Two Oceans Ultra & Comrades Marathon qualifier mostly run inside the West Coast National Park and hosted at the Langebaan Country Estate.
42.2km, 21.1km, 10km. 5km Fun run entries only available at Langebaan registration.
Hosted at the stunning venue Langebaan Country Estate organised by Langebaan Strandlopers in association with West Coast Honorary Rangers and run in accordance with ASA and BOLAND ATHLETICS RULES
Issie and I booked into a guest house Puza Moya in Langebaan for Friday night 17th March. Took a good old long walk along the beach into where the restaurants are and settled in at Perlies. We walked back after dinner having a relatively early night. Plagued by a confounded mosquito, we slept with the sliding door wide open as it was very warm indeed. Gee – it felt as though I had just closed my eyes when my alarm went off and it was time to get up and get out. Fortunately, Helen and her chap were staying over at the same guest house and were able to give Issie and I a lift through to the Langebaan Country Estate.
A short walk to the bus and within minutes we were on our way. Off to the start of yet another marathon. It was there that we met up with Andre Pepler, Willie Coetzee, Gary Britz, David Wilcock, David Yuill and Guy whatshisname. This is notoriously one race that doesn’t start on time. 06h15 came and went. More like 06h30 when the gun actually went off. Not quite light enough for me to run without a head torch, especially over the gravel road which just spells disaster for me!
Just after a km in, the road became tar, the light emerged along with a very fine welcome drizzle promising to keep the sun at bay. The scenery through the nature reserve is quite lovely. I saw some really beautiful flowers along the way but no sign of other life. Except those runners greeting me as they sped on by.
By this time I had found my rhythm and settled into a comfortable running pace. I then came across the most wonderful couple – Lauren Arendse and her partner. We ran as a threesome for quite some time until another runner Donny Dontknowhissurname joined us and off we went. The four of us actually stuck together for km’s to come and celebrated each road marker counting down as we went by.
At one point the heavens opened and the wind took up. We got absolutely soaked to the skin. Running through this cloud burst anyone could now hear us coming as our shoes had taken on a language of their own. A short while after, the rain subsided and returned to the drizzle that we had started off with. Plenty of cloud cover ensured the sun just wasn’t going to show it’s face today!
The water tables along the way – every 3km’s were extremely well stocked and manned by the very friendliest folk around. Youngsters running to meet one armed with ice cold water sachets in either hand. Oranges on the tables. Sweets on the tables. Coke & Crème Soda to choose from too. The peeps in Langebaan had certainly outdone themselves.
As we left the nature reserve Donny and I decided to break away somewhat and together we actually ran up the “heartbreak hill” AKA the Black Mamba at the 39 km mark where many runners are forced to walk. Here the water table not only offered coke and water, but ice-cold beer too. Yup ready for the taking as one battled by. I’m thinking they must have been very popular indeed as it’s a mere 3km’s to the finish. There is also a photographer encouraging everyone to jump as they pass him. I’d love to see the photos! Once at the top of the hill there was the most welcome table, I’ve ever laid eyes on. I think I must have devoured all but remaining coke available. Donny told me he was aiming to leg it from there and so we parted company. It was good fun running with him.
The last one to two km’s are a distant memory of blurriness blinded by the achiest feet, the wettest shoes and sheer exhaustion. I was well and truly done! My lovely friend Issie was waiting for me as I crossed the finished line and took off with my precious medal. We chatted for a moment whilst I caught my breath and waddled – me – out of the park towards the main road. Issie suggested we walk back to the guest house to collect the car but I was totally finished. So once out of the Country Club I stuck my thumb out and waved down a car which kindly took us back to the guest house.
Off with the shoes. Yup. Those shoes were talking to me big time. And I’d had them in chunks! Fortunately, we’d come through in Issie’s car so Issie drove us home. With me muttering about how tired I was and this had been my twelfth and final marathon.
And I stand by that. Running 42km’s just absolutely saps the energy out of my very being and I end up being flipping grumpy about it. So, my decision is now to concentrate on 21km runs. With the odd 30km thrown in. But mainly 21km’s.
I’ll still blog about the 21km’s though and try not to take them too seriously. But for now, it’s over and out.
Stay safe out there and be kind. Gill Blogger x