So….. What an end to the Gauteng Winter Trail Series 2011, lets summarise the conditions…….. Brrrrrrrr!! really it was quite chilli, I got there early just before 8am to find already some of my trail buddies beat me to the draw ;-) They were already there clutching their coffee, and if you don’t understand, to the runner and especially the trail runner out in the freezing cold middle of the bush, coffee is a life saver second to none, after catching up a little I made my way to the trail series counter and got me one of those cool trail series Climacool Ts. Met some other buds and hopped around for a good while before finally deciding that it was time for warm-up, we went and dressed down to our skimpies, or at least me ;-0 and got going. We did a 2.5km warm-up and then lined up at the start for the last of this series. Above the bustle of our chatter at the line we couldn’t hear much of what Owen was saying except for……10……5..4..3..2..1..Go, and we were off, now anyone that has done this race before will know about the really fast start and 2kms of downhill trail that follow, nothing technical, just jeep track but really nice to warm-up a little more and getting in to a rhythm, that is of course if you don’t get all caught up in the race at the front of the pack blasting it down to the bottom, as for me, I have learnt from past mistakes and cruised down just getting into a relaxed pace, though was caught off guard by my pace for the first Km which I thought was really relaxed, it turned out to be 3min35sec, the second one did not follow far behind at 3min48sec. Anyways, I stopped worrying about whether I was going too fast and put it down to training. I worked up the first hill and moved from the group that was on my heels, from that time on I was A for Away……. Well that is what I know now, but at the time, I just increased the pace when I could to keep the guys behind me off my heels. My training buddy Roger was one of them on my heels and he has just gotten stronger over the series and I was working to keep him behind me ;-) we have a healthy competition LOLOLOLOL.
So with the thought of the guys trailing me I ran hard and even tackled the technical parts with focus without missing a step and am glad to say I did not stumble or fall once, even over the slippery slate going down to the river, lots of hop skip and jumping without breaking my neck. The hardest parts of this race is the beach sand down by the Crocodile River and the steep rocky climbs at the end both I just gritted my teeth for, the last km as you come up from the rock climb is down and I just picked up the pace finished fast, my last km average was 3min22sec per Km, this race was my fastest of the series and turned out to be almost 4min faster than the exact same race in 2010. So what an awesome race and an awesome day, meeting up with all my trail friends and making plans for our trail running in the future, well done everyone. My results for this race are as follows: 14th Overall and 8th in the senior category - I also placed 6th in the Trail Series long course Championship.
I enjoyed this series as usual, for me it’s been out there and pushing my body to the outer limits that counts from the bitter races to the sweet victories, this is indeed the nature of the beast called trail running. This winter season was my goal, to drop times and even placing but that is never a constant but my times were better all around. So for the future of my training I will be doing longer races but Trail Series will always be a fixture and I will enjoy racing them.
This was an awesome series as usual thank you Owen, Tamaryn and all the rest of you that made sure we had an excellent series. I am looking forward to the Summer Series.