Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 4 May 2012

Safari Half Marathon #4

I have run the Safari Half Marathon 3 times before. It was my first ever Half Marathon, which I ran the day after my 35th birthday in 2009, and it has now become a bit of a birthday tradition/ritual for me.

Each year the boys and I trek out to Wellington on my birthday and spend the night there and then I run the race the next day.

These are the accounts of my previous experiences there:

This year I have been particularly busy with work, travelling, and life in general, and so my planning (or rather lack of it) has been just-in-time for the most part. Sometimes not even in time at all... as was the case with this race. I actually entered the race in good time, but totally forgot to book our accommodation. Oops. We have stayed at the same place for the past 3 years and loved it. It was cheap, comfortable, cozy, convenient and just what we needed. This year by the time I got my ass in gear it was fully booked. OUR lovely little cottage room would not be ours. Noooo! I was quite bummed about that actually. :(

I looked high and low and tried every place I could find in Wellington and it was ALL booked out. The only places I found were either super expensive, or so far away it was not even worth staying there.

In the end a colleague told me the High School - where the race starts/ends - had accommodation available i their hostel. I was less than thrilled at the idea. Spending my birthday in a school hostel dormitory sounded pretty kak to be honest! Anyway it still sounded better than waking up at some ungodly hour to drive all the way through in the morning and so I booked us in. Having no clue what to expect.

I had a bunch of friends over for drinks and dinner on the Saturday for my birthday and had to work on Monday, which was my actual birthday, so it's not like it was a particularly special day anyway.

The weather on Monday was appalling. Squalls of wind and rain all over the Cape and the forecast for Wellington on Tuesday - Race Day - looked pretty grim. Great, 3 races in a row in the rain. 'We were not amused!'.

So it was with trepidation and a smidgen of reluctance that we packed up and headed off to Wellington on Monday evening. Driving slowly up the traffic laden and quite flooded N1. We finally arrived in the dark and with the rain coming down so hard we couldn't even get out of the car at first!

I finally dashed out of the car, found the hostel master who was really friendly. It had all sounded rather formal and serious when I made the booking. It was a case of fill in the form, pay and don't ask questions. So I was worried we'd get there and have to fight for a place, but we had already been allocated a room and it even had my name on the door. We were downstairs in the girls' hostel and had a 4-bed room to ourselves, with a little fridge. WHOOP!

We then went to the shops to find something for dinner, because it turned out we could use the dinning room and TV room etc. It was actually quite cosy and social. They also had a tea & coffee station set up for us.

We got back unpacked and got settled in. Camped in the dinning hall for a while enjoying our dinner and making small talk with the others staying there, and then headed down to bed for an early night.

I woke up at 6am on Tuesday checked the weather outside and it was not raining or wndy. Whoop whoop!! I had plenty of time to get up and ready and drink coffee etc... And because we were on the grounds of the race I could leave the boys to doze when I strolled off to the start of the race just before 7am. Walking around the block to stand at the front of the start. Whoop. After a mere 5 min wait it was time to go and off we went.

I set off at an easy pace and just ran steadily. I had decided it was warm enough for shorts, but was wearing my new VO2 waterproof running top birthday present from Tim. Which kept me warm in the cold air. Although I should probably have not worn it the whole race and it became a bit of a sauna in there and totally filled up and channeled fluid down my spine and onto my shorts. So despite appearances to the contrary I did not actually pee in my pants! LOL

I really enjoyed this run. I felt strong and able and even thoguh I didn't feel particularly fast, it felt good. I mostly ran a lone and didn't see many people I knew enroute at all. But I didn't mind I like running by myself and listening to music.

This was at 15km, going up the last hill, a bit tired but otherwise strong. I 'flashed' as I ran past so my number would be showing! :)
At 18km I finally took the jacket off, which was rather full and wet by then. EEEUW!

At the finish, last 100m.. and the clock said 1:51!!
I pushed as hard as I could here knowing I was getting a new Personal Best.
And finshed with a new PB of 1:53:30. YES!!!
The Safari Half is an awesome race. I really like it.

The boys found me a minute after the race ended. I strolled up to the school hostel showered and changed and then we strolled down again to enjoy the festivities at the end of the race, before heading off home again.

1 comment:

  1. Well done dear! Glad the accomodation worked out