My Vaal Marathon experience …

Vaal Marathon

Vaal Marathon

This last Sunday saw me getting up pretty early again, these early starts are becoming a norm for me. 

I was up even before the crow. Thanks to hubby I was sorted with a bowl of oats before I left the house, my Herbalife protein shake to have 30 minutes before the start of the run, and some Herbalife bars for me to try instead of the Racefood bars.

My Uber ride was prompt and at my house as requested. Raymond my driver got me to Thelma’s home safe and even waited for me to get through the complex gates before leaving. I’m really impressed by the UberX service so far. One of these days I will try out their other services.

Vaal Marathon Start

Vaal Marathon Start

The Vaal Marathon started promptly at 6am. Weather was cool and warming.Crowd seemed relaxed and eager to race off. Listening to the runners around me it seems many were out to record PBs. The route was well marshalled and traffic was amazing, not once did I hear any one hooting at the marshalls to let them through.

We encountered a number of potholes through the route, but … hey this seems to be the new norm during road races. Perhaps it’s a new category being tested? A combination of road and trail running? The watering points were well spread and all had enough water during the first 21.1km .. I say this because I didn’t do the marathon so can’t vouch if there was still plenty during the second round. It was also my first time to see sweets, chocolate blocks being offered to runners during a race.

Me and my fellow runners

Me and my fellow runners

Although it was cool at the start, it warmed up pretty quickly. It was for this reason I decided that I wasn’t going to push through another 21kms. As I arrived back at the start where we could either continue on or take the side road into the stadium to finish the 21.1km, I decided that it was going to be a half marathon and made my way to the finish line.

I received my medal and made my way to the stands on the side of the stadium and managed to secure a seat in the shade right at the start. Basically sat there while I watched the winner of the marathon come in literally 10 minutes after me .. damn!

One by one my the other runners in my group came in. It was evident from the look on their faces that the heat was taking its toll on them all. Overall the route was good, neither too easy nor too difficult with a lenient hill or two but mostly flat so you work harder I believe. Dirk Fourie stadium is rather far, although it seemed to have been really well attended, I don’t know if it is one I want to trek so far again just to run.

Thel's Birthday goodies

Thel’s Birthday goodies

Sunday also happened to be my friend Thelma’s “25th” birthday. After everyone had finished their run, we gathered under a tree and had her a little party. In true South African tradition, braai, beers, cooldrink, and lots to nibble on and especially lots of laughter. Thank you to Mike and family for the tasty spread.