Monday, January 11, 2010

A cramp of a different sort....

So I found myself on the start line of what is one of the most beautiful and scenic road runs in the peninsula, the iconic Ocean Basket Bay to Bay. The Bay to Bay 30km starts in Camps Bay and heads off to Hout Bay along Victoria rd and then loops back along the same rout. The route is said to be challenging as it encompasses plenty of hills as well as some speedy descents and flats. The week building up to the race was filled with speed work as well as mileage both on and off the road. I had been sensible enough to take the Saturday off to rest as I thought any longish road run deserves respect . I had ambitions of keeping up with Coach Dion as during the week he was talking to a sub 2hr time. This would mean running at 4 mins a km for the duration of the event. A big ask from any athlete considering the race consisted of some mean hills including Suikerbossie on the way back.

The gun fired and off we ran into Camps Bay. Dion and Charles were setting a mean pace well under 4 mins a km. I stuck just behind them for roughly two km but quickly came to the realisation that keeping this up was going to be a too much taking into account the week I had. Next to me was William Robinson and Damian Will who seemed to be better company at the time. The pace was intense and relentless with William taking us up the first hill. I soon found myself getting into some kind of a rhythm. Positive thoughts filled my mind as we were making our way into Hout Bay. At about the 11km mark I started experiencing some rumblings in my stomach. I was hoping this was just my body digesting the Hammer Gel I had swallowed down but realised this was developing into more of a cramp and was a little more serious! At the 12km mark I managed to grab a sachet of water from a little blonde girl who looked extremely pleased to be helping the runners rehydrate. After gulping down the water and doing everything possible to take my mind off the intensifying cramping that was taking place in my gut I through the sachet to the ground and tried to regain some kind of rhythm. Not long after I heard the familiar voice of who I thought was a close friend of mine “Mark Pikker” calling my name. He soon was next to me which was pleasing as it would give me a chance to explain my discomfort and ask for some advice. Instead of a hello or how’s it going I was greeted with an unpleasant handing back of the sachet I had chucked down 400m back. I stared at the sachet and then looked into his eyes puzzled only to hear the words “Don’t Litter Jayde”. Terribly embarrassed I couldn’t help swearing and cursing at him in my head as he picked up the pace and moved ahead of me. I have known Mark for roughly 3 years and he chose this time to give me a lesson on littering! All these negative thoughts only brought on more of the cramping and the race I was looking forward to was becoming a nightmare.

I now knew that a pit stop was needed but where? This was a road race! My pace was slowing and my discomfit becoming unbearable. At the 15 km mark the turnaround point loomed in the distance. Thoughts of wether I should give up and call it a day was very prevalent in my mind. Some spectators of which many looked like local Hout Bay residents were cheering the runners on providing much needed encouragement. I shouted out to a group of them asking if there were any toilets in the area and like music to my ears an elderly man said that around the corner there were some ablution blocks. I hastily made my way through some bushes and there they appeared. 3 green plastic structures labelled sanitech. Never has a toilet in the bush looked so beautiful!

A few minutes later feeling far more comfortable and relaxed I realised that catching my buddies was going to be an impossible task. This race would now have to become a training run for the Bat Run on the 27th of February 2010. Feeling proud of the way I had changed my attitude I made my way up Suikerbossie. My goal now was to keep up with some of the runners who were doing the relay as I knew they would be far fresher than myself and could potentially pull me out of my comfort zone. The top of the hill was quickly reached followed by the 20 km marker. I had made buddies with a fit gentlemen who was running like a Trojan and explained to me that this was his last race being forty. We were chomping up km at under 4 min splits which surprised me considering the hill that we had just climbed. The weather was beautiful with a slight tail wind guiding us home. The views where stunning with the Atlantic ocean taking our minds temporarily off the task at bay. Soon we were running past the upmarket restaurants in the bay with about 2 km to the finish. We were greeted with a cheeky climb and then a steep decent where the finish line fast approached. The voice of Harold brought us over the finish line in a time of 2hrs 9min. All in all a well organised and most enjoyable event. Road running is becoming more appealing to me as each race goes by. Hopefully all the speed and road training will pay off come trail running season. Bring it on!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 05 Massacre

Detective Shabort has been tasked with the investigation of the mysterious deaths of 4 young men at the UCT running club yesterday. The locals in the Southern Suburbs are calling the incident the January 05 Massacre. Police reportedly found 3 of the victims scattered around the track some of which had there t-shirts removed in what looks like an attempt to escape heat exhaustion! All victims had blood shot eyes and traces of saliva on their chests and neck. Post mortem suggests victims were gasping for breath and begging for rest. The 4th victim Jayde Butler was found dead in his apartment this morning clutching on a teddy bear. The police believe Jayde was trying to replace major fluid and energy loss as vast amounts of Game energy drink and pasta was in the immediate vicinity. Doctors believe it was just all to late as the damage was irreparable and the victim was too fatigued.

Police are hunting “odyssey winner” Dion Middelkoop who is the only suspect at this point. He is apparently “on the run” as his wife reported he had not returned home last night. Detective Shabort believes Mr Middelkoops motive for the killings is to slowly get rid of all competition for the Western Capes Premier trail running event “The Hout Bay Trail Challenge”. Ryan Sandes ,Nicholas Rapanga and Michael Bailey have all been taken into a police protection plan as they appear to be next on the killers list.

Police have warned all running clubs to discard any attempt by Mr Middelkoop to train there athletes. He has reportedly told all his victims that he “IS NOT FIT” in an attempt to lure them into running with him and that is when the suspect strikes.
Police urge the community to be on the lookout for Mr Middelkoop. He was last seen on top of the mast in Tokai where he reportedly plots and plans his killings.. If seen please contact the SAP or Detective Shabort. Do not attempt to restrain the suspect yourself as he will out run you!!