Southern Trails 10km Klipsriviersberg Race report

firsthill

View of the hill from around point 2 (see below).

My last Southern Trails run was 3 May, when I ran a 4.1km in 32:25 and placed 3rd woman (after a gym bunny and 12-year-old), and I remember it being frigid. Also, my last name got shuffled in the results list and I didn’t get my ribbon. But I met Donald, who was getting into shape via trail running just like me, and let me beat him; after everyone in the lead figured out we were running the course on the opposite direction. So I wasn’t expecting that much from this 10km run. *Update: I reviewed the Southern Trails website today and the 3 May results have been updated and my full name, time and place are correct.

The Klipsriviersberg area is rocky, technical, and undulating, but still very runnable. Charles, from Southern Trails, has redone all the routes and added a 20km to boot. The trails were very well marked and really stunning technically and also the terrain plus the scenery were awesome. I’m pretty sure my ass is going to be very sore for the next few days. And I’m guessing my quads will start aching sometime tomorrow afternoon. After the Rock Rabbit Run last weekend I thought I had seen my most challenging trail, but this one is now on my top 5 list (we will never speak of the Beast again).

On Saturday, I read on Facebook that my cousins ran the Sleepy Hollow 10km, Katie (triathlete) had a time of 55:31 and Christy (returning to fitness after her first pregnancy) came in at 1:08:15. Both admirable times. I was jealous- I takes me 1:04 at top speed to run an 8km here! And they measure everything in miles! And their miles were 10 minutes, and my kilometers take 10 minutes. My time for this race was 1:52:28; the Headless Horseman would have taken my head for sure! However, I couldn’t find a race profile for the Sleepy Hollow 10km on the website…and here’s the Klipsriviersberg 10km:

Klips18Oct

Seriously, my jaw dropped when I downloaded that profile to Strava. And I think I swore. And I started to feel less bad about being slow. We’re currently experiencing a heat wave here in Joburg, and any race that starts after 7am is destined to be a sweaty one, with a chance of possible sunburn. So here’s what I was experiencing at each of the numbered points:

  1. It’s going to be a warm day today.
  2. This is kind of steeper than I thought would be. Is that sweat dripping off my face?
  3. That headwind feels great!
  4. I think I’m at the top. There’s supposed to be a view of the Joburg skyline somewhere, but it’s too hot to stay up here and look for it.
  5. It’s even hot in the trees! And if I trip and fall I’ll be a puddle by the time help arrives. And probably both my arms will be broken. And my face.
  6. Geez, it’s even hot by the river! When does this get easy?
  7. I need to finish before I spontaneously combust.
viewfromtop

Where’s the view of the Joburg skyline I was promised? View from point 4.

Highs

Significantly more people were there than for the May races. It’s great to see trail running growing! Some sections of the trail I’d run before, so there was some familiarity. But it was definitely challenging, and fun! In total, it was 286m of climbing. Coupled with the 267m climbing for the Rock Rabbit Run last weekend that should mean I don’t have to do a Tabata/HIIT session this week! In truth, I may not be able to do a HIIT session this week. It was well organized and well run- but I’m going to hold back on full stars until I see that my first and last name are correct and I have an official time. *Update: Results were posted to the Facebook page this morning for all 3 races. I was 83rd of 116. Official time as above- Awesome!

Lows

It may have started off quite brisk in the morning, but it became quite warm quite quickly. Certainly no one is in control of the weather, but I’m now not averse to very early starts in summer. Like I’m ok with 6am now. And the earlier we start the sooner I’m home to catch up on my beauty rest. Also, I may have lived on a co-ed floor in college, but non-stinky, single-sex bathrooms are very important.

Mindful Running

Every time I looked at my watch to figure out how many kms I had left, I tripped over something. Considering that more deaths were attributed to selfies than shark attacks in the last year, I should be more mindful.

It’s great to look back at my first year of trail running and see how far I’ve come, and see how far others that I run with on the weekends have come as well. I now see lots of familiar faces at the start line, and when I look like I’m about to pass out on a uphill these, these familiar faces always ask me if I’m ok. Trail running is a positive, affirming community to be a part of.

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