Archives for November, 2002

The Wanderer’s Joe Stutzen Half Marathon 2002

Posted on Nov 10, 2002 under Running | No Comment

Organiser: Wanderers Athletic Club
Date: Sun 10th November 2002

Dischem half – watch out.

Here is a race that I feel could become one of the highlights of the running calender. It’s a great pity that the race was almost without a sponsor and the club had to fund most of the costs of the race.

The route has been changed to a fast, slightly challenging at parts, course. The registration was a pleasure, parking and traffic also no problem. It does help to get to a race a little earlier. I arrived at 06:20am and found parking inside the Wanderers grounds close to the start.

The weather changed drastically before the start. It became windy and cold and looked as though there may have been rain on the way. The cold and wind soon disappeared and the rain stayed away. It made to a cool race for the first hour.

The start went off without the problems of Soweto. The route takes you to Killarney Mall and then along the golf course. The large jacaranda trees lining roads made for a picturesque morning run. There is a danger of slipping on the jacaranda but with a little concentration, you can enjoy the beauty of the trees. It was a change to run through old suburbs so well maintained and lush with tress and flowers.

After the split for the 10km, the route does a detour through the Melrose Bird Sanctuary. A true little oasis and a nice change from the tar. The route goes back on itself and ends off with a mild long climb to the stadium. The last kilometer is very fast.

The race for me was a test to see if I could run a half marathon in OVER 6 minutes per kilometer. My training doesn’t allow me to race until March 2003. So it was a great test to run a race as a training run. I finished on time in 2hrs08min.

A tribute must go to the RAC Grand Master (GG) who ran the second half always ahead of me. He would not permit me to go ahead which I didn’t want to do anyway. I pushed him in the closing kilometer to a sprint to the finish. We ran the final kilometer in well under under 4 minutes.

Soweto Marathon 2002

Posted on Nov 03, 2002 under Running | No Comment

This is for me the toughest marathon of the year. Collection of the numbers was a little chaotic due to many runners registering on the day. According to the race rules, no registrations are taken on the day which obviously changed due to the high demand.

Getting to the venue and parking was easy and well organized, compared to many other races. The start however wasn’t that smooth. The road proved too narrow for many runners who opted for the outer boundary and then a huge cut across the veld after the gun. Many runners were impatient for the gun and went off only to be called back and create more hassles for the organizers.

One thing we can rely on at Soweto is heat. The day prior was cool and overcast which didn’t carry over to race day. The temperature went to at least 20 degrees by the start. This meant that, with the increased field, water points for the first 20 kilometers were under pressure yet again. The same problems of the past few years.

This was my third running of the Soweto Marathon and it proved more difficult than the last. My training was better than ever except for the four weeks leading up to the race due to work pressures.

On race day Sunday 3rd November 2002 I started at a casual six minutes per kilometer which is an easy pace. Then the same hill at around 22 kilometers hit once again. At around 23 kilometers my best friend came in the form of tree which without it, I would have been flat on my back. Both hamstrings went into spasm. With the assistance of another runner then the Old Mutual physio’s, I was back to a walk and later a jog. My first 21 km’s was in 2h05m, the last in 3h05min. A finishing time of 5h10m, my PW (personal worst)

I will most likely be back again next year with a little more hill preparation under my belt. A few new friends made and an overall enjoyable day.