What a beautiful venue for the final race of the Cape Winter Trail Series. And although freezing cold at 6.30am it turned out to be a stunning day! Lying a possible 4th in the Long course championship, if the ladies lying in the top 3 raced today, I decided to tackle the 23km XL course. Plus it would be great training for next month’s Table Mountain Challenge. Feeling great and having rested yesterday I knew I could run a good race. The first 9km was flat; this I knew, but what I didnt know was that would involve a lot of rock climbing as we ran along next to the beach! I love technical trail running though so this suited me perfectly. I was leading lady from almost the start and after 4kms I was in a great rhythm and thoroughly enjoying myself! I was slightly regretting putting on a base layer though as I was already sweating buckets! At one point we climbed over the rocks and there infront on the sand was a seal! I dont know who was more shocked! It just sat there, upright, looking at these crazy runners! And then 5 mins later I had another shock as I came over the rocks: Mr cameraman! I’m not looking forward to seeing that photo!
We then crossed over to the other side where the climb up the mountain began. Up and up we went. I must admit I walked quite alot! I knew the highest point was at about 13km after which I could cruise home. However I hadnt realised that I had missed a sign for the XL 🙁 I had just followed the others ahead of me, thinking that we ran the same route along the mountain as the long course runners. I only realised as we reached the tarmac road at the bottom and there was no way I was going to head back up the mountain now! So feeling deflated and annoyed with myself I gently ran the last few kays home. At least it was a good 21km training run and I’m feeling fit and ready for TMC. I’m just annoyed that I missed the sign but hey these things happen and there will be plenty more trail runs that I can win!!
If I can just get something off my chest; One thing that does annoy me is trail runners that run with earphones. Yes it might be nice running to music during training but when out in the mountains in a race there is nothing nicer than listening to the natural environment around you (albeit sometimes lots of puffing and panting from nearby runners!) and at least you can hear people behind you if they are wanting to get passed on singletrack. So personally I’d be very keen for runners not to be allowed to wear earphones for races.
Anyway, after my XL mishap, on a brighter note I was 3rd in the long course championship due to one of the leading runners only doing 2/4 races rather than 3/4. Adidas are very good sponsors of the series and there are always great prizes and lots of spot prizes too. I was amazed that I managed to win a pair of adidas trainers (sorry New Balance!) I go through my trainers so quickly (~ 6 months) that they are very much appreciated. And I was more amazed by the fact I won them by playing rock-paper-scissors which I am normally so hopeless at!! So at least the day had a happy ending!
It really was an awesome trail run and I felt very lucky to have been able to run in such an beautiful environment. Thanks to all my sponsors, especially Cape Auto Centre, 32Gi, Glider Eyewear and Mobii. CACTT looked awesome today in our new kit!