The Two Oceans Marathon is a 56km Ultra marathon raced through Cape Town. It includes about 1000m of climb, and takes in the view of both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
I have been training for several months for this event, and on Saturday 4 April, I and approximately 11000 other people were on the starting line, hoping to finish this amazing run. It is difficult to describe how I was feeling before the race. Excited but a little scared. Definitely lots of nerves. At that distance you don’t know what could happen, and this was my second attempt at that distance.
At the start with my friend Grant
The first 26k are relatively flat, a lot of which is along our wonderful coast, but after that the race really starts. There is approx 7km during which you climb about 600m (in comparison “Heartbreak Hill” in the Boston Marathon is just 27m climb). It was tough, and the speedy downhill the other side was just about as tough.
When you hit the marathon mark you still have a big hill ahead (usually it would be considered a short and small hill, but not after 42km), and 16km to run. To be honest I can’t really explain how I got to the end. I ran with a great bus that really helped to keep us moving forward, and I learned about what “digging deep” really means.
Near the end – feeling the pain
When I crossed the finish line (at 6h53), I feel elated and like I have overcome a massive personal challenge. I felt that I can do anything. But also a little overwhelmed and emotional. It was physically exhausting and a little like a dream. But I did it, I ran a 56km ultra-marathon!
My friend Steve summed up it up perfectly “pain and pleasure signals all mixed up”. I cannot say it better.
Crossing the finish line
PS: Here is the route if you are interested: https://www.strava.com/activities/279019154
Yesterday was the Cape Town cycle tour (formally the Argus cycle tour). Normally it is a 109km ride around beautiful Cape Town, but because of the recent fires they took the drastic (and very understandable) decision to shorten it to a 47km ride through Cape town (from the city bowl to the bottom of the M3 and back).
I normally watch the ride form the bottom of my road (I used to ride it myself but have stopped since I discovered running). But today I took a short run to watch the bicycles coming past.
The ride was in solidarity to all the firemen who have bravely spent the past week fighting the fires, so a lot of people were wearing red, and even dressing up as firemen.
Cape Town has been on fire since Sunday. Currently over 4000 ha of bush has been destroyed, and the fire is still not under control. To make it more difficult, yesterday was the hottest day in Cape Town for 100 years. At least today the cooler weather should help a little.
Last night we had another flare-up on Boyes Drive. Literally in the span of about 10 minutes the mountain went from dark to a flaming inferno. These pics were all taken yesterday afternoon and last night at and around my house.
Note the size of the fire truck in the first picture.
I saw this rock-art at Danger Beach in St James while out running a few days ago. Isn’t it pretty cool? I just love how somebody took the time to make it and just left it there for us to see, and to see what happens to it. Reminiscent of the Zen sand Mandalas that you make to perfection and then destroy, reminding us of the impermanence of everything.
More rock art
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