Its me again!
This weekend is the Cango Marathon held in Oudshoorn. Below is a summary of the race route and some guidelines for the day. A big thank you to Andy for this write up.
**The Cango Marathon is basically considered to be a down run. Don’t let that fool you as you still have 42.2 km’s (*Do not forget the .2) to run.
Logistics for the start are not as simple as it may seem as you need to get to the start which is 29 km’s away from the finish. Do not plan on arriving just before the start as you risk not been able to get there and they will stop the traffic to ensure that the race gets off on time. If you plan to use the transport provided you will need to be at the pickup point (Finish Venue) at 04:00.
This is a pre entry race and entries close on Wed 08 February.
The start is at 06:00. The Start is literally at the entrance to the Cango Caves and is a very narrow start. Based on the status of accommodation in Oudtshoorn, it seems the field will be bigger than normal so expect a slower start. The good thing about the first km is that it is all downhill so you do not lose much time over that km.
Onto the route description. Note that in all the previous years this has been a countdown race. In other words Marker boards show km’s to go. If you are going to have a pacing chart, then take this into account. It is still a good idea to have a second chart with distance covered in the event they do decide change their system.
The first km is downhill followed by a short but steep uphill of around 0.4km you then turn right for an out and back loop. You will basically climb until you turn around with aprox 34.5 km left to go. It is not a steep climb but it is uphill. Your next 6.5 km’s are back along the same route you have just run. At 28km’s to go you are back on the road to Oudtshoorn. There is a very short uphill followed by a flatish section. This lasts for 1km. The reason that this is mentioned is that often runners believe that once back on the road the downhill starts.
At 27km to go your downhill starts. This section takes you through the shadows of the hills/mountains and continues to 16km to go. There will be short uphills and a few flat sections. Some of the road has quite noticeable camber. Do not be tempted to cross over the road to the left hand side (As other runners do) as the traffic does start to pick up on this section with a number of tour busses on the route.
At 16km’s to go you are now out of the shadows and running in the heat. From here the down is a lot more gradual and the road actually seems flat. There are a few short uphills and it is a good idea to schedule your walks on these short hills. There is not much to inspire you along the next 11 km’s but that is fine. The road just seems to go on forever. It does not help that most of the time you can see for km’s ahead of you. Every step you take is a step closer to the finish and your qualifier. Anyway you are a marathon runner and that is what you do.
With around 5km’s to go you reach the outskirts of the town and just after 3km’s to go you turn off towards the finish venue. This is where it gets interesting. You will run down into a dip and the shortly before you get to the 2km to go board you will experience a nasty little climb out of the dip. Ensure you have enough time to walk this section. It is around 0.7km but you should be able to run some of it.
You then turn left towards the finish at the Army base. With 1km to go you can see the finish but you still need to get into the venue. This you do with 700m to go. A short section remains on tar and then with 600m to go you turn onto the grass, run around the field and to the finish.
There are showers at the finish venue but they are usually flooded.
Enjoy your ice cold drinks and your medal. You have now qualified.**
See you on the road!