Trail Running race (Three Cranes Day 3) 2:51:41 23.2 km (7:24 / km) +872m6:14 / km ahr:151 max:178 shoes: Asics Gel Fuji Sensor 3 #2
Started at 4:30am in a light drizzle and knew it was going to be a mud-fest. Once again, kept Tracy company and unfortunately took 2 wrong turns in the dark (out and back), costing us 8 mins in total. There was a steep climb to start up to the top of the escarpment up to Mare's Tail Falls, where they were dishing out bacon & egg rolls at 5:30am! Then a wet, muddy section through the plantations, gradually climbing up to Mount Gilboa, before a fast descent to the last technical 4km forest singletrack descent. This was a complete mud bath and the most fun I've had in ages - controlled slipping, sliding, falling down the track before a last sprint to the line.
Moved up one more spot to 22nd overall. Brilliant, fun, well-organised and great value for money race. Very keen to come back for this one!
Trail Running race (Three Cranes Day 2) 4:31:38 40.2 km (6:45 / km) +1159m5:54 / km ahr:160 max:183 shoes: Asics Gel Fuji Sensor 3 #2
Another glorious day, starting with a fast 8km along forestry roads before a steep climb up and over Mbona. Once again, we settled in about 20th to 25th place, running with Tracy most of the time. More amazing singletrack descents alongside some lakes through the Mbona Private Reserve and then up through the magnificent Benvie Gardens to the time out zone at 25km. Started feeling the effort in the last few km to Benvie, so enjoyed a good 40 min break here off the clock, in the shade, with some tea and cake! :)
The day was getting hot though and the slog over the hill out of Benvie was not that fun. Fun forest descent after passing an artist's house and then a last hot slog along forestry roads to the finish. Finished 25th again, but moved up to 23rd overall. The winner (Solicitor Manduwa) flew through this fairly runnable day in 3h20m!
Trail Running race (Three Cranes Day 1) 3:08:10 27.4 km (6:52 / km) +1080m5:44 / km ahr:180 max:239 shoes: Asics Gel Fuji Sensor 3 #2
Ran the Three Cranes Challenge down at Karkloof with Neal. Day 1 already blew me away with the fantastic technical singletrack through the indigenous forest. We started with a steep climb up to the escarpment straight off the bat and found ourselves in about 20th place, more or less between 2nd & 3rd lady (Hotpants Nienaber & Tracy Zunckel). Pushed pretty hard through the wetlands, knowing that it was just flat and downhill to the canopy tours time-out zone.
Loved this concept and enjoyed the zip lines! We set off again after 20 mins, keen to smash the last flattish 8km to the finish, but my heart had other ideas... noticed a 214 reading on the watch while feeling very comfy, so thought the watch was reading wrong. After a bit of fiddling with the strap, still saw 220-240 readings and started feeling weak on the hills. Checked my pulse the manual way and my heart was indeed racing. Slowed to a walk on a downhill and heart rate refused to drop below 220, despite feeling completely fine otherwise. Quite concerning and Neal walked & jogged with me for 20 minutes, before suggesting I lie down. Within 30 seconds of lying down, I literally felt my heart rate reset to the usual 130-140 again and we had a good run to the finish from there. Turns out it was a heart palpitation and can get triggered by random things (like zip lines!). Nothing to worry about if they don't occur frequently...
Finished the day in 25th place (in a field of about 300 runners).