First of all can I just say how nice it was to meet so many of you in SA.
I had my slowest run in a while (2008 was when I ran any worse). I think I got my pre-race fueling wrong. Tried something different - usually I stuff myself full and then spend Saturday night and Sunday morning on the toilet desperately trying to reduce the amount of excess weight I'm carrying... TMI? sorry! This year I decided to go a bit easy on Saturday with the result that I was feeling a bit hungry in the morning. Saw Dannir early on and had a chat about the suicidal pacing of the supposedly sub-11 pace group...
This had turned into a raging hunger by the time I'd topped Field's Hill. As I was running through Hillcrest, I could see the golden arches to the left of the road ahead... I did think about whether I should be losing time by stopping, but only momentarily, and my mind was made up - I was going for a burger! Ran in, ordered, paid and ran back out on to the course with a hamburger in one hand and an extra large vanilla milkshake in the other much to the amusement of the customers in there (and the spectators on the side of the course as I munched and slurped my way onwards). It hit a spot alright and I felt a lot better for it!
Got to half way in 5:30:11 - spot on schedule - well 11 seconds too slow but that's not bad after a burger stop... and embarked on my least favourite quarter of the Comrades course... I thought I was doing ok but I could tell things weren't quite right as one friend after another came up from behind me, greeted me, asked what am I doing at this end of the field, and then disappeared off into the distance! It was lovely to see so many friends on this course but I was not having a great day.
Then Mr K came along and said hello, and this was to be the start of us yo-yo ing each other for around 10 miles - this was great as it really helped me keep cheerful all the way up to Umlass road. After there Mr K speeded up and went his own way.
Final quarter is always not too bad. You know the finish is near and all you need to do is hang on - which I duly did. Right at the end I saw Dana, a friend from the US and ran the last 3km together to the finish. 11:33:00.
Post finish, it was the usual routine - start feeling ill, lie on my back with my feet on a chair, feel worse, curl up into a ball and go to sleep... Sorry I wasn't sociable... Eventually recovered enough to queue for the bus back and crashed out in my room for an early night.
As always I had a really fun time in SA hanging out with everyone.
Good luck to everyone. I hope you all have a fabulous day. Hopefully see some of you on the road to Pietermaritzburg (not the speedy ones, obviously, because that will mean they're not having a good day...)