Monday, 7 September 2009

Golden Reef 100 - 2nd place!

Yay! We completed the 161km Golden Reef 100-miler in a respectable time of 14h06. Our Adventure Racing Club team (me, Tony Abbott, Matthew Gray and Tommy Booth) had a great night out to place second.

Silver Sands Casino finish - Tommy, Lisa, Tony and Matthew

The first team, a pack of racing snakes, was far ahead - possibly two hours or more - and the next team behind us was at least two hours back (we have not yet seen results). Sadly the field was small with only 6 teams (about 20 individuals did the run solo), a substantial drop from 2007 and 2008.

Our strategy this year was as follows:
Matthew and I ran the first 6km and 6.5km respectively; these were designated changeover places. For the next 130-odd kilometres we rotated at 4km intervals (eight rotations), which gave us each an hour break between runs - we were running fairly even 5min/km splits. Just after sunrise we changed into 2km rotations (three sets). With 5km to go, we did a three 1km runs and then ran the last 2km together.

The one thing that makes this run challenging, despite the relay format, are the breaks between runs. When we finish our run, we hop in the car to drive 4km to our next changeover. At night it is cold outside (good temperature for running!) so we stay in the car for the hour interval between runs, wrapped up in warm clothing. Sitting makes your legs sore and our legs, especially hammies, were quite tight by half-way, even though we'd only run about 20km each.

The element that makes this race fun - yes, f.u.n. - is the team component. It is not often that we get to do runs as a club team (the only other event being the Gauteng Orienteering Relays) and the comraderie is motivating. We're proud to be AR Club members and to compete - and do well - in our club colours is rewarding.

Special appreciation, from all of us, go to Izaan - Tommy's wife. She very kindly offered to be our driver. She spent the whole night awake, keeping focused on measuring out the rotation distances and keeping alert for our runners approaching. Having her there really made a big difference.

My team was fantastic with a good vibe and consistent and even running throughout the 14 hours we spent on the road. Well done Team AR Club!

Team Adventure Racing Club: Matthew, Lisa, Izaan, Tommy and Tony

1 comment:

Tommy Booth said...

Yeah! It was a fantastic race. Was so cool to be part of such a winning team. We later found out that we won a category prize for being the first mixed team in!

Having such great cameraderie and team spirit while running is a big motivation to keep going and spurring each other on to try and keep your 4km leg around 20 minutes (8 times!). Matthew blasted off on each of his runs and came steaming in so fast that Lisa had to tell him to slow down once. Tony by some strange coincidence (clever planning on our part) ended up doing a big hill on most of his legs which earned him the honorable title: 'King of the Mountains'. And Lisa just kept putting in her shifts consistently as solid as a rock not showing any signs of stiffness (or faking it really well).

I enjoyed every moment of it with great team mates and my wife their to support and cheer me on.