14 February 2010

Nimas Challenge Hillcrest Marathon

Early start. Very early start. Very, very early start. Hillcrest marathon starts at 05:00. With the road "improvments" around Hillcrest the traffic was beyond epic, so it was just as well we left early (admittedly 30 minutes after we had planned to, but it was still a blistering time of the day) and that we did not have to find parking at the start since Claire just dropped me off. There was a huge field and folk were still registering at the nominal start time, so we got off the mark a few minutes late. I bumped into Doug in the first couple of km, which was cool. Stayed with him for most of the first lap. I was a little concerned about the state of my, um, innards after the episode on Thursday afternoon. Those portaloos are not a place I relish under any conditions. And even though it was a cool morning and they had not been stewing in the Sun four hours, I imagine that they were still pretty ripe. So I was rather relieved that I did not have to heed that particular call of nature. Okay, enough about my bowels. The first half went by without incident. Missed Claire at half way (she was battling to find parking). On the second lap I hooked up with a couple of guys who were doing the right pace and we kept together almost all the way to the end. One was a farmer from Richmond (whose name I gathered was John or Johnny or Jonathan, from the numerous blonde female marshalls who were threatening to do things to him with their flags) and the other guy I recognised from Durban North. Felt great through the rest of the race. Hip flexors got a bit tired towards the end and my right Achilles tendon started to get a little sore, but I could still put in a decent surge for the finish. Got to the tape in 03:57, which was much slower than I had originally planned, but probably a sensible time given the running I will be doing over the next couple of weeks.

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