The Hermanus adventures’ weekend, for the Two Oceans Whale Festival MTB and Trail run, is finally here. Hermanus is a small, picturesque, postcard, beach town on the East Coast of the Western province, South Africa. It is known for whales in summer, where tourists flock in numbers enjoying holidaying here.
We are here this weekend, not for the beautiful views of the ocean or mountains, but for a bit of exercise. I signed up for the 10km trial run, while my husband signed up for the 30 km mountain biking or rather that’s what he was coerced to sign up for.
I feel I should share some background info here. We signed up 3 months ago, so enough time to train, right? Nope, not for my dear husband. The only form of training he did was one road ride, in 3 months! And claims his natural ability will carry him through. Granted he has done 6 Cape Argus road races (105km), once without any training. But his last one was 9 years ago and he hasn’t ridden in a long while.
I, on the other hand, have not competed in any form of running since high school. But I feel confident with my preparation. In training, I ran 10km twice a week on the road and 5km treadmill at the gym also for 2 days a week. My time has been 10 km in 65 min, and my mission with this competition is realistic. I know I won’t make the top 5 but I want to reduce my time to under an hour. Hopefully we know what we’ve gotten ourselves into.
Before the competition, we need accomodation, as it is 128,2 km from home. I got a very good deal on Groupon( local bargain website) for R900 for two nights, two people including breakfast, at Mountain view Manor, Sandbaai( 5km from Hermanus). We arrived at night as it was Friday after work, and we got ridiculously lost in the town. Very poor directions from the guesthouse website. The co-owner had to come fetch us on the main road.
First impressions of the guesthouse- building looks good, well maintained, adequate parking. The guest house is owned by a couple, the husband is the co- owner that fetched us and he’s very friendly, welcoming and is offering us beer before we even get inside. Then we meet the wife, the other owner, and she’s drunk! Which would be fine since it’s in the comfort of her home but she’s out introducing herself to clients in that state. Even worst, she is blatantly inappropriate with my husband, in front of me and her husband; not impressed. To me, first impressions set the tone for your stay in any holiday accommodation.
But the room looks good, better than expected actually. Spacious room with crisp white linen, comfortable bed, clean curtains, good attention to detail with the decor, nice bathroom with a good shower. But no bath tub and no shower gel, soap or shampoo in the shower. No TV in the room either, it is located in the communal area, which could be a good or a bad thing. We haven’t had the chance for breakfast yet, woke up too early for our race, but the other guests are raving about it.
Anyway, back onto why we’re here. It’s easy enough to find the place for registration and the start. My husband is starting at 08h15 and I’m at 08h35, and all goes smoothly for now.
Pictures tell a thousand words, so.. Here it goes 🙂
And the After…
The consensus on the description of both races in one word is; Brutal! I don’t think I really comprehended the trail part of the running! The rough terrain, the mud, the river crossings, the relentless hill climbs and the scorching sun to top everything off! It was tough and hence I was unable to reach my goal. I did 10km on hills, rivers and gravel in 65 min. Having at least maintained my time under such difficult circumstances is good going I think. Maybe my second race will be better. I won a prize though, in a ruffle!
While my husband on the other side, almost died 🙂 He fell once, spent some time lying on the ground on another occasion for a few minutes resting, broke his heart rate monitor strap and had cramps on both legs at the same time, at the finish line! Was funny to look at:) He did 30 km in 3 hrs- the winner of this category finished in 1 hr 35 min, and he was 15 years old 🙂
All in all, a good day out, a few lessons learnt, a few laughs looking back. And mostly motivated to do it again and do better. Now it’s time to go look for whales 🙂