Monday, 14 September 2009

Crazy Store Table Mountain Challenge 2009

Hats off to the organisers, a great race with a few highs and one really low point. I managed to remove 1h37 off my finish time, my wife who was doing the relay managed to catch me up and ran we ran most of the last leg together.

Leg 1 (Kloof nek parking to below Kings Block house) seemed to pass really quickly I was really zoned out or in, but when I was checked-in I felt strong.

Leg 2 (Stile below Kings Block house to Constantia Nek) was also thankfully uneventful I was really careful not to trip and damage myself. I sped up on the leg and shaved about 20 minutes of my time. I began seeing people who started too fast having their race fall apart.

Running into Constantia Nek was great. I always get a great feeling to see expectation on people's faces. Similar to the arrivals at an airport (as portrayed in the movie "Love Actually"). Everyone looking to see if you are their relay team mate or significant other. My significant other gave me my hydration pack and a blue berry muffin. I did not spend much time at the change over point and continued on through the check point.

Leg 3 (Constantia Nek back to Kloof nek parking) soon after entering the Orange Kloof I started to slow down and began to remember that hill from last year. A friend of mine Jeff caught me up and (dropped to like I was looking for parking). Keeping a slow but steady pace I continued.

Then the worst thing happened. I was running behind someone who just a heart attack just before the climb up to Hout Bay corner. I felt really helpless, someone called the race emergeny number and we unclipped his hydration pack off his chest. We moved him into the path and there was no pulse. Someone started CPR. I never felt so helpless not being about to do anything, ran to one call on of the marshals. A grim prospect for someone in a fancy dress outfit, armed only with a hard hat, sunglasses and a cell phone. There is nothing that much that they could do. The sound of air filling his lungs will stay with me for a while.

Looking back I could see that more and more people were gathering around him so continued up to Hout Bay corner. When I reached the top of Hout Bay corner the wail of the ambulance echoed off the cliff face. I heard that people did CPR for a long time. A while after that as fatigue and pain set the focus swung to completing the race.

At Llandudno my wife caught me up and journeyed with me on the top of the back table until the finish. She could have done a much better time but I am glad we spend the time together. I managed to finish far stronger than last year; mentally I can stay out longer without falling apart. Just a few moments after crossing the finish line I was able to contemplate running the race next year.

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