Spartan Harriers Firgrove Challenge 15km

Saturday 4th February 2023

Déjà vu is a French loanword for the phenomenon of feeling as though one has lived through the present situation before. It is an illusion of memory whereby — despite a strong sense of recollection — the time, place, and context of the “previous” experience are uncertain or impossible.  And so it was with today – this morning – this very Saturday.  I could have sworn blind I’d done it all before just a week ago, and that’s because I had!

Only difference being last Saturday I woke up in Fish Hoek whereas this morning I woke up at home.  And a little earlier.  Sonja had been kind enough to collect our race numbers from Tygervalley Sportsman’s Warehouse on Friday afternoon.  Then come this morning it really was a case of slipping into my West Coast outfit and heading off to collect Heidi for 04h20.  Paula was already waiting at the Total Garage for us in her new set of wheels, a white car

.  Very oooh la la.  And so comfortable.  I tend to head for the back seat more often than not and there is so much room available, I could well have been much much taller and it wouldn’t have made any difference at all!  Setting off at 04h30 ensured our 40km trip through to Constantia would enable a timeous uneventful journey.  And fortunately it was.  After parking and plodding through the grassed pot holes we arrived at the start just as it was getting light.  Did anyone see the moon last night or very early this morning?  Paula pointed it out to us, quite magnificent boasting a luminous orange hue across the sky.

Up front towards the start line the outlined shadow of David Yuill could be seen.  He managed to get a prime position alongside Samantha Knaggs.  At exactly 05h45 the gun went off and it was time to tackle the Firgrove Challenge.  This was the route.  Start in Firgrove Way.  Right into Spaanschemat.  Left Nova Constantia.  Right Klein Constantia.  Left Pagasvlei.  Right Constantia Main.  Left Parish.  Left Sebastian.  Left Duckitt.  Right Silverhurst.  Right Southern Cross.  Left Glen.  Left Picardie.  Right Rathfelder.  Right Brommersvlei.  Right Southern Cross.  Left Parish.  Crossover Constantia into Ladies Mile.  Right at Circle into Spaanschemat.  Left Strawberry Lane.  Left Ridgedale.  Right Willow.  Left Spaanschemat.  Left Firgrove.  Then my very favourite – right to finish at school!  Now in all honesty, if anyone thinks or believes for one minute of the day that I actually remembered all that they would be sadly mistaken.  It’s called cut and paste.  And without this information I’d be up the creek without a paddle.  Which reminds me now – if you have the opportunity to Paddel at the WCAC I strongly advise it.  Loads of fun.  Especially if you play with someone who can actually hit the ball.  Carl of course has little faith in my coordination ability and wanted to know what time i’d be moering someone over the head!

But for now back to Firgrove.  The scenery that I managed to catch a glimpse of was truly beautiful.  Constantia really is so green.  None of that helped me on the hills however and some of those long long uphills were just never ending.  I was extremely careful to save my legs on the downs as I knew there would be flats waiting.  The Spartan Harriers offered water and/or coke at three tables along the way.  More than adequated I’d say for a 15km run.  Marshalls were plentiful and very cheerful indeed.  Traffic police made their presence known and directed the traffic in the favour of the runner.  I never get to take this for granted and always appreciate the time and effort that a club puts in when organizing a race.  There were loads of cardboard bins too but as you know, and there’s always one – the cup didn’t quite make it.  And it’s just left for someone else to pick it up and dispose of it.  

Counting the km signs gave me great hope and satisfaction when I came across number 14.  Yes with just one km to go I managed to keep the feet going and crossed the line with a time of 1 hour 41 mins.

Not a lot of West Coasters present today but some amazing times achieved.  How I seriously dont know.  But be that as it may here are a few:  Samantha Knaggs 1:32.  Richard Knagges 1:32 (one would swear these two are related??)  Iain Park-Ross 1:24.  Look at this one – David Yuill 1:08 what???  And our Paula van der Merwe 1:38

Another Saturday morning run completed.  And peeps as usual I end off with the abovementioned being my opinion, plus the race times are the only ones which were available on Strava.  

So ’till next time race for pace, run for fun . . . and be nice x

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