It’s now Wednesday morning and I’m reattempting this after a fatigue-induced failure last night. I started while travelling back to camp in the bus at about 22h00 (shortly after two beers and that party atmosphere described in this previous post), managed the first two paragraphs immediately below, and then fell asleep three times during paragraph 3. So let’s try that again.
A good nights sleep in our new digs in Victoria West, was followed by a morning of very relaxed admin.
This involved eating anything I could see, getting some filthy kit into the washing (thanks Linda Raaff for washing the million items foisted on you), charging some powerbanks, catching up with fellow runners and organizing the run kit for the day.
On reading, that list of things shouldn’t take longer than 2-3 hours tops, so the fact it took 6 is surprising. Father time bending it again to suit his will and prey even more on fragile, tired minds.
Holly, Katie and I (Team 12) were paired in our Yellow bus for the first time with a stellar crew of long-time schoolmates Gerber and Giela, together with Gerber’s wife Jolandi. Our team has thus far had a pretty laissez faire approach to the details of the shift and more dangerousely the route to follow, which towards the latter part of a shift has us often having to continually tally the collective mileage of each runner in order to determine our distance from the finish point. Definitely not fun on mushy tired brains.
By contrast, our new team was the polar opposite. Like a stealthy ninja warrior crew; organised, well planned and efficient enough to reset the bus mileage on start AND back it up with starting Strava at the same time to keep track of where we were at any given time. Vok. Pretty simple things to do. Why hadn’t we thought of that?
Talking of mushy brains, the cumulative fatigue is a weird thing to experience. In addition to narc’ing out at odd intervals, the brain just doesn’t compute well, gets names wrong and usual linear lines of thinking take a very circuitous and most often amusing route instead.
And my mushy brain was placed brilliantly on display when on sighting 2 young kudu females in the first 10km’s of my run, I pointed to my left and shouted to Katie on her bike alongside me; “Katie, Katie! Look at those ducks”.
In planning the shift with more detail, we came up with a solid plan and executed to perfection. I came on after an hour, and managed a nice comfortable 28km between about 14h00 and 17h00. It was an awesome run, broken into parts that involved a nice slow steady start with Katie, an awesome chat with Giela about the role of women in society (we are both fathers of 2 girls – and YES there are some intelligent discussions that take place) and then a quicker paced lone-ranger stretch with my fave band Coldplay for company.
Again, the landscape didn’t disappoint, serving up spectacular scenery, another beautiful sunset and a beautiful moonlit night.
After a 1.5 hour rest, I jumped back on the road under that beautiful moonlight and crushed a steady-paced 14km completely out on my own in the dark between the two buses. When the lyrics “Look at the stars, look how they shine on you” wafted into my ears (Coldplay’s “Yellow”), I looked up at the stars above and the setting around me and couldn’t help but smile deep inside.
Everyone in the shift managed to achieve their desired mileage and the whole shift, just felt so easy and fluid that the 8-hours somehow felt more like about 5-6. Father time fucking with us again.
I can only assign it to the solid plans, fun conversations and great company of our new ‘roomies, with whom we get to repeat the exercise for this afternoons shift beginning at 15h00.
This trip continues to serve up groups of amazing people that are kind, helpful, fun and committed and each shift is forming new bonds and friendships as we make our way to Cape Town.
A heart-warming story for the day; a sheep farmer standing outside his truck on the side of the road, replete in full farmer uniform – khaki head to toe. Having some sense that we were doing something for charity, he pulled the bus over behind Giela and I and gave R400 cash towards our cause. When asked who he was so we could mention it on social media, his response: “net ‘n vriend”.
And that random act of kindness is exactly what it’s all about.
So if you’re enjoying following this adventure, and haven’t managed to make a donation yet, please follow the lead of that sheep farmer in Loxton.
PAYFAST card facility –
EFT Deposit – Bank Details
MAD2Adventures for a Cause
Acc No: 62466617077
Branch code: 260 231
Section18A tax certificates can be issued on request for all cash donation.