Monday, 6 February 2012

Sasol Half

I ran my first road half marathon for the year on Saturday. There's definitely a bonus running on a Saturday morning rather than a Sunday morning - it just feels right and once the run is done then you've still got the rest of the weekend ahead of you for play.

Fred, Michael and I drove through to Sasolburg on Friday night. We decided to rather stay over than leaving just after 4am on Saturday morning to be there in good time for the 6am start. What a good idea that was because the added benefit was an early night - at home there are too many distractions and things to do. It wasn't painful waking up at 5am after an almost eight-hour sleep.

I first ran the Sasolburg 21km in 1999. It was my second half marathon, two weeks after the Bedfordview 21. A varsity friend was working at Sasol and he told me about the run. The various divisions man the water points and he would be at one of them. I had a super run and returned the following year to run the marathon, which is still my one-and-only road marathon to date. Back then I was fast, running a 3:29 marathon and placing 3rd lady (I won R75 - now 3rd place gets R800).

The race was much smaller then and I remember the festive water points. Each division selects a theme and they all dress up. I've heard that there's a competition for the best water point / costumes.

Although not as dress-up as 12 years ago, I liked the superhero station (cool superhero costumes) and the beach-themed one with little beach buckets and spades lined up along the middle of the road. Also saw some beach towels. Actually, I think there were two beach themed stations.

Fred and I ran the half together; Michael and Tommy ran the marathon (a double lapper). While the other two were still running Fred and I headed back to the b&b to shower and have breakfast. We returned to the race with my camera so I could practice this week's homework - panning. Got some nice shots and with the continuous stream of runners I could just click away.

Tommy in the top row; Michael in the middle row;
and then Fred, Michael and me in the bottom photo.
Whenever I do road races I remember how much fun they are an vow to do more. Always such a good vibe and these races barely impact your time as they're run early in the morning. Fred and I were done by 8am. Well, let's see. Tons of choice with races every weekend. Would be good to use my race number this year more than twice, which is how many road races I did last year!

No comments: