After posting on Face Book about getting a lift to the Tygerberg 30km, George Lemon was kind enough to respond and advised that he would be picking me up at 05h00 on Sunday morning. Being an early riser this would prove no problem to me bearing in mind my up time would be 04h15. That’s pretty early hey! The race number collection happened to be at Tygervalley Sportsmans Warehouse and I must thank Nikki Crous for not only collecting my number but delivering it too. Thank you so much Nikki, this saved me yet another trip. Much appreciated.
Sunday morning up before the birds to an otherwise very very quiet household. Carl asleep. Bron – my daughter visiting from the UK – asleep. So it really was a case of getting my gear on and heading for the front door. I’ll say one thing for George – he’s extremely prompt with his timing. He arrived at 05h00 on the dot. And this after collecting Barry Radloff. Tucked myself into the back seat – extremely comfortable – and off we went. There were hardly any cars on the road and we actually joked about being sure the race was actually this Sunday? But the closer we got to the Athletic Club the traffic picked up somewhat and the marshals were now clearly visible. Parking was a breeze with just a short walk across a slightly mud soaked field to where the running track lay.
It was here that we were met by not only other runners but those from West Coast too. Friendly familiar faces formed groups on the main grandstand with lots and lots of chatter about past runs completed and the one that lay ahead today. A couple of club group photo’s and it was off to the start line. By now I had decided it might just be a good idea to join Francois Grobler and Monique Schutte on their 3h30 bus. And then it was 06h00. No delays. Just 06h00 on the dot and away we went.
It takes me a good couple of km’s to find my feet and set my rhythm, today being no exception. We most definitely had the best weather on our side which offered plenty of cloud cover and a slight breeze. With our bus driver at the fore it really was a straightforward run for the first 10kms. Stopping at each watering hole, with the countdown loud and clear alerting one of a change of pace. And was the bus busy? – you bet your bottom dollar it was. Crikey if it had been a double decker I would have had to sit upstairs!
This race features a monster 2.4km climb starting around the 13km mark called Big Mama, which is bound to give one a good run for one’s money. No pun intended. But it’s pretty gentle actually, it just goes on and on and then some. Once done however there are downhills at the ready which does offer some respite. Running next to the wine farms the aroma of fermenting grapes proved that this was wine country indeed.
The next 10km’s were pretty straightforward too but not without a hill or two chucked in for good measure. The water tables along the way were faultless. Stocked up with loads of ice cold water sachets, coke and here’s a new one for me – lucozade orange in a plastic sachet? Absolutely delicious – note to self – drink more of these. And most tables supplied these. Marshals were plentiful as was the traffic department controlling the cars allowing the runners across the now busy roads.
After resting a little longer at water table number twenty one it was evident that I would have to pull out every stop to maintain my pace if I wanted my seat on Francois’ bus. Try as I may, and believe me I tried, it just wasn’t going to happen. In fact I could see the 3h30 flag disappearing ahead of me as I watched on in disappointment. But a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do – pick up those feet, get going and keep going.
Once at the 27km mark I knew we were on the verge of finishing. One could almost smell the medals and taste the coke. Club members drove past me on their way home – sorry Zita and Nikki – by then I needed all the energy I could muster up and save my breath for the final 3kms. James waved and hollered as he drove by whilst plenty of runners wished me well with the promise of the finish line well within my reach. And it was. Dug deep for a little bit of oomph to cross the line and hey presto I had 30km in the bag. Coming in at just 6 minutes later than they bus I’d hoped to stay on. Perhaps next time?
Francois and Monique, you are the most amazing bus drivers. Can’t say my favourite as I often hop on and off busses not driven by either of you and just as good. So I’ll put it like this – I really enjoyed your bus today. I really enjoyed it.
Bronwyn and Felicia welcomed me over the line with great enthusiasm and my very own Bron snapped a couple of photo’s of me coming in. I cannot tell a lie and declare I was most grateful to see the end of the 30km.
So until next time peeps. Have a good read, keep both feet on the ground and be kind. Blogger Gill x