Since the day I waited for my web browser to tell me I can enter for my first Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon, I was pretty excited to be part of this racing event!
From going to the CTICC to pickup my race number and exploring the awesome exhibition, I was pretty amped just by that fact to experience what it would be to be running the next morning. Waking up at 2:30am to just be able to get there and find parking was nerve wrecking enough. Traffic I could swear was worse at a running event than on a normal working day. 27000 people all gathering in one region is insane.
I got told that it usually rains every Two Oceans race and this held true on Saturday. The cold and wind was pretty intense at the start and I could not wait to get started to be able to warm up!
My goal prior to this race was to get sub 2 hours. When I first registered I was put in Seed E. Seed E is known as the walker or slowest of the slowest group. So I was really pushing it to already to make sub 2 hours. Then I get an SMS on Wednesday to say I was in Seed D. A bit better but no ideal. I should have qualified for a better time and I would have been in a much better seed group. Needless to say, the gun went off and it took over 2 minutes to get to the start mat. Yes, once that gun goes off, the time is ticking already! I tried to make my way as quick as I could but the problem is, it was so congested I could not maneuver myself past people. For about 3km I was stuck behind people and I literally lost about 5 or 6 minutes. Just after 3km it started getting a bit better as people were spacing out because there was a bit of a hill and I just sped past, thank you trail running! 4km in and I hit the most frustrating hurdle that lasted with me until I got home. Major uncomfortable stomach cramps. I am not sure what the cause of that was, but it was no ideal! At times I just wanted to pull off and crawl into a little ball, but alas, I had to push through and try my utmost through the pain to get under the 2 hour mark. There were some small goals to help you reach to get sub 2 hours. You needed to be at a certain time at certain kms. I was literally only 2 minutes out each time. Those damn cramps and I could not push harder, even with the crowds screaming and encouraging you, your body literally just does not want to work with you. The last 200m I finally realized the fact that I would not reach my goal this year for sub 2 hours at the Two Oceans. I tried. All was not down and bad. I managed to get personal bests for 15km and best half marathon time too! I’ll take that! Southern Cross Drive is not as bad as what people tell you. It was enjoyable going through that section!
I am going to skip the half marathon next year. Why? Because I will be attempting the Ultra! 56km and a cut-off time of 7 hours!