South Africa – long time coming

Posted: 03/02/2013 in Journal, Running
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Soooooo, last October/November we went to South Africa to visit family. It was an ace place to run, as well as good to see the folk. In Spion Kop we visited Sarah, Ashley and Jemimah. Some trail running around the lodge and you can appreciate that there’s a lot more there if there was a bit more time. I got a couple of miles out on the dirt road, turned to come back and discovered that Oz, Sarah and Ashley’s Jack Russell had followed me from their house back up at the lodge. He paced me back as well, and we walked a few of the hillier bits that were tiring his wee legs out.

Spion Kop Lodge sunset

Down to Umhlanga by the Indian Ocean and there’s a promenade along the sea front – it’s very much like I’d imagine the Yellow Brick Road would look like. I ran the beach barefoot too, in and out of the surf, and back and forth along the prom. Loads of folk power-walking here – a few runners, but a whole world of power-walking. Never seen the like, but it seemed to be the done thing, every day, all the time, there were a ton of walkers out.

At Umhlanga, I missed out on a Parkrun at Durban just down the coast on the Saturday morning. What made it all the more disappointing was that Bruce Fordyce, champion Comrades runner was also taking part. I’d like to run the Comrades sometime, 90km from Pietermaritzburg to Durban (or the other way round, they run “up” years and “down” years), maybe after a few UK ultras?

A bit of a clip show here…

Running in the heat was nice, though the humidity was a bit surprising at times. I think, all in all, it did me some good – I came back and noticed I was running better times and with less muscle tweaks. Was it the heat? The humidity? The swimming? Who knows, but it was pretty spectacular. If there were a trail race around Spion Kop, or if someone would do running tours (you can go up in a landrover or on a horse) around the hill, then I’d be right there.


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