It was a really hot day last year it drizzled and was far easier. Also last year I only did the Leg 2. I did Leg 1 really slow and steady and was quite happy with my restraint then. Leg 2 felt so much easier that last year.
Towards the end of leg 2 I started to get tired, I think it was because all I had was few sips from stream. At the Leg 3 check point I took a long break which was maybe a little too long. It was because the seconding was so great. Apple muffins, coke and marshmallows all went down well.
Then Debs suggested that we get going again, before we cool down. So I passed through the checkpoint in into Orange Kloof. To be honest the whole going though Orange Kloof was not such a big deal. The restricted part consisted of a bit of tar and gravel road and the route kept very close to the houses. It was there that I could see that there is not much left of undisturbed nature on the mountain. Then the challenge really started.
Slowly but in increasing numbers we started to see people walking back deciding to withdraw from the race. Most of the bailers seemed to be closer to the start of leg 3, then a couple more people coming down from Hout bay corner hoping to be fetched by their sympathetic someone. One guy looked quite banged up with bloody legs. I spoke to Smurf a guy I have met at a few races though the Runners World forum. He was also turning back running a marathon the flowing weekend being his reasoning. At that point I also wondered why I was still in the race. We picked up a lady at Hout bay corner who had never run on the mountain before. Our breaks increased in frequency and length at one point we only covered 50 meters before stopping. Only after checking in at the last check point did I decide that I was not going to turn back.
On the top of the mountain I got a burst of strength I think it was my body saying “Let’s just get this over with”. We got over Grootkop with out hassle and had longish lunch in the clump of boulders further along the route. I managed to phone my wife and the people that where waiting for us at the finish. I was surprised that I could get cell phone reception in spite of the boulders. Then it was straight to Kasteelspoort which really seemed to take for ages. The wind was blowing really strong, fortunately it was blowing up not down. I slipped and fell once but managed to catch myself before I hurt myself. Then we tried to run along pipe track. The pipe track is not that great or even safe for running. We even had our own a water crew meet us on pipe track.
As we turned the corner past the water filtration works it was all over. Well the race was over for Debs and I but when we got there it looked as if it had been over for a long time. All the signs were down and the time keeper had gone home already. Even though I never finished officially it still counts for me. I enjoyed the route, the goodie bag especially the Cape Storm t-shirt, preparing for race was also great fun and running the last leg with great friend.
The Crazy Store Table Mountain Challenge 2008 Route: open the KMZ in Google Earth or Google Maps link