Monday, 27 January 2014

A 21km on road (Johnson Crane)

So, yesterday (Sunday) morning I ran my first road 21km distance certainly since the 30km road race that I did in Buenos Aires back in July last year. Aside from waking up at 04h20, it was a thoroughly enjoyable outing.

I got through to the Johnson Crane road race a little after 5am and already there were traffic queues all over the place. I got a decent parking and mom and I headed through to the field with our AR Club gazebo. On the field there were club gazebos everywhere and crazy long queues for race number pick-up, on-the-day entries and the porta-loos. We entered last weekend and got our race numbers at the same time - that saved us a lot of hassle on race morning. I was in for the 21; mom was in to do the 5km walk.

On the field Wiehan and Lizelle (friends and fellow club members) found us and we headed off to the jam-packed-crazy-with-people start out on the road. There literally were thousands and thousands of runners out there for the 21km and 42km courses. Mom said that there was an equally loaded start for her 5km walk (the 10km run may have started at the same time). There hasn't been an entry limit to this event - but there should be.

It took us two minutes to walk under the start banner and the first kilometre certainly wasn't done any faster than eight or nine minutes. Wiehan left us not long after the start; Lizelle and I stuck together for the whole race.

We raced the last Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge together in Dec 2010 and we haven't seen much of each other for ages. She now has a one-year-old son.

We had a most superb run and much of it was spent chatting to each other and chatting to other people. I had my Forest Run 'advert' pinned to my back (a tag with name of event, distance, date, venue, website etc). Lots of people asked about the event - the terrain, distance, water points... Loads of discussion happening. We also spoke to some people about adventure racing and orienteering. Phew... almost more talking happening than running!

The kilometres clicked past and next thing we were at the finish - our cool medals in hand. I'm not one for medals... but I do like this design.

One of the ladies that we chatted to said that at her club they can all donate their medals from the year to a group collection, which goes to a children's unit at a hospital. The medals are 'awarded' to the children as needed.

I usually trash all but a few medals but I really liked this idea so I'll hang on to any that I get until year-end and then hand 'em over.

The early mornings kill me and inevitably I need a nap by early afternoon... But I'm enjoying the road vibe and hooking up with buddies on the road.

I've got orienteering this Sunday, the first of the new Urban Series events. Next road race is the 21km at the Pick 'n Pay event on 9 Feb.

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