Thinking & Feeling

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

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Meiringspoort Half-Marathon - New PB!

So for the third year in a row I decided to go run the Meiringspoort Half Marathon in De Rust.

The first year I went with C, and thought it was so beautiful I took the boys last year and we had a lot of fun. Tim decided to join us this year. He enetered but then injured his foot so the run was out, but he decided to come along anyway.

So we set off on Friday morning on the 6-hour drive. Our first leg saw us push through to the beautiful Tradouw Pass, which I just love, and on to Barrydale beyond, where we stopped for a yummy lunch packed with delicious fresh produce. We then went on along Route 62 past the infamous Ronnies Sex Shop and on to Ladysmith, Calizdorp and then Oudshoorn. We stayed at Oasis Shanti which is a great backpackers lodge. Very friendly and reasonable. There was a free pool table so boys wasted no time in getting the challenge going. They are both almost better than me already!

The trip there:

We all had pasta at La Dolce Vita, a cute little bustling Italian place on the main road, and then hit the sack for the EARLY wake up the next morning. I was horrified to realise I had left my iPOD at home. Even though this race specifies that no iPods are allowed I was still planning on sneaking mine in and using one ear phone and wearing a buff over it if I had to. I ALWAYS run with music and am pretty dependent on it to keep me going. I was a bit worried I wouldn't/ couldn't cope without it...

Next morning saw us up at the inhumane hour of 04:40. Luckily I had slept well and managed to wake up quite easily. We had to drive the 35kms to De Rust and register and get onto the Ostrich trucks by 05:45. So we set of as quickly as we could. We made it to De Rust in good time and soon we were on the truck and heading on the fun/ cold/ nerve wracking/ seemingly endless/ cramped/ jovial 20km truck journey up the Meiringspoort Pass. The trucks drive slowly so it feels like a 50km journey and eventually you get quite worried about just how far you have to run back!! Tim & boys joined me on the trucks, and Tim was going to arrange lifts back to the end point for them.

Once we arrived at the start point we gladly accepted the 'koffie & beskuit' offered by the De Rust tannies. Then it was time for me to get myself prepared. I said my goodbyes to the guys thinking they were heading back on the trucks again.

Next thing I was standing at the start line and there they were! :) So the race started and I had my own fan-club yelling from the side lines which was quite nice. At 2km they passed me on the back of one of the Official bakkies and I got to high five them on the way past, that was pretty cool too. They passed one more time at about 5kms in on the way back to the Finish point in a BMX X5 - lucky buggers - and then I was on my own.

I managed fine without the iPOD, and the first half of the race felt quite easy. I was wearing a HR Monitor for the first time in a race and it was interesting to see that my heart is now behaving as it should and stayed between 160-170 right throughout the race. By the last 6kms I was getting very tired though and some music really would have helped. My left thigh was getting stiff and sore and eventually I walked for a minute or 2 to catch my breath.

The last 2kms changes from a nice gentle down hill to a pretty mean uphill and I just wanted to die. As I entered the town the group of snot-nosed farm kids chanting 'Hou bene hou!' really helped. The last 2 steep blocks uphill were so tough as I rounded to corner I said 'Just kill me now' to the old man standing there. But then there's a nice 2 block downhill dash to the finish line and I decided to just GO. I finished the race and looked at the time and saw it was a personal best: 1:52:20. I was amazed I really didn't expect that. It's a full minute faster than my last PB. YAY! (If I hadn't got so tired and sore and walked that bit I might even have been able to crack 1:50..?)

The Race:

The official results are HERE
I came:
360th out of 1321 finishers = 27.25%
88th out of 641 females = 13.73%
24th out of 130 females in my age category = 18.46%

I was so tired at the end I had to go sit down and catch my breath for a few minutes. But then I chirped up and had some fun and enjoyed the Kerk Bisaar complete with Pannekoek, Kerrie & Rys and Poeding.

After going back to Oudshoorn to swim and clean-up and rest a bit we headed out to the Wildlife Ranch. Which at first looked expensive and a little crappy, but was actually wonderful and not that pricey really for what they have on offer. There are loads of amazing exotic animals all in excellent condition and kept in very nice enclosures but you can still see them pretty up close and personal. We had a great time there.

At the Wildlife Ranch:

Saturday night the boys opted to stay in and watch TV and we went and had a fabulous meal at Bell Ciba. I had Fresh Asparagus in Parma Ham, and a Beef, Beetroot, Feta, Orange and Walnut Salad which was divine!

Sunday morning we headed off again. Stopping in Swellendam for brunch and then doing a detour via Kleinmond and Betty's Bay and finally topping in Gordon's Bay for huge ice-creams.

Journey home:

It was a fabulous week-end away. Awesome road trip, good food, good company. Lots of fun. Great race. Magnificent scenery. Perfect!


  1. Congratulations on the new PB. What fun it all sounded, although I did feel sympathetic towards the end, with the uphill looming and no music to bolster you up!

  2. What a fantastic trip and well done to you!