s hospital and we were on our way. Next stop Sunningdale. Cheerio to Jacqui and hallo to yet more ice-cold coke and an afternoon to just relax!
I have to run this race next year. My withdrawal symptoms were just too much. No more injuries . . . . please!

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