26 September 2010
By: Rogeema Kenny
After my traumatic knee injury before Ramadaan I decided that I’m not going to race that much anymore, and rather concentrate on getting my training run mileage up with only a race or two every month. I wasn’t going to do the Cape Town Marathon 10km, but was somehow convinced to enter.
A group of us did the 5 x 4.2km relay on Saturday afternoon, and then me and my sister (Fadeelah) had not one, but TWO family functions that we had to attend on Saturday evening. Of course, the indulgences there left much to be desired in terms of pre-race nutrition. I couldn’t wait to just get home and get a few hours of good rest before the race that would start super-early in town.
To my horror, I got home to discover the neighbours were having a party with loud, blaring music and dancing. This kept me awake for a couple of hours and I couldn’t fall asleep. At midnight I was still lying awake in bed, with a headache on top of it. I must have eventually fallen asleep because nightmares only happen when you’re sleeping right? I had the most horrible nightmare about the ensuing race, one thing after the other went wrong…from starting 43min late (yes the times in my dreams are accurate, lol) to running with keys and two hoodies on, to taking the hoodies off only to discover I don’t have a t-shirt on, to the marshalls already being packed up when I get to them and me getting lost during the race…etc etc. Horrible I tell you…horrible! That woke me up again at goodness knows what time, after which I must have fallen asleep again because we then overslept. Fadeelah woke me up at 05h15, and we were planning to leave at 05h30. At this point I felt like a train had hit me, and didn’t know how I could snap out of this feeling within the next hour and be ready to run. I don’t drink tea or coffee so a caffeine boost was not going to happen. Anyway, we managed to get done and be out of the house within just over half an hour.
Luckily the traffic into town was not bad at all and we found parking quite quickly near to the castle. On the warm-up jog towards the start line we ran into Uncle Ehsan and a group of other Itheko runners, and by this time me and Fadeelah had also latched onto Quaseem on the way. Word had spread that we won our category for the relay on Saturday and they congratulated us for that. Paul was also at registration the previous day while we were busy with the relay, and all he wanted to know was “Where’s the prize money??” Hahaha. I think all this positive energy made me feel that maybe, just maybe, I could actually run.
By the time we got to the start line, there was a crowd of other Itheko runners as well. Judging by the beautiful red, black and white t-shirts, our club definitely had the biggest representation in the 10km. In front of you, behind you, left, right… everywhere you looked…THERE WAS ITHEKO! The vibe was awesome. One thing was certain… even though we were standing in the middle of Adderley Street… I was home! A lady even told me she wants to join our club just for the cool t-shirt.
The race went very well and much better than I expected. The weather was perfect and the route was beautiful. The change of scenery to a city environment (with no traffic) was also quite nice for me. Oh and isn’t the new Green Point Park stunning?? I didn’t even know that place existed! The multitude of Itheko runners ensured that there was always someone to support and who we could support as well. Just after the 8km mark Uncle Isgaak came and told me and Feroza (who I’d been running with since km #4) to come, we’re gonna push it now. We pushed for the last 2km and I finished in just under 1hr 15m. In the last 200m there was a girl from another club in front of us and I told Feroza “Come, let’s go past her”. We sped up even more into a sprint and ran past her to ensure that we were at least 7 Itheko members that finished chronologically after each other, to the cheers from the sidelines behind the wire fence and from the other Itheko athletes behind the timing mat who had recently finished.
Well done to everyone who ran and thanks so much to the ever-present supporters as well.
I always know I’m in an awesome club, but at times like these I appreciate it so much more. Because really… I would not have been able to do it without you! *big club hug*