Fourteen days ago I was in doubt as to whether I could ever break the 2H30M barrier for the half marathon but did well to achieve that goal, which is all history now. Fourteen days ago I knew I could never do a sub-one in a 10km race.
Saturday 7 February 2015 I had no idea that another milestone would materialize. The morning started off silly as I thought the race started at 06H00, only find out that the starting time was 6H30.
Nevertheless I arrived at 5H30 and killed the hour’s wait chatting with fellow runners.
At the start I decided to position myself at the front, a definite plus I discovered and saved vital seconds on race time.
At the gun I started at 5.5 minutes per kilometre, hoping to slow down to my usual pace of eight to nine minutes per kilometre. After the first kilometre Warda, Adela, Roegshana and Siraj whisked pass and I heard Warda calling: “Come uncle. Stay with us”.
I thought: “Oh what the hell. Stay with these whiskers and see what happens.”
After two kilometres and I was still with them. My slow down plan was machine gunned.
At the first water point my speed of just under six minutes, which was completely foreign to my constitution, was so fast that I almost missed grabbing a water sachet but recovered and eventually got one from the last person in the line. That made me wonder what the elite runners do. At the four kilometre mark, a PB of better than my previous 1H13M seemed possible.
“Stay with us uncle,” was Warda’s call.
“Ok Warda, I’m here,” was my reply.
The eminent Siraj – and as Zarina said to me “that’s my man”, was the zealous pace setter. Oooo eina dit is vining – never mind vinnag. Hier kan a PB gebeur, het ek aan myself gese. But for now it was only to better my previous 1H13M.
At the 5km mark somewhere in Crawford and still at the pace of under 6m/km and 27 minutes into the race I said to myself: “If you slow down now then the previous kilometres’ effort was for naught. Stoot an.”
“Uncle you okay?” asked Warda.
“Safe Warda,” was my reply.
At this point someone fell off the bus but I only discovered at the finish who it was.
At the 6km mark on Jan Smuts towards the turn at Aden Avenue a sub-1 looked attainable. “Huh? Sub one? @#$tjek,” I found myself saying. At 8km, links verby Fatima Jakoet and at 9.5km regs verby Naz. Unbelievable. A sub-1 was in sight. Crossing the line at 59m – exact seconds I don’t know – I actually forgot to stop my watch in all the excitement. Fluit fluit my storie is uit.
Thanks to the bus, drop offs included – Siraj and Warda you rock. And a big slamat to Adela as well.
By Ridwan Wagiet.