As you know by now, I didn’t qualify for this year’s ultra marathon (I injured my foot and knee). I was pretty bleak about it, but Lance qualified and we did have a holiday booked in Cape Town already… so off I went to watch Two Oceans Ultra Marathon.
I know you’re going to ask, so I’ll answer it now. The levels of FOMO were crazy but abated during the day when the icy wind was howling around us. I was pretty happy to be wrapped up in a down jacket! It was also pretty cool waiting with a good friend and the kids along the roadside keeping our eyes pealed on the runners, trying to spot friends and family members.
It was a day that completely inspired me, and I hope it inspired the kids too. It was amazing to watch people run the race… from the extremely fast front runners to the people that clearly had incredible stories. I did have tears when everyone finished. It’s a very very long way to run. Knowing how I felt running a marathon, I know what demons you fight in your head to get to the end.
Our friends, Nick and Hilary were staying at a house in Newlands, so we drove there before the roads closed and walked to the start. We got to the start just before Group D and E of the half marathon started in the dark. It actually amazed us how many people got there late! There were half marathon runners starting just before the ultra marathon started! It’s so crazy to start that far back.
At the start
These runners and their wives were given a bit of a head start just before the main ultra marathon started. They were amazing! I ran alongside the one guy and his wife, when I ran the Cape Town marathon last year, until he raced on ahead of me at about 10km. I really think they’re quite incredible, and loved cheering them on along the way.
Then it was time for the ultra marathon to start. It was incredible watching the front runners fly past us knowing they had 56km to go… their pace was astounding.
We didn’t spot any of our friends in this throng at the start actually. If you’re wondering, 11000 runners started the 56km trot around the mountain.
In Hout Bay at 39km
We decided to wait in Hout Bay for our athletes. Hout Bay was ideal, because it’s after the first major hill (Chapmans Peak) and just before the major climb over Constantia Neck. We knew that this was where they’d need to recharge batteries.
We ended up parking off at the 39km watering stop. The first friend we spotted was Karl, Bron’s husband. He’s the one in the purple Born2Run kit. We loved the look of surprise on his face when his name was shouted. It was awesome 🙂 We then sent her a message to tell her (she had run the 21km race) that he was looking strong!
It felt like we were waiting for ages. The kids used the time to mix Rehydrate and protein shakes. We needed to get each person’s favourite drinks and snacks ready for them to grab as they came past.
This guy was amazing and ran the whole way with bare feet with the chair on his back. He was running his 30th ultra for the Guide Dogs Association, and finished with a guide dog.
And then we spotted Nick and Carmel! The girls ran off to meet them and run a little bit with them.
They stopped for a bit of a chat before they ran off for the last 17km.
I’m sure that look on Deon’s face is a smile for the camera. Hopefully it’s not a grimace.
We spotted Candy running and grinning in the midst of the 7 hour bus. I was pretty happy to send her sister a message to say that she was looking amazing at that point.
All the kids ran with Lance as they spotted him. Oh I love this 🙂
At the finish line
After Lance rejoined the race, we raced to the finish line to make sure that we were there on time. There’s just something about this photo with Claire’s waving hand that I absolutely love.
It was an exhausting day, and not just for the runners.
As for next year, I’m really hoping that I’ll be one of the 11000 running the race. I’ve got a lot of training and strength work to do to get there. But if not, then I’ll watch Two Oceans ultra marathon again for sure.