The end of 2018 finds us in Cape Town spending Christmas with family and good friends. A trip without a marathon maybe, but a trip without a race – (almost) never! And the race in question in this amazing city is what we expected to be a small, low key event that we happened to stumble across when we googled “races in Cape Town – December”, and turned out to be a wonderful celebration of end of the season running for a couple of thousand runners.
The start was on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, a busy vibrant place at the best of times, but the added the energy of 2000 or so runners – some wearing Santa hats and seasonal costumes – and the hot sunshine of late afternoon, and the result was a real buzz.
It soon became apparent because of numerous factors – the lack of chip timing, the heat, and the crowded, chaotic, unseeded start – that, although there was significant prize money for the winners, this was not one for us to race. In fact, the event very much had the feeling of North Beach (Durban) parkrun meets Comrades. This was accentuated by the support en route, large chanting groups of runners, and our favourite way to receive water mid-race: ice cold in pouches! Unlike Comrades, though, it was pleasantly flat.
The course offered stunning views along the coast, and, although it was hot, a gentle breeze gave some relief – a lovely opportunity to reflect on another fantastic year of running. Feeling grateful but excited for what 2019 holds.