A cold crisp early morning and not a breath of wind meant we would have perfect running conditions. We arrived in decent time at Cape Town stadium so we could find parking near to the start and give us enough time to queue for the toilet!
With this being my first marathon, apart from IronmanSA’s marathon in April (I was hoping today’s marathon would be a lot easier since I didnt have to swim 3.8km and cycle 180km beforehand!), I wasnt entirely sure how much nutrition I would need during the race. The plan was to eat a 32Gi chew or tab every 30 minutes. Next time I think I will put them in a different pocket though; my hands were so cold during the first half of the race I could hardly unzip it!
So with my pocket full of 32Gi, legs warmed up and feeling good we headed to the start line. Dean, my friend and an experienced marathon runner, was aiming for a similar time so it was nice to be able to have a companion, otherwise it could have been a long 42km on my own!
We quickly got into a rhythm, albeit a little too fast at times, and it was great to run stride for stride with Dean. I tend to have too long a stride so this made me keep a shorter stride and hopefully save energy.
The route headed away from the city centre along Main Road towards Rondebosch common and then to Pinelands before heading back past the stadium and looping round along the promenade. We passed the half way mark at 1:34 and I was still feeling great, however at about 25km I did have a slight dip but soon found my rhythm again…until just after 30km (2:14). Dean gained a few metres on me but I wanted to make sure he didnt get any further from me and I kept my eye on his stride so I could match it and keep my concentration.
The worst part of the marathon is the fact you pass the finish area with another 6.5km loop still to do! From this point I knew it was going to be tough. The support from my husband on the side gave me a brief spurt. My legs were feeling heavier and the balls of my feet were beginning to get sore. Dean had gained a little more distance from me and my pace had decreased slightly but I was still passing a few runners that were beginning to suffer more than me! We seemed to head away from the stadium for ages until finally the turn around point came and the final couple of kays.
Within the last kilometre I spotted a lady in front so I was determined to use the last of my energy in overtaking her. I was pretty happy to see the finish line! I think the route was slightly longer than 42.2km (my Garmin said 42.6km) and others also said this, but hey, what’s another 400m when you’ve run 42.2km?!
3:16:02 (129th overall, 14th female, 10th Open female)
Ladies NBMC team: 2nd