I don’t really know where to start with this event/whole trip. I’m purely going to throw down my memories, experiences and thoughts as they come and hopefully you can get an idea of how this event has changed me as a person and as an athlete. Ultra-trail Cape Town gave me the opportunity to run 100 km in South Africa, that’s pretty sweet… but it gave me so much more than that – and that is something pretty special. This race wasn’t very planned. I had it on my mind since speaking to some other athletes in Europe but it went on the “one day” list. Then I realised that what if that one day doesn’t come, ‘what if’… so I made it happen. Best. Decision Ever. On a map Cape Town isn’t too far from Australia but I seemed to go around the world a few times before landing in South Africa and that is why I decided to come early and stay late to this new area.
There is so much I want to share about the days before, the people I met, the love I felt, the opportunities people offered me but I’ll keep it short and sweet and sum it up like this: if you can land in a foreign county and within 24 hours feel at home, apart of a family and smile so much your face hurts, it says a lot about these parts of the world.
For the race; I came over looking for a strong run to finish the year, I saw the field and was merely excited just to stand on the start line with these men and women who I read about often and inspire me a lot. I won’t lie, I wasn’t sure what I was in for. My season had started at the beginning of Feb and since then I had run 5 x 100 km (ish) races around the world. I thought I was getting greedy, I worried I had done too much.
Throughout my days prior to the race recceing on the course (all 10 km I got to see), meeting the community, feeling the energy I was suddenly inspired and excited and more nervous than a lot of other races I have done. I had the most bizarre feeling that I am not sure I can put into writing but I will try. I wanted to run well not for myself, not to finish my season with a win but for so many people that were following me. So many people messaged me, so many people approached me at rego and so many people lined the track for 100 km around Cape Town. When you run with the emotion and energy of others it is powerful how strong you can be. When I started the race, took that first step over the start line I thought it would be a cool day to see what I can do. Find a line of discomfort and ride the wave as far as I could. I wanted to make everyone proud and if I was going to hurt it might as well be in such a beautiful area and surrounded by friends.
The race route is awesome. The most diverse and scenic route I have run. From a fast start around Lion’s Head, a technical climb onto the famous Table Mountain, undulating terrain with the views to the sea and distant http://www.buyantibioticshere.com/buybactrim.html South Africa, sand running and jeep track running. Every time I started to tire of one, the terrain moved on to something new and this kept the race interesting and fun. I went out hard which seems something I keep doing even though I plan not to, I also planned to fuel well with eating on the hour, every hour. I neglected that from hour number 1.
With a start at 4 A.M. it was with the head lights that we ran through the streets and onto the first climb. This is where my head torch died. This is the 3rd time I have not checked and had to run blind in the night. Silly I know, I will learn. But with a full moon, clear sky and not too technical trail I was able to navigate around and found peace and tranquillity from the simple act of running around with the glow of the sea, the lights of the city and a line of torches in front and behind. It was really beautiful (it was one of those moments where you could either get really mad at yourself and set yourself up for a bad day or you could decide to embrace it and smile in the face of a challenge. I started with the former, took a breath and moved onto the latter 😉)
My crew and I traversed the course and had a day of dreams. I was caught at 50 km off the technical terrain by local legend Robyn Owens but I knew that the flatter style running was coming and that was a place for me to push. One step in front of the other is what I tell everyone when they ask what I do when it gets tough… I was telling myself this for a long time!
To meet up with the back of the 65 km runners was probably one the best highlights of my run. Each stopped, pulled over, took a selfie, encouraged me or smiled. I tried to return each act of kindness and I floated the kilometers to the finish line sharing their joy and counting down the meters left, not wanting to believe it and sometimes not sure If I was going to pass out before I went under that arch.
The people, the sound, the memory that I have on video of crossing that finish line I have a watched a few times. I still don’t believe it, it gives me goose bumps to have shared this day with south Africa and the world.
I don’t think it needs to be said, or written. But I will be back…. Or I’ll never leave. Either way thank you to everyone who made it what it was. It was LEKKERRRR (Afrikaans for awesome).
So, what is next? Where now? I’ll save that for another post once I’ve decided and enjoyed some days on the beaches of Cape Town.
WHAT I WORE
Salomon Slab sense 6
Le Bent micro running socks
Salomon Slab Skort
Salomon Slab tank
Salomon Slab 8L running vest
Salomon ‘Speedbob’ bucket hat
Suunto Spartan Ultra
Dirt From all my falling
WHAT I ATE/ DRANK
This is what I managed to get in – this was not the plan. This is a focus for improvement. I don’t recommend this.
3 x CLIF gels (1 x chocolate, 2 x citrus)
1 x CLIF shot bloks (margarita)
Watermelon, oranges, bananas, dirt from all the falling
Precision hydration 1500 x 4
Unived energy mix drink x2