I never thought i would be writing this article.
I finally did my first official half marathon, yep all 21.1 kilometers.
I must be honest and say that i ran the half marathon sooner than i thought i would. I thought i would only be ready by May or June but i guess i was wrong. The main reason why i jumped to the 21k so soon is because there are not a lot of 15km races around, there is one every 2 months or so. I was tired of doing 10s so i had to upgrade.
This was a very strange race to be honest, mostly because it was a race that ran through my neighborhood. Essentially i ran through the same roads that i practice on every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Not exactly the same but its the hilly streets of Northcliff.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the 21km, so i started slow. I wasn’t in any rush, i just wanted to enjoy my music outside in the sun. My playlist had A$AP Rocky’s debut album and Kendrick Lamar’s GooD Kid MaaD City. I like LONG.LIVE.A$AP because the rhythm and tempo goes with my pace and its also constant. Also that album was a banger. Anyway i digress.
The Pirates Half Marathon is rated 5 out of 5 for difficulty by runnersguide.co.za. Its considered good training ground for the Two Oceans marathon because of the relentless hills. And boy were they relentless!!! From the first kilometer we were going up, and then more up, and then more up!!! The race started at 7am so the sun was already high up in the sky, i was worried about the heat but fortunately it was a cool Sunday morning. The nice things about half marathons is that the breed of runners is different. You get less people wearing makeup and more people really serious about running, it feels more athletic and therefore i feel more athletic
The run was actually very enjoyable. I had been driving around this area for almost 5 years but i had never really noticed how beautiful it is. From the 9th km things got real as we started to ascend up the mountain, there really was no shame in walking. Around the 16th kilometer is where you get crowned “king of the hill” as you reach the top of the mountain. It was a pleasant feeling knowing that my own backyard training ground was rated 5/5 and one of the best.
From there on it was downhill and quite enjoyable. At this point Wild for the Night was playing and i was in the zone, mostly because i knew i had done it. It was the home stretch to getting my 21.1km medal.
The pirates half marathon was a tough race but it was very enjoyable. The view was awesome and the architecture in that part of Joburg is best viewed on foot. The extravagant and opulent home designs really give you something to dream about and aspire to as you try to run through the fatigue.
The most important lesson i learnt from this race was to stay focused and to keep practicing and training. Every little practice helps, i had no idea that my back yard was considered one of the most challenging races on the Jozi race calendar.
What once was a mountain is now a molehill.