I always wanted to break the tape in a run race, but in real life that only happens to the elite racers. Little did I know that day was closer than I thought. On 11 September the Cape Town edition of the Cell C Day of Races 5km fun race brought runners from all walks of life together for not-so-serious to very serious running. We were blessed with a warm, sunny Spring morning. Cape Town was really showing off.
I opted for the “Pretty Fast” starting wave, a women only category. Other than that there were the”Pace Makers” (50 years+), “Sole Mates” (pairs), Young Fast and Free (u/18 years) and “Anything Goes” (open) were the 5 categories. The elite race would end the off the day at 1pm.
The “Pretty Fast” wave was to be the first official wave of the day at 9am. The atmosphere was electric. Everybody, including myself excitedly made our way to the start line not knowing what to expect, or where the route was going to take us. There were many families, fans and supporters on the sidelines that added energy to the vibe and enthusiasm.
My plan and what actually unfolded during the race, were polar opposites. This was to be an easy run for me as part of my tapering for a half ironman distance race. The 10 sec countdown began and then we were off. I started comfortably but it did not take long for my race brain to take over. Shortly into the race I found myself in fourth place, but soon enough I was on the heels of the leading lady. So what do you do when you start smelling victory? Of course, you chase it! The route was fantastic, flat and fast, taking us towards the stadium. It was a thrilling experience and I started imagining the crowds going wild as we would run into the stadium.
This was also when I had officially secured the win in my head. I judged my pace and passed the leading lady, knowing that right up to the finish line I will have to go flat out, not looking back. Entering the stadium in first place was awesome. I felt like a pro with the leading bike guiding me where to go and the cameras catching my every step. I even pipped a cheeky “I got this” to the cyclist just before he left me to do my thing on the track towards the finish line. The familiar voice of Sean Falconer echoing in the background can only but put a smile on any athletes face as they finish and so did I! From chilled to first place win in 20 mins 12 secs! I will be back next year and am excited to see this event grow.
Thanks to Stillwater Sports for hosting yet another world class event, Cell C and Reebok for sponsoring and making it all possible, the commentators for creating the vibe and to all the volunteers who took time out their lives to aid throughout the entire day, from start to finish. See you all next year!