I couldn’t have wished for a better race this morning. Aside from the weather, which hit hard as I headed up the infamous Southern Cross Drive, making everyone look like they had literally been dumped in a swimming pool, everything went according to my plan, such as it was. I finished my first (and last) Two Oceans Half Marathon in about two hours and twenty minutes.
Before the rain hit, I was lucky enough to have some awesome support from my wife and kids at the top of Edinburgh Drive. There’s something very reassuring about watching your 5 year old son knocking back sachets of Energade at 6:30 in the morning and knowing that you don’t have to deal with the consequences. Running down the M3 seemed like a breeze compared with that.
My concerns about my dodgy right calf proved unfounded (although I ran with it strapped) and after a very slow start due to 15,999 other idiots out there, I got into a rhythm of between 6 and 6:30 minutes per kilometre and kept it there. The weather was outrageous: we were running through ankle deep water at times and watching bins floating down the gutters on Rhodes Avenue. Even the finishing straight on UCT sports field was covered in puddles and I got there much earlier than a lot of people (who, admittedly, were running a lot further than I was).
My headphones gave up at about 12km, my GPS at exactly 18.2km and me just about at the finish line. Perfectly paced by one out of three anyway.
After the finish, I found that the shuttle buses back to the start were non-existent and so I had to walk 3km back there (fortunately all downhill) and then cycle home from there (another 3.5km, all uphill). That 6.5km is probably why I’m feeling so broken right now. I got home at about 9:30, very cold, very wet and very cold.
After a quick shower and some breakfast, we headed up to watch the Insurance Guy come through Kirstenbosch in equally appalling conditions to finish his tenth Ultra (56km), putting my sense of achievement firmly in perspective.
But I’m contented enough. And I don’t ever have to do that again.