Cape Peninsula Half Marathon

Date: 19 February 2017
Distance: 21.22 Kilometres
Weather: Sunny with 52km/h head winds
Place: Bergvliet road to Simons Town

What better way to celebrate you 21st anniversary than running a half marathon 21.1K together?

For me this was my very first half and my husband’s second.
Come the day before race we collected our numbers and put out our gear for the race, socks, knee protectors, shoes, gels we also made sure that our technology was fully charged.

This is a point to point marathon which means you start at one point and end at a different point and our club was nice enough to arrange transport from the end of the race to the start.

As I was sitting in the bus the realization dawned on me just how far we are actually going the run, my previous long run was about 16.5K and the longer we sat in the bus the more nervous I became. Like always my biggest fear in not finishing and the second is to be last.

The one thing about this race is there was plenty of porta potties in the beginning and 3114 very excited people hanged out behind the starting line, chatting along.

As the race started we actually go to a running pace fairly quickly, it also didn’t bottle neck as much as some of the normal races. This time my husband would stick to me the whole run as he had an injury. (His physio is probably not going to be over impressed with him today 😉)

I was planning on doing a run/walk with 5-minutes running and one-minute walking race to make sure I can make it to the finish; but all of that planning went out of the window came racing day and I ended up running most of the race with very little walking breaks.

My knees for a change was fine but my Maximus gluteus was starting to throw little tantrums about 8K’s in. I kept on running hoping that it will be the same as when my calves cramp and it goes away after half an hour or so….Boy was I wrong.

We run past our friend’s house which was for me my first chicken out point and the idea of not finishing the race did not even cross my mind.

At about 10K we had the wind from the back for about 500 meters this was the best 500m of the race! We were now in our home town and yes I could see my house from there, yet I plotted on past the house into the last stretch of the race.

The best thing about running so close to home is the cheering you get from your fellow home towners, that was awesome and probably the reason why I didn’t take the shortcut home.

From about kilometre 15 the cramps got the best of me, cramping down the whole length of my legs, so we stopped and tried to stretch out a bit. All I can say is ouch. It was at this point an angel in green showed up and gave me some salt. It was also on this stretch of the road that the wind was relentless, good thing I always wear sunglasses otherwise my eyes would have been full of sand.

At this point we joined a bus for a little while and it went great until the cramping just got too much and off they go, the last water station which was only 2K from the end had such a lively crowed even I got some oomph back, from there on out it was the last 500 meter which thank God was a little downhill.

I did something I fought was impossible due to my knees but running has made them better over the time, and hopefully one day I can run without the knee guards and type.

Ns sorry hubby for being so grumpy at the end of the race. I still love you a lot.

Also a HUGE shout out to the marathon runners I think you guys are awesome and beyond.

As for the organisers of the race I must give a huge thumbs up, the water stations was well organized and there was a definite effort to keep it clean, the marshals was friendly and we had no problems with traffic trying to kill us. I guess that is what you get when you have been doing the same race for 50 years.

Lessons learned:
• Get something for cramping, this race wasn’t fun and today I am sore.
• Vaseline on your feet, no blisters for someone who couldn’t do a 5K without getting blisters.
• Tape and no chafing cream on places that you think might chafe, my running belt caught me a little bit but thankfully it doesn’t hurt.
• Run it at your pace; don’t let others push you to go faster, it is a long race and you don’t want to get hurt.
• Training is important especially base training.
• Don’t forget your glasses, if not for the sun there might be sand or bugs on the road.
See you all at the next race and maybe at the full next year.

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