Now there is a legend of Fernando the Goat keeper and that ONE goat, but perhaps this is not the platform to relay this story. Let’s just say me having done this ONE run does NOT make me a runner.
When I first decided to enter the FNB Cape Town 12 OneRun way back in February during my Absa Cape Epic training I was under the illusion that I would actually be running (if you can call what I do running) more and be in the ‘running’ shape to tackle the 12km with ease. But post Epic, as regular readers would know I had weekend after weekend of social commitments with some MTB stage races thrown in in-between. I know it has been a couple of weeks since the last time I blogged but it took that long for me to psychologically and mentally recoup after actually having completed the 12km run of which I thought I won’t be able to and be in much more pain that I actually was. The last time I ran was on the 12th of April for a full 4.1km, I was not prepared for this run.
Now the Saturday before the run myself and Rob Kucera were doing our weekly Mountain Bike Ride (Yes I know!
Crazy you might think to go 50km mountain biking before this run that you have not train for) The peer pressure was on as there was no way I was going to get out of running the next day as Rob and the team from The Westin had already arranged so much for me to join them on the run. And it was not like I did not try not to run as I mentally argued with myself and thinking of reasons why I won’t be able to run the distance and complete the run, thinking of pain in the lower back and that right knee (that might need cartilage clearance soon). I even decided to play chicken with a tree on the Bloemslang downhill track, trying to shoulder it out of the way. Needless to say the tree won and I ended up tuck and sliding onto the ground spread out next to my KTM Scarp. No damaged done, but I did attempt to get out of it by suggesting to Rob that I think I should go for the concussion test (like in rugby) and concerned he asked if I am feeling light headed after the fall and I just had to admit that I’m just looking for ways not to run the 12km’s. So that option did not work either – I was doomed to run.
After arriving home from the 50km MTB ride I immediately put on my Skins recovery socks, I would need all the help I could get to be ready for this run. So up the next morning and off to The Westin Cape Town where we all met for breakfast and I immediately felt intimidated by all the skinny running people around me, but everybody was super supportive and encouraging and excitement actually was actually building to experience this run. I knew there was no way I could still get out of it when Michael Meyer from Stillwater Sports and event organiser came to wish me
Off we went to the start and arriving at the venue you get caught into the excitement of seeing the 14,000 odd runners getting ready and filling the chutes. Somehow I got into start chute D which meant I was off at 9am and Rob was starting in batch E 8 minutes after us. I knew he would catch me; it was just a matter of when and where. Excitement was building and the nerves as well, fortunately I bumped into Shaun and Lizelle Peters who did it last year and told me I would be fine, just take it easy and run or walk, the whole experience is a jol and the vibe is amazing. Off we went and former Springbok captain Corné Krige and his mate Llewellyn, also running for the Westin was starting with me and I tried to stay with them for the first 200 meters and realised this will not work (Corné finished in 47mins). My plan upfront was to run 2mins and walk 1min and take it as it comes, but being swamped by all the runners around you pride kicked in and I decided that I could not walk that early, it would just be embarrassing and Rob will catch me earlier.
I decided that I would bite the bullet and only walk after 1km. 1km arrived and as I started walking, the woman
running next to me did the same. “Are you also doing the 7min run and 1 min walk?” No she was fairly attractive so the only thing I could think of to say that would not be embarrassing was – Yes. We chatting a bit whilst walking and I wished her good luck after the minute we spent together and thinking to myself – this sounds like a good idea. I will try it that way. It was the last time I saw her and after the third 7min run 1min walk I changed the programme to 6min run and 2mins walk – much better. I stuck to this all the way to the end religiously and it worked perfectly ensuring that I did not put too much strain on my body running and recovering for 2mins to be ready for the next block (Rob caught me just before the 5km and went on to break the 1 hour mark). Only afterwards did I hear that the 7min/1min run is how 2015 female Comrades winner Caroline Wostmann ran.
Anyway it was great to see Marilize van Niekerk and the Westin Team shouting and supporting when we came past the hotel and the Bar Ones handed out was a gift of sugar for the last few kilometres (still hurts to say kilometres). Kudos to the Stillwater team for putting together this run as in the 2 years it has been going it has already become and iconic event and a must do in Cape Town, runner or no runner. The vibe is just amazing and the spirit very uplifting of all the runners and supporters along the route, perhaps I will make it TWO next year to break the stigma of that ONE.
Much appreciation to all at the Westin, Rob Marilize, Keaton and the whole team for looking after us runners (I use that word loosely). Live well, eat well, sleep well. A special mention to Andrea Kucera and Cecil Mitchell for being brave in taking on the run after committing during a wine lunch and for completing the run, Kudos and it just shows what can be done once you put your mind to it.
I finished the 12km (well 12.4km) in 1h26m and I could actually walk afterwards and to be honest surprised myself with being able to complete the run the way I did and relatively pain free as well.
See you all next year in the start cute! For now back to the Mountain Bike and forced indoor training due to winter settling in the Cape.