I am so excited because I just finished my third marathon! This was my first serious attempt to meet the five hour cut-off. This time, the goal was not just to qualify for the Two Oceans Ultra-marathon but to achieve what I set my mind to whilst putting myself up against the daunting challenge of conquering Redhill!
At the start, I felt totally prepared and hydrated, with my heartbeat giving me some rhythms indicating “I’m ready.” My coach, Arthur Williams, had decided to accompany me on this race to help me conquer Redhill. All was in readiness!
We started off pretty easy. Arthur had taught me to take note of the scenery and to relax and enjoy the run – which I did (or at least most of the time, when my mind didn’t drift off wondering what the hell I was doing!)
First up came the steep hills of Kommetjie. Then we were greeted by a frisky breeze around Misty Cliffs. After Scarborough the marathoners took the turn onto this dry path, which didn’t work so well with my “inner motion.”
The water did not taste great and I started to feel nauseous and dizzy but I kept pushing on. I had some wonderful support from the Williams family along the way which made up for all the distress. They were hanging with us all the way to the finish line, cheering us on, especially me and giving me the extra sense of purpose which I needed. Then we hit BIG PAPPA REDHILL – MET DIE BOGGEL OP DIE RUG! There really was no turning back!
As we were missioning on, Coach Arthur says: “Wardah you know we’ve done this already. We have trained for this.”
I couldn’t say much except to nod in agreement.
Going up the hill, it felt like it would never end. I could write another story on just that climb alone. I think I was still in good shape passing some of my clubmates and then… some of the faster runners passed me. But I knew I was still in the race.
Then we descended Redhill and headed back home. Thankfully there were no spasms like I had in the Cape Town Marathon but I was feeling a little fatigued. Finally when we got to the Main Road, I knew we were good and time was on our side, but the road back up to the Fish Hoek sports field seemed endless.
We eventually reached the 38km mark and then my legs just wouldn’t move any faster. Arthur reassured me that we were still on schedule to meet cut-off time – if only I could keep the pace! But I could feel my legs slowing down gradually. OMW! My mind was running around the next corner at where I should’ve been already but my legs were not doing what they were supposed to do!
I was now taking short sprints in between running until just before we got to the field entrance over the gravel path. I vaguely heard Coach Arthur saying that we had about 8 minutes left but that we could make it. But I looked down at my legs and didn’t feel so sure about that or at least not as sure as I felt during that last kilometre on the Bay to Bay 30km the other day!
Just as we stepped onto the grass heading to the finish line, with about 500m to go, I heard the gun shot indicating the cut-off. I was so close! Too little, too late!
Coach Arthur said to me: “Wardah, moenie lat jou plak sakkie – you made it – en jy was awesome – I’m proud of you!”
We crossed the finish line in a time of 5h02min. I remember seeing my clubmates cheering as I came in, as well as my gym pal Rashaad and his family who had also come to support alongside the Williams family.
It took me about 15 minutes to recover my senses, my legs and myself. AND I FELT GREAT! I missed cut-off by 2 min but I know I did my very best and I finished! And what a helluva improvement on my marathon PB that was! Let me just mention that. I slashed 45 minutes off my last Cape Peninsula Marathon time! So that 2 minutes doesn’t matter as now I’m more determined to find out what my next race has to offer! No Pain, No Gain!
Thank you once again to all my wonderful supporters and to Arthur Williams. #Pain vs #Glory tried and tested #KeepingItReal!
Until next time!
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