running race 4:25:30  39.93 km (6:39 / km) +2330m 5:09 / km
shoes: Sense pro 3 (blue+orange)
Hout Bay trail challenge (this years SA trail champs).
Knew there wasn't any chance of me being up at the front given the last few months of knee issues and very minimal training, so plan was always to be as conservative as possible and just try run a consistent race.
First climb already spread the field out a fair amount with a front pack of Kane, Johardt and Siviwe already putting good time on the rest.
Sat with Jono in 10th or so up until Suther. Nice technical descent from there moved me into 5th/6th with Rory. With him until suikerbossie where he decided to pull out (chest issues). Longish stop refuelling at the aid station here, and then was very surprised to see Siviwe walking back down a few minutes later (cramping issues).
Realised at this stage I actually had a chance of making the top 4 for the world champs selection, so that suddenly added a bit of pressure..
Bit of a slog up Llandudno ravine, but not feeling too bad and was catching Thabang all the way. Passed him near the top and slowly pulled away over the rest of the leg.
Started feeling the onset of cramping at the classic 3 hour mark (3:00:02.. what the hell is it with my body.. :/).
Fortunately this was just before the constantia nek aid station, so stopped a little while there to get some decent food in.
The climb up Vlakkenberg was a complete death march. Started to get a bit warm here, and my body just had absolutely no power. Continuously looking back waiting to be caught, but only had a flying Krissy come past from the relay event.
Spotted Johardt near the top of the main climb and realised he must've hit a complete wall seeming he'd been 8min ahead back at the nek. This gave me a bit more confidence and just focused on moving forward+surviving
Got past him on the mini climb just before the tar, and was very happy to get my first proper look of this last section of trail and realise it was pretty smooth and fast (by the rest of the courses standards anyway). Got through the descent okay and then it was just the last little kak o+b to the cannon and then down to the beach for a bit of a rough finish (still pushing as hard as possible because I was getting closed down on by one of the relay guys (who I didn't know was in the relay).
Extremely happy to finally get to the finish and head straight into the water for a swim.
2nd place is far more than I could've ever expected, so super happy with that. This was definitely helped a lot by a large amount of blow-ups and withdrawals, and the time wasn't anything special, but I guess it's all about who turns up on the day.
Knee also held out really well, so I'm hoping that issue is on its way to sorting itself properly!
Also a fully paid trip to world champs in Portugal on the cards, so that could be fun :)