This Sunday 21st February 2016, I attempt my first Pirates21K. My first attempt at this race, that has a serious reputation of being a tough one. Runner’s Guide gives this route a difficulty rating of 5! That is serious dude, 1 is known to be an easy route and 5 hard everything else in between OK! On top of all that, all my friends speak of this race with such fear in their voices, you can’t help but ask yourself if you’re stupid or insane for wanting to do it too. Funny thing is that they all are doing it .. and not for the first time 🙂
For me this speaks volumes about the race, that although tough, it is doable and one of those races that you will cross the finish line and feel really proud of yourself.
Looking at the route profile although we start running down .. that is short-lived, because we’re hit with a sudden steep climb just before the first 2.5kms it seems, this is then repeated just after about the 6km but here we have no break but climb on.. quite steeply too, all the way to just after the 10km mark. This second climb I’ve read that one should not be ashamed to walk it with pride, love that :-), it is also known as the toughest of the three hills. It seems we can “relax” if you can, on the downhill until about the 14km mark before you are hit with the penultimate climb until 15km. The route profile shows another breather until possibly the 20km before we end the run on a slight incline.
It is a circular route, starting and ending at the Pirates Club in Greenside, at one point we will be 1,760m above sea level! This is the highest point in any road running race in the province according to the race organisers.
My mates all tell me this is not a race to set a PB because of the serious challenges it presents throughout the route. I’ve run a few half marathons already with different levels of difficulty so, yes I am looking forward to testing this route for the first time and hoping that I will be able to finish the race within their allocated time of 3h30. I will be using this race as a training one and do my best to stay away from injuries as I have another marathon early March.
Besides reputation of it being a tough race, it is also known to be well organised and presented. Organisers look at incorporating the family by providing entertainment for the little ones at the club on the day, a number of food and drink stalls among other activities for the family waiting for you.
Although a little wary of what awaits me this coming weekend, I’m also looking forward to the run. I know a few mates taking part that I haven’t seen in awhile, so am excited to hook up with either at the start, along the route or at the end .. who knows maybe even a combination 🙂 I am just hoping for no cramps!
To support me in avoiding the cramps, besides training runs both on the road and on the treadmill, I will be continuing with my Herbalife Protein shakes in the morning, along with my Herbalife multivitamins and Omega tablets. Today, Saturday and Sunday (prior to the race start) I will be sipping on my Herbalife CR7 to fuel my body prior to the race .. and I may test it during the run for some sustained energy even if it may initially feel awkward running with the bottle, but I’m looking at it as my contribution to the RunClean campaign. I find that taking the Herbalife Rebuild Endurance after the long runs help limit the body pain levels the next day.
If you haven’t entered yet, you can still do so, all the way to just before the race starts .. I believe up until 30 min before the race begins at 6am!
Have a super safe run!