Kicking off yesterdays shift, despite the fantastic 10 hour sleep, I was definitely a little anxious as to the effect of the cumulative mileage and what it might bode for the day..
I’d also listened in on Shaun explaining to another group the necessity of being somewhat calculated in their approach to the shift, so as not to have too many overlapping runners where ‘dead’ miles could cause them issues at the end of a shift. So with that in mind, we had a little team bosberaad and sent out a solitary individual on each of the first two sets of 10km’s, with Katie (my champ team member who fractured her hip a few months back but didn’t want to miss M2R) joining them on a bike.
After about 10km’s on tar, we turned onto a dirt road, which we’d follow for the next 55 odd kilometres. The day was beautifully clear barring a few whisps of cloud and looked like it had potential to be a scorcher. But thanks to a cool breeze, it stayed a warm but incredibly comfortable temperature throughout.
Despite our more ‘conservative’ start to the day, I soon realised after 2 hours resting in the back that if I wanted to do 40km’s for the day, with at least one rest somewhere in between, I was going to need to get on the road or potentially run out of kilometres.
So at 2 hours and 20km into our 80, I hit the road for what turned out to be a 30km shift from 11h00 till 14h00 – the hottest hours of the day. Only they didn’t feel too bad – as mentioned before. Armed with a small JBL speaker, some great tunes and scintillating company throughout my run, we continued our march to Cape Town through the magical backroad scenery and beauty of the area. The fact that I had company throughout was because everyone else in our shift also had big aspirations for the day and fear of running out of road so the ‘conservatism’ of earlier in the day lessened and we opted for a more fluid, flexible approach.
The day was crystal clear, the sky was bright blue and you could see for miles. Quite a few in the group reached some personal milestones too, which only added to the gees. Myself and Melanie hit the 100km mark with a few others the sniff of a rag away and Katie boshed out 71km out of the full 80 on her bike. That’s 7 hours on a bike. Legend.
With 15km’s to go and what looked like a beautiful sunset coming, we turned back onto tar and headed towards camp at Victoria West. With everyone feeling strong and buoyant, we decided in advance we’d take a team pic at sunset (before the changeover) and we’d try and get the full team complement to run in the last 5km’s together.
That last hour was just sublime. While the attached pics – and incredible team pics – look amazing, they don’t quite do the utter magic of the light and the moment complete justice.
After Mel, Dan and Brad donned tutu’s for the final 5 (the second outfit we’ve seen while on shift with them), we ran in to the changeover with the sun creating an insanely beautiful pink spectrum in the sky above us. In writing this I don’t have the vocab to adequately describe it.
Spirits were high when we boarded the bus with everyone sharing stories, photos and personal experiences of their day. There was much talk of celebratory beers. Excited runners Googled the problem and were rewarded with a result just 30kms away with a 20h00 closure. RESULT. We called to make sure and were devastated then the owner told us they’d just closed.
So when Bronson and I boarded the bus at a petrol stop a little later, armed with two six packs, having persuaded a restaurant that we needed them badly and that they’d be contributing to a greater cause, the high spirits soon turned to rowdiness – evidenced beautifully in the video in this post. I won’t try to describe it. Again – I’m at a loss.
And so the week continues to surprise and delight in droves. New friendships formed and strengthened every day. Wander at the beauty of our spectacular country. Amazement at our bodies and what they can do.
And above all, satisfaction and joy at the fact that our efforts are changing the lives of some talented and deserving scholars. Please watch that video – posted on my page – and if you haven’t donated, please consider doing so and making a difference too.
Quick note before donation details – I can NOT work out how to get all photos and videos embedded in the post so have posted all the photos for this post in a photo album called Day 4.
PLEASE check out the incredible pics from that day HERE.
MAD2Adventures for a Cause
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