The new distance
Even though I was partaking in the shorter distance of the options for Ultra Trail Cape Town, 65km was still the furthest I had ever run or raced. It was a completely new challenge for me. I had no idea what to expect racing over that distance and I had a feeling I was going to love it. It was such a fantastic feeling to look at my watch at 51 kms and know that that was the furthest my Salomons had ever taken me in one go. It was also a great feeling to get to the usual marathon mark at 42km and to feel so excited that I still had about 20kms to play!
The home-turf playground
Racing on home turf was a really fun experience. Even though I had run those trails countless times, it was a completely new experience racing them on the big day. The views seemed more epic and the trails seemed endlessly more technical. I could have sworn that Platteklip got longer, that the Blockhouse was moved a few kilometers further away from UCT and someone definitely rolled more awkward, wobbly rocks onto the contour path just for race day! Newlands Forest will never be the same again - the beautiful fairy forest that I know became a pain cave of ‘just 15kms to go’.
Only those who have taken part in this event will appreciate the amazing vibe. The start line atmosphere gave me goosebumps and the whole event from start to finish was perfectly organized. Stu and Nic are the most passionate and awesome race organizers. I don’t think we really understand just how much work went into making this race the iconic race it is. Another first for me was that I didn’t even get close to going off course – a big achievement for a directionless, dreamy runner like me.
With the race being so accessible to the public, it was absolutely amazing to have supporters throughout the day. Each aid station was full of cheers, music, bells and awesome humans. In fact the vibe was so cool that I had to tear myself away from UCT because I was having so much fun there!
According to my seconding team, I was a pretty easy runner to support but I think that thank you goes to Salomon. The soft flasks and light and easy hydration packs make for pretty smooth ultra distance racing. Thank you to BOS Sport for the delicious sports drink, to Suunto for my awesome Ambit Vertical. I owe my constant energy levels to Rush Bars, not only did they sponsor the event but they kept me going with the sweetest of signs and happy vibes.
Counting the days to new year! I think I’ll have to bump up to the 100km just so I can get more of this event in my life.