Last weekend we managed to go with other VOB members to George for the 2008 Outeniqua Half Marathon. The route was great lots with lots of indigenous forest and vines. We arrived quite late at the dam only to discover that the start was not where we parked but a little over a kilometer away across the dam wall. So we raced off to run to the start line. I was about 400 meters from the start line when I heard the race start count down and pressed start on my watch. Normally this would have totally stressed me out but I managed to focus on getting to the start line. When we got the start line no one was there, it was strange I kept running and met the back markers. It was great in a way passing people in a way that I have not ever done before. I was running way faster than I normally do at the start but the interesting thing was that my heart rate was way lower than it normal. My wife had a buck cross her path on the route; great seeing wildlife on the route and the unique sounds of Loeries in the trees above.
Eventually I managed to catch up to the 2 hour crowd, fortunately before the first down hill. The route goes through the forestry campus; it reminded me of a place I ran in The Netherlands with small roads and people riding bicycles. Then the route started to get fantastic with high trees and vines. The down hills were really steep with two tough up hills, I walked a bit on the first hill but found the second hill not as bad even though it was longer. I remember saying that is a pretty looking bridge and then realized that bridges cross rivers and have a valley on the other side. Then a few bumps and then a down hill of over 7 km. On the way downhill you don’t see much until you get to a point where you see an amazing view of the lakes, river and coastline. The last 3 km was tough I really pushed going down the hill and the last few bumps on the route seemed really hard.
Here is the Outeniqua Half Marathon 2008 kmz file for the route that can be viewed in Google for those who are interested (The real official route is 400m shorter).
And this is the route profile.