Weskus 21km

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


And so the morning began at an early bird time of 04h00.  I purposely leave my phone in the lounge on a charger so that when the alarm goes off, I have to get up and turn it off!  No flies on me.  Saturday morning was no different of course with the Weskus 42, 21 and 10km on offer.  Merle and Tanith had arranged to collect me at 04h50 with Merle’s husband Stuart at the wheel.  An uneventful road trip up to Langebaan with selected small talk at that time of the morning.  Within an hour, Stuart had kindly taken us to the entrance of the Country Estate which left us ample time to visit the all important plastic porta loos.  How fortunate were we being able to just walk on in as the queue hadn’t started yet – bonus for us.  Timing is everything however, as when we turned to leave the queue was up past the cafe offering early morning coffee.

The 42km run had taken off at 06h15 whilst the 21km had been scheduled for 06h30 and the 10km 06h45.  The turn out of West Coasters for both the marathon and the 21km was really quite impressive.  Our club colours stood out proudly amongst the other runners boasting our red, white and blue.

But now it was 06h30 and time to conquer the 21km that lay ahead.  The first 3km’s are relatively straightforward with a slight hill chucked in for good measure.  Out of the 21km probably 30% of the route was run on sand/dirt/rocks/stones – equating to at least 7km’s to look forward to.  I have no desire to run off road whatsoever and take my hat off to those who do.  However, my good friend Amanda said always to run with one’s feet as high as possible to avoid the rocks calling out and staring at me from below!  The paths were narrow and a growth of prickly reeds decided on one’s run being chosen to run on the left side, or the right?  Pot holes and many distractions made concentrating a top priority.  Once I’d reached the tarmac at the end off road stretch, I could quite easily have kissed the ground.  Gee for me it was seriously hard work and I ended up with hunched up shoulders and a tight neck.  Definitely not my favourite.

On to better things now with the tar road underfoot but still in the National Park.  Now I felt quite at home cruising alone at my own pace in my happy place.  At approximately 17km one was faced with what is fondly referred to as the Black Mamba.  I’ve tackled this hill measuring a mere 500 meters on numerous occasions and it just doesn’t get any easier no matter how many times it run.  There was a young woman that kept me company from the offset and she was still with me as I started the climb the Mamba.  I was determined to make it to the top as coach Alan had advised, taking smaller steps without putting the heel down trying to keep a constant pace.  With my new found friend at my side, the two of us made it to the top without stopping congratulating each other as we breathed a sigh of relief.

The end was now in sight.  And non too soon either.  Mostly flat road lay ahead with the occasional down hill made running in just that little bit sweeter.  Sadly my friend slackened her pace somewhat which left me by myself to enter the grassed section in the Langebaan Country Estate and cross the finish line with an official time of 02h32.  And I must confess I am 100% happy with that!

Once back at the WCAC gazebo, it was time for my favourite drink and a good sit down!  The gazebo with busy indeed with not only those who had run and completed the 10km but the front runners in the 21km too.  Our very own Grahame Goodman came in with an incredible 01h25, Michelle Minnaar hot on his heels with 01h31 and Hayley Misic crossing the line with an enviable 01h42.  Our first three top 21km runners.  I’m just going to say WOW and leave it there.

I don’t have too much information with regards the 42km but I do know that Luca Boyana took first place coming in over the line with 02h53.  Yikes not much more than my results having run the 21km!!  Second home was Troy de la Harpe giving Luca a run for his money with 02h53 and third place went to Sipho Nodliwa with 03h37.

I’m absolutely over the moon with the results for Nelia Henry with 04h55.  This is such a good time.  Equally as good goes to Monique Martins 04h56 and Amelia Lourens 04h39.  Such hard work pays of and the evidence is as clear as daylight.

I’d like to add that the organization of the Weskus day whether it be a 42, 21 or 10km was just superb.  So hats off to the organisers who – as we know – work tirelessly around the clock enabling such a huge event only to be the success it was.  The marshals were friendly and well informed.  The water tables were so well stocked not only with coke and water but with sweets and finger food ready for the taking.  I simply cannot fault the day and look forward to their production next year because God willing I’ll be there!!

Tanith, Merle and her husband Stuart took me home and I’m really grateful and thankful for the ride there and back.

As always, this is my opinion and it is my hope that no offence has been taken with me blogging this article.  See you on the road peeps – Gill x