So, today I can officially blog about this… because I just got my official results! YAY!
On March 31, I took part in my first official road race: The Denel Road Race. All in preperation for my first Comrades Marathon in 2013. They had two races running simultaneously, a 10km and 21km race. I had entered for the 10km race, didn’t really want to over do it on my first race.
I left home around 04:45, because the race started at 06:00 and still had to put fuel in my car before I could go. I arrived in Centurion at around 05:25, still drizzling after the nights massive storm, expecting to park my car, stroll to the registration desk and get to the start line well before the starters gun would go off. Well well well… was I in for a surprise!
I was about 2km away from the venue hen I hit stand still traffic… who in their right mind would expect stand stil traffic at half past five i the morning? Clearly not me. I didn’t realise that there would be so many people at this event (after all, it was my first time). I saw a car about 100m in front of me make a U-turn, I followed my gut and decided to follow this person, maybe they new a short cut. By now it was 05:40… 20minutes before start time. And thankfully this person did know a short cut, we managed to cut out at least half of the traffic jam and came out approximately 800m from the venue’s entrance. By now my palms were sweaty, my half racing and my stomach churning. I was so nervous I was going to miss my race. And if I did, I was going to be so disappointed with myself. Eventually I got into the venue and found a parking, it was now 05:57, and my idea of a stroll to the registration desk ended up being more of a warm-up run.
My parking was, I am guessing, almost 1km from the registration desk, well at least it felt like that. By the time I got to the edge of the field, still about 200m from registration, I heard the dreaded annoucement: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are 1min away from start time”. And I still had to collect my race numbers! I felt I was in serious trouble. I eventually got to the registration desk, still had to fill out the forms on my race numbers and get them pinned to my t-shirt… I was stressing, I couldn’t stand still, and standing in a queue really didn’t help me at all. Waiting for a pen too, I was so worked up I was ready to stab someone with the pen when it didn’t want to work, and I had to wait for another pen.
Eventually I got things sorted, and I was on my way to the start line, which by now, was pretty much deserted. I was about 10-15min late for my race, what a disappointment. And, to add to the disappointment, I had forgotten my iPod in the car. So I couldn’t track my time and distance along the way. But, instead of stressing about all of this, I decided to let it all go and focus on the race, running, like swimming, somehow helps me clear my head, I go into this zone where I can think and de-stress.
And so I began my run, I caught up to the crowd, and in order to pass them all and make up for being late, I ran on the side of the road through the mud, eventually some of the people started follow me and we all managed to get past most of the people and back onto the road. The first 5km was a breeze, quick and short up and downhill’s… The last stretch of the 5th km though, was a really steep down hill… and even though downhills are a dream when running a race, there is one thing most people tend to forget… an uphill is almost certain to follow a downhill… especially in a longer race. And as I expected, there was an uphill that followed, a long, steady and torturous uphill. Most of the last 5km was uphill.
But I pushed through and made it to the finish line, with 7 of the 21km race runners lapping me to finish their 21km’s in less time than it took me to finish my 10km.
All in all it was a great race, and I cannot wait to run the 15km Callies Comrades Legends Race on 22 April.
My official results are as follows*
Time - 1:16:33
Position - 876/1485
* According to www.raceresults.co.za