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
Well I was (sort of) supposed to ride in the 109km race, but since I have put so much effort into the Two Oceans Half Marathon in 3 weeks time, I did the prudent thing and just watched the race from the sidelines.
And the rest
Today was the Annual Slave run in Cape Town. Like many old cities, we have a sad history of many slaves that were a large part of building our city, but who are seldom remembered. To commemorate this, there is an annual run and walk through the city centre which passes many historical building remembering slavery. The route started with the firing of cannon from the castle, a run through the castle and past the old slave lodge (which is now a museum).
I ran the 10km run (there is also a 21km run, a 10km walk, and a 5km walk, so something for everyone), and I finished in a very respectable time of 1h03.
I took that shot of my medal at the finish line, with the Cape Town City Hall in the background (it really is a single shot, not multiple shots merged later).