Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Race Report

…so the Fairview Dryland Traverse is done for 2015. And what a race it was. I realised that my training was without a doubt insufficient, but I had fun while I was at it! DrHF and I teamed up as Team Oogqira Bayabaleka (Team Running Doctors) which noone in the traverse could pronounce (note to self, easier name next year) and while we certainly didm’t break any records, we had a good experience, despite a lot of hiccups.

Hiccup number one IMG_2189 IMG_2191 a burst tyre on the side of a deserted road, in a car with run flat tyres, so no spare, meaning 3 hours on the side of a road until BMW on call could come and rescue me. Thankfully Charlie called the police in the village of Alexandria and they dispatched w/o Laubsher to babysit me until the car was sorted and I was back on the road again. Phew. Then it was a hectic drive to hopefully make it in time for registration and race briefing before the buses departed for the prologue, which began inside the Cango caves – yes, inside! What a privilege it was! A beautiful start. The route then took us another 7km until we headed back to our camp site.

Hiccup number 2 – DrHF managed to lock her keys in her car, along with all her gear, so there was no run for her, while she waited for the locksmith to come in from George to help.

After an eventful day, we collapsed into bed in a tent (yes, I camped!) IMG_2193

Day 2 started early with hiccup number 3 – weather! A storm hit the campsite – a truly impressive storm, with thunder, lightening and wind! Anyway, I managed to stay reasonably dry and then packed my clothes and bedding into the car for safe keeping – and a good idea that was. (More on that later)  IMG_2201 just look at those clouds!

IMG_2251 Pre run, I was still feeling ok! Anyway, after a breakfast for champions we were taken half way up the Swartberg pass,IMG_2207 the nerves began, as they left us to run the other half up, to ‘Die Top’, IMG_2209 whereafter we hit the hiking trails of the Swartberg. Stunning, stunning, stunning, but in the foulest conditions I have ever run in – Rain, squalls of wind, cold…at one point DrHF thought it was hailing, but it was actually just the wind driving the needlepoints of rain into our faces. Anyway, just over 5 hours and 28km later we stumbled back into the camp. Thank heavens. At this point I was seriously questioning my sanity…

Hiccup number 4 – during the afternoon, while we were relaxing and getting our aching muscles massaged, we watched another storm blow in, it was so fierce and so violent that my tent blew away. (this is the later bit!) People, it blew away!!! IMG_2211 A serious sign from above that camping is not for me! So the hunt was on for a hotel – thank heavens for the protea Hotel Oudtshoorn for having a room, and keeping it for me!

Day 2 dawned and then it was onto our second leg – a drive to the Rus en Vrede waterfall area, and then a run along the dam that supplies the town. A stunning run! Hiccup number 5 – DrHF pulled up with a sore knee which the medics strapped well and she was able to continue. IMG_2222 See we even got a smiley rainbow! And how is this scenery? IMG_2223 Good for the soul.

Day 3 was less eventful, thank goodness, the only hiccup being DrHF seriously hurting her ankle, fortunately she was able to hobble to the end, and we even managed a run and a jump over the finish line! This was my favourite route – we ran up a mountain, and down again, then up another one IMG_2245 then through a forest and across a stream repeatedly,IMG_2258 which cooled us all down nicely, and it was again, just so beautiful! And knowing that the finish line was now tangible, I couldn’t stop smiling, knowing we had done it! We had conquered the mighty Swartberg! IMG_2246

That smile is still plastered on my face, whenever I think about what I did. 4 days, 75km, I did it!



  runnermum wrote @

Jealous much even though everything didn’t go according to plan.

  nyamazela wrote @

Super super seriously proud of you Birdie! Don’t take the weather badly – I think nature was determined to put a show on for you! Take it as a compliment. And I will second the tent thing!

  MJ wrote @

This is all very impressive, super proud of you. Well done!

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