Guy Has A Cry On the Sky (Run)
Here is the true story of Cry Run 2018. It’s long because my run was long.
Having read all the race reports from the professionals and amateurs alike, I think it is high time that the truth came out. Everyone is being too humble about their own performances and too kind about the conditions. Please bear in mind I only did the 65km race not the 100km so to get a feeling of the full race read the first third of this report again when you are done.
We’ll start with the conditions. When guys and girls say it was hot, you immediately think that it is Cape Town mid drought hot, it wasn’t. It was Satan’s toilet the morning after a Britannia Mutton Bunny Chow Hot. Actually, a little hotter than that. It was like the inside of a Woolworths pie hot. It was also really dry and dusty. So dry in fact that I haven’t been able to breathe through my nostrils since Saturday because they have fused shut with dust.
Now we have to mention the new route we had to take because of the angry people in Lady Grey. What is normally an aggressively tough route just became Donald Trump angry. You start on a beautiful dirt road (why we couldn’t just stay on there…) and then cruise up the back of The Wall. My balls still shrink a little thinking about it. Then you slide down The Wall. By now my quads were done, a whopping 4km into the race. I had the pleasure of spending this part of the race with George Van De Schyff the rock rabbit. Watching his ginger legs hop over all the obstacles in front of him was both awe inspiring and saddening at the same time, my little legs hop over nothing, we kind of swerve around obstacles instead. It’s quite efficient until it’s not.
The next 20km were spent climbing out of the Balloch valley up through Skiddaw to Avoca – which I am told is Afrikaans for Everest. Over these 20km you climb a total of 3454324m to get to an altitude of outer space. Breathing is impossible and your heart rate is akin to a hummingbird sucking on some ephedrine laced syrup. This is however the highest point of the run so you breathe a sigh of relief until that bastard voice in your head reminds you that you have to come back here later. I think in the interests of full disclosure I must mention that at this point I really wasn’t having a good time. I felt flat and tired and old and bald and short and hot and dry and thirsty and sad.
The cruise to the halfway point and fresh water felt like an eternity, if an eternity was eternity plus infinity multiplied by a microwave minute. But. Big but. It is the greatest stream in the entire world and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the stream that they used when they watered the Garden of Eden. The water was sweet and cold and refreshing and was like a shot of Adrenalin straight in the zoon pipe. Now we were ready to race. Hehe, race.
The section of running from Snowden to Avoca was a joyous experience. I had so much sugar in me and saw so many of my running chommies that it was always going to be fun. It was, there were hugs and high fives all the while skipping through the fynbos and grass sections at an amazing pace of slightly faster than a leopard crawl. Then you start the climb up to Avoca again and life gets a bit tougher. Fortunately the crew at Avoca have a sense of humour and tease you through it before you get tooooo grumpy about climbing up to outer space again.
Avoca to Skiddaw is a jol. The Dragons Back is great fun to run down and at the back of your mind you know it is basically down hill all the way home. I was lucky enough to meet up with Zoog Haynes and Trygve Wang here and we spent some time talking about how un-olympic we were feeling. It was also along this stretch that we came across the biggest bos kak ever made by a human at anytime in the history of the world. We actually didn’t believe it was human but we all agreed that baboon’s hadn’t yet learned to wipe their bums and put the toilet paper next to the biggest bos kak in the world ever.
Anyhoo we carried on down to Skiddaw which for some reason also takes an eternity. You can see it but you can’t flipping get there before the next moon comes around which kind of takes the wind out of your sails. Except there is no wind because you are still in Satan’s toilet wondering why he would have had another curry. Once you get to Skiddaw though you cruise along the ridge line and you know in your heart that it is nearly over. A beaut descent back down to the Balloch Valley and then you can cruise along the river sipping river water and dreaming of the coke that is waiting for you.
This whole 4k stretch or so is completely runnable. If you had gotten your nutrition right and weren’t on the biggest sugar crash since any toddler after a kids party. I soldiered on though, because momma didn’t raise no quitter and you have no choice. Once you get to Balloch – which should be renamed nirvana – life gets infinitely better. Friendly faces, food, 1lt of Coke and an endless supply of Biogen certainly does a good job of balancing out the sugar levels. I think happiness while running is intricately linked to sugar levels. I’m not a scientist though so don’t quote me on that.
This sense of enjoyment however is short lived as you head back out to tackle The Wall again. From the other side this time. I think so we could all vote on which direction was worse. This time round it seems like it took 2 or 3 decades to get over. Not even meeting back up with George Van De Schyff could raise my spirits on this beast. It must be said that it is a bit easier the second time round because you are basically home. Not the 100km runners though, those poor bastards had a long ass night ahead of them still. It is also around this time that I noticed the back of my legs were more sunburnt than a vaalie on day two of Rage. Extreme pain.
You can hear Raasbekkie Carel Bezuidenhoud on the Mic and see the gloriously laid out race village ahead of you on the way down The Wall which really gets the going home juices flowing. Fortunately I got to join up with Trygve again and we nursed ourselves down the back of The Wall and onto the road to salvation.
The finish chute is an amazing experience. Angels sing, the grass massages your feet and you feel as if all the problems in the world are someone elses and not yours. I was lucky enough to have T and Andre who are part of my Durban crowd who built the race village waiting for me. I got hugs and T got to put my medal around my neck, that was special. I also hugged him when he wasn’t looking so he got covered in my manky 14hrs of sweat, it’s all about the small victories.
Huge thanks need to go to Michael de Haast and Adrian Vincent Saffy from Pure Adventures for putting on a spectacular weekend. The farming community of Wartrail are just an exceptional bunch of people who look like they genuinely love having us runners there. The media crew are legends, even if they blatantly ignored my instructions to make me look tall in all photos and accentuate my quads and calves. The medics for dishing out drips to anyone and everyone and last nut not least to all the runners that took part. You are all fantastic and each one of you deserves a medal for crawling into Satan’s butthole and out again.
Til next year.
Wartrail Park Run maybe?