The Loskop Ultra is next weekend so I decided to do the Slow-Mag half and convinced a friend to try his first half marathon. This is a really pleasant and very popular race and includes a 10km, half marathon, marathon and a 50km ultra.
The first challenge was getting to the race all the way in Benoni which is actually far from everywhere. We set off very early and got to about 6km from the start only to be stuck for ages on the N12 trying to get on the snake road offramp. If you do this race I recommend you set off very early and rather take the Bunyan Street exit, the road before the snake road exit if you coming from Johannesburg.
The route is mostly flat, so this race might be a good one to do if it is your first. The route goes through a mostly residential area and goes through a golf estate which is really pretty. The golf estate has a lake going through it with winding golf cart roads which we run on. The 42km is a two lap course of the half marathon, the 10km splits off early during the half marathon. The support was really good with Coke, water and I saw some bananas. There is also not any car traffic in the golf estate which is nice.
My race didn’t really go to plan, with the traffic situation we managed to start late and weren’t the only ones! Being late always makes you run a little quicker to try catch up to the crowd, which is the wrong thing to do. I’ve made this mistake before and I should have been a little more assertive and stopped my friend (his first half marathon) from going to quick. Because after 9km of running under 5:30 min/km the inevitable happened and my buddy’s knee started hurting. I decided to stick with him to the end because it was my idea to come. This involved a fair amount of walking and a little running.
What was interesting is, I think I actually needed this walking practice for the Comrades Marathon coming up. I cannot walk fast at all and I realized that walking for long periods uses some muscles I’ve been neglecting while running.
So not a hard day out on the road but I learnt some things about walking and discovered another race I would like doing again.