Its Two Oceans time
The Easter long weekend is synonymous with the Two Oceans marathon. Tens of thousands of runners from around South Africa as well as from abroad descend upon the Mothercity to run the most beautiful race in the world. It’s not only a showcase for the runners but for all the supporters too.
Singlets, earphones, chamois cream and multi-coloured shoes are par for the course for the weekend that sees about 35 000 runners competing in races from the International Friendship run of 5km all the way up the gruelling 56km Ultra marathon. It’s a weekend full of excitement, nerves and enough pasta to feed a small Italian village. Its easy to get caught up in all the on-goings leading up to the big weekend which is why this race is such a big highlight in the calendar of most runners around SA and even the world.
3 Ugly sisters
For many runners taking on the Two Oceans half marathon for the first time, you would of heard of the thigh burning climb called Southern Cross drive. This is indeed something to be weary of as this climb wedges itself half way into the race, leaving you quite depleted for the remainder of the run.
However, the long winding route to the top gate of Kirstenbosch followed by the speedy decent to the M3/Rhodes drive robots does provide some relief on the those tired legs. You must be warned though that there are two other hills that come into play during the run.
The first big climb is up Edinburgh drive which, as challenging as it is, it’s still early into your run, so your fresh legs should allow you to run most of this stretch with minimal walking. The cheering crowd and smell of early morning coffee provides enough motivation to keep on climbing.
As tough as Southern Cross and Edinburgh drive are on the legs, the real knee-tester is the short stretch on the M3 thats about 3km from the finish. This small climb tests even the strongest of thigh muscles and knowing that you are so close to the finish, the mental strength is also stretched to its limits. IGNORE THE DESIRE TO WALK!
You have trained consistently and stuck to your training program and the benefits are paying off as you are on course for a personal best. As you charge down the finish line straight, don’t forget how you managed this feat. Yes, a great percentage of your success is due to your hard work but the crowd definitely pulls you through. Having a stranger in the crowd shout your name out, encourages the tired like no other. The sense to prove your worth in salt inspires the weary to muster up the energy and trudge on even though your body is screaming the opposite. So acknowledge the stranger in the crowd, the announcer encouraging you at the finish and the big smiles of the staff as they place that hard earned medal around your neck.
Its not just race, its a journey!