I ran the Two Oceans Half Marathon in 2011. The race changed my life…
Two days after the race we drove back to Jozi and I told my family the next time we do Two Oceans I will do the Ultra Marathon (56km). They all just looked at me with eyes saying “we still getting used to you finishing a half marathon!” but still very excited I started planning and training.
I was happy. I found “my thing”. 5am to 6am was mine…everyone still sleeping while I am having the time of my life. Loved it! Never looked back. Well, only to see how far I’ve come….
Mmm…starting to look like a running addict, would think I don’t have anything better to do!
I was definitely not ready to run Two Oceans! I struggled to qualify. I ran 3 marathons in 6 weeks (how crazy stupid can one be!) – each time just missing the 5hr cut-off time. A hard pill to swallow however that made me realised how much I enjoy running (or perhaps it was the thrill of being challenged?). I’ve since learnt there are just some things you can’t rush…it’s not a reflection on you or your ability. If you not ready, you not ready. That’s it. You have to be patient and work hard (and smart) for what you believe you capable of achieving.
Running is hard for me but there is so much satisfaction in seeing yourself grow and getting stronger and I have found that each race brings it’s own unique learning experience. The strangest thing happened to me while I was running all these races. I started to dream the impossible. Yes, thinking of running Comrades! That’s when I decided to get myself a running coach. If I am going spend all this time chasing crazing dreams I might as well do it right and so embarked on this is journey of a “Million Miles’.
My dreams are not gonna come easy and that is fine. I am having the time of my life – no need to rush anything…
Traveling in Europe in 2013 during the easter holidays meant that I would not be home to run Two Oceans, but I was fine with that. Instead I ran the Rome and Paris Marathons so was more than happy to wait until 2014!
So, finally in Cape Town to run in my 1st Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. I say my “1st” as if I intent running more than one of these. If you run the race 10 times you get a blue number. Anyone who wants to compete in this event must qualify by running a standard marathon in under 5hrs. Once you have you blue number you no longer need to qualify. You even get a double blue number for those who have run the race more than 20 times!! Insane…I can’t even get myself to run a race twice forget 10 times, no flippen way 20 times. I guess it all comes down to what makes you happy.
The Two Oceans Marathon is a 56 km / 35 mile ultramarathon and 21km half-marathon held annually in Cape Town, South Africa on the Saturday of the Easter weekend. Self-proclaimed as “the world’s most beautiful marathon”, the race is run against a backdrop of spectacular scenery through the Cape Peninsula.
The race starts in Newlands, and follows a more or less circular route through Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, over Chapman’s Peak and Constantia Nek, and eventually finishes at the University of Cape Town campus.
Two Oceans was planned as a long run for Comrades so I was more than ready to run easy and just enjoy the race. Having a structured training programme made all the difference in how I approached the race. I was doing all the right stuff in training (quality and quantity) and the running is starting to feel easier now. The build-up to Two Oceans included Dischem Half, PnP 36km long run, Vaal Marathon & Om Die Dam.
I went to register the Friday which is normally the busiest, but it was fine I was just gonna be in and out. I saw the twitter updates that world record holder (2:03:23) Wilson Kipsang was going to be at the Expo, but never in a Million years thought that I would actually get to see him. I was browsing around when my husband told me they just announced that Wilson Kipsang is there, so we both made our way to where they were interviewing him. I had no idea how it happened, just being in the right place at the right time and we found ourselves right in front in the queue! What a lovely gentle young man he is. I took about 5 different pics on my cell with him and he did not mind doing the different poses. NO DOUBT…ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY RUNNING JOURNEY…
1. The First 28km - Fairly flat and I had to really tell myself to hold back, this is just a training run…told myself I am here to enjoy the race and get 15km of hill training in :-)
- 7km Chapmans Peak
- 8km Constantia Nek
2. UP Chapmans Peak (28km) - It was a long way up, but I focused and managed to reach the top feeling good…I was actually running in the Two Oceans Marathon, on top of Chappies and I was not being spit out!
3. DOWN Chapman Peak (35km) - What goes up, must come down…love-it!
4. THROUGH Hout Bay (40km) - Running through Hout Bay was just amazing with all the spectators, some great support from my running club and….LOTS OF WATER!
5. UP Constantia Nek (42km) - A long 8km slog, but easier than I thought….still smiling!
6. TOP of Constantia Nek (50km) - No stopping me know, still feeling good!
7. HOME Stretch (55km) - Almost there…I’ve got this!
8. Finish (56km) - Easiest and most beautiful long run, had so much fun on the road! I am designed to run…finally starting to think of myself as an ultra runner!
Thought of the day: Funny how a once impossible goal became an easy long run. There really is no telling how many miles you will have to run whilst chasing a dream…