I don’t recall having run this race before.
It was another early start for me, 3:30 AM I was up and getting ready to drive through to Centurion.
OMG! Traffic jam the minute you got off the highway! No! No! No! Unacceptable that many spent at least 30 – 60 minutes making their way to the starting area and still had to find parking. As it turned out, the race started 28 minutes late, 6 AM start for the Ultra and 21.1km marathons. When we were almost the 2km mark, there were still runners making their way to the start of the race. Unacceptable!
Weather: The weather was cool at the start of the race, but warmed up really well by the time I finished my run.
Parking: If there had been road marshalls from the main road directing cars, I believe that much of the delays caused by participants driving to the start would have been avoided and most runners would have arrived at the start, on time, without a need to delay the start of the race.
Organisation: Irene Athletics Club hosted the Irene Ultra Marathon. Entering the race was straightforward. I decided to collect my race number the day before, a good move considering mayhem on Sunday morning. Parking was really a nightmare. It’s not the first time the race took place, so the organisers should have better prepared for the traffic.
I was still at the start, not having moved an inch and there were runners already at the 2km point, over-subscribed perhaps, and a major reason for the congestion? It took me close to 7 minutes to reach the starting arch from when they announced the race was starting.
Marshalling: The marshals were helpful along the route.
Water Tables: I sense they had more entrants than they had catered for. The watering tables seem to be few at each water point, so one had to literally stop and wait for water as the hosted tables scrambled to get more boxes with water sachets. No water for runners at 15km mark, only closer to 18km. It was already quite hot when we got to this point, many do not run with a water bottle, and those that do could not refill their water bottles. At the finish, the coke cups are normally half full, today a finger and a half. WOW!
Overall: Organization was on the poor side. Too many challenges for the runners that could have been avoided if the organisers were better prepared for the influx of runners. It’s not a new race, so many of the challenges experienced could have been avoided.
The route hosted enough challenge to test all levels of fitness, whether you are a regular runner, a professional or the weekend runner.
Not convinced I will be returning. Too many organisational challenges at this year’s event.