My very first marathon
After much scheming, I tricked my running partner Irefaan into entering the cape town 42km marathon with me. Ok! so much to do now, training programmes, diets and very long lsd’s, tired already! Ok, so we go on our Umrah in Ramadaan, sit in the haram making loads of dua’s including lots of 32gi, kwaai running takkies and Irefaan even included his dream tights that should fit the look perfectly, you know his got this whole Isaac hayes thing going, so in between salaahs ,we dodging sheikh for our recitals, to sit and plan this massive task of running this marathon!!
But anyways, we arrive back home safely, get back into the swing of the same old, same old…go to our training Tuesdays and Thursdays and run a race on a Saturday or Sunday, ok, out comes the email from the club captain ..guys upgrades/downgrades and entries has been extended to the 19 September 2012, 2 minutes later(I dunno how Irefaan got this email so fast)I get a call from Fanie…Ashie, Ashie het jy gehoor? wat Fanie ? Mohedeen se ons kan downgrade na die 10km!! Ok Fanie(not wanting to sound like ..jarre Fanie..ek al klaar las week al klaar ge downgrade na die 10km)but anyways Fanie..is jy mal..nai man jy is mos a coward, vir wat train ons, Isgaak gaan mos hom klaar lag..wats is vekeerd, fit jou nuwe tights nie, jy disappoint mos vir my, hoe gaan die Morrocans vir ons nou aankyk (Youseff Kanouni gave us lots of inspirational talks on the a-z of running a marathon)anyway my broer as jy dit so wil he ..dan downgrade ons..a long pause on the other side of line..it wasn’t a pause..his airtime had run out…bbm..call Irefaan Jacobs ..ja fanie ..is jy seker ?
Anyways ..sms collect your cape town numbers at sea point civic Saturday 22 September..Fanie ons meet 11o’clock by die civic vir onse nommers,vat this stage nobody knows that we downgraded to the 10km yet, besides the 2 of us.. all week I’m getting messages from concerned friends, Ashraf 42km is k@k far, you haven’t trained enough.. do the 10km, my wife and kids were like.. what if u have a heart attack.. u have nothing to prove to anybody.. daddy there is the Winelands Marathon.. u will have more time to prepare ..now being the person that I am.. i go to the civic at 10am a whole hour before Fanie should arrive.. queue for my number ..10 or 42km?
Yes man.. 42km!!!
They look for Fanie and my numbers.. sir we have you and Ierfaan Jacobs registered for the 10km! can’t be.. we definitely registered for the 42km! no problem sir.. at that counter they will change your entries to the 42km.. we can see u have paid for the 42km.. great.. now I am in sh#t… couple of minutes on their ipads.. walla ,we back in the 42km, ok.. so now besides not training enough, how do I explain to Fanie that he will run the 42km in his trendy new tights alongside me. In the meantime I have been carbo loading, sipping on my 32gi, drinking rehydrate, and planning the marathon in my head…first 21km, 9min/km.. second 21km, 8min/km ..cool that gives me 6hours ..a whole 2hours under the 8hour cut off time.. no pressure..I’ve been training with the Morrocans @5min/km,with Igsaan @6.30min/km and with the master coach Isgaak @7min/km ..cool, can be done!!!!
Fanie arrives on his Vespa.. my broer hulle het a mistake gemaak met ons se nommers…the rest is history.. ok ,Fanie gets to grips with it, jy weet my broer, daai tights wat ek in makkah gekoop het, ek gaan daai dra, bring jy net die darrels en die 32gi.. ok, dan gaan ons net vir n lekker massage daar in die Claremont..phew..went as easy as that ..waar gaan ons Fajr maak, gaan jy my optel, one thousand other questions followed.. well ,we approached this mammoth task like true Ithekonians ..well it was only going to get worse.. big dark Ebrahim Jacobs calls me.. Slamat my broer.. ek hardloop die 42km saam met jou(I didn’t know if I had to be crying or if I shouting with joy)because if u know Ebrahim Jacobs, u would know when he approaches you ..u know it.. ek het nou net gou a 30km gehardloop, of jare, ek was nou net by die gym.. het gou net 2ure gespin. well anyways,, we all love this big black guy to bits!!!)
Ok, after maybe sleeping for 30min the night before, the alarm goes off at 4.30am, my wife reaches over switches the alarm off..Ashraf it’s race day..aargh no..it arrived..I was suddenly faced with my worst nightmare.. being on the road with Fanie and the gentle giant for 6hours or possibly even 8.
Bismillah..i batcha everything I know…30seconds..bang.. off we go ..look at my fancy Garmin 4min38secs..shamiel fortune passes me.. urges me to run in 3h30min bus…is jy bef#k …maar jou pace is dan nou drie ure..watte…brakes…under through the Cape Town Civic.. right over the station bridge..waars Fanie, waars, Ebrahim.. eventually in front of Golden Arrow hq we all catch up. I’m feeling on top of the world, legs are good, takkies feel good and my pulse is still sitting at about 80/min…I’m good…why didn’t I do this before.. well that said, what I was feeling after my first 2km, now Coach Farouks words to me was.. start slow and then drop down even slower, well this is what I did.. I was in my element.. running.. and enjoying it
We ran all along the top main road to the flower seller in Rondebosch and swung left to go over the bridge towards the common…breathing was good.. legs were still there.. and most importantly the knees felt so well oiled.. I was strong!
First 10km 55min….today I am going to run a 4hr marathon ,down Klipfontein Road.. pass Sportsmans Warehouse, Fanie shouts..kom ons register gou vir die chappies 21km, daar is Sportsmans…Fanie please I am trying to gain momentum.. Ek sal jou Maandag bring..up Jan Smuts Drive, still going strong, now running at just under 6min/km, behind the old Kerrie potte power stations, raining all the way, Fanie looking good, tights holding up, at this stage we had lost Ebrahim already.. out of nowhere our club captain, my club captain, my hero arrives in his grey Peugeot with his beautiful wife in tow..aartappels(for a moment I had thought I had taken a detour into epping market)..goo…deep heat ..do u want ..i thought potatoes..who eats potatoes when they running.. no thanks!
At the 15km refreshment stand I drank my first Gu, coke and water.. I still felt good!
End of forest drive 21km-halfway 1h55min .. Fanie looks at me ..ons kan dit doen ..ons is nog pic fyn..let’s push ..the sums are easy 21km 1h55m ..42km 4hrs.. boy was I wrong.. the support from our fellow Ithekonians ..Faradeebah (Farouk lsd ‘s wife), Waheeba, Naz, Ebrahim Mohedeen… shukran, shukran I could’nt have done it without u guys being on the road.. finally at Hartleyvale I was persuaded to eat some of this magical potatoes, well it had to be, why would somebody go through effort of cooking this oversalted potatoes, well I can tell u, NAZ u a star, thanks Ebrahim.
30km-this is where it all went wrong.. knees start aching.. but pains I never ever knew I would get from road running.. my shoulder blades were unbearable.. my mukke? dunno or try inner elbow joints, or maybe upper forearm joints, I dunno but it was painful, my bum muscles was klaar, I had this excruciating pain from my long big toe, up my calves, thru my hammies, up my back right to my left ear, whatever it was …it was vrek sore ! Fanie was enjoying it.. to see me in such agonising pain.. but I knew.. he was feeling whatever I was
Forgot to mention on the 15km mark, Qaasim Jakoet,who had just finished the 10km race, had driven to Pinelands, parked his car on Forest Drive, and continued us on this gruelling, testing u in every way, mental bugger of a journey with us..
At any moment I thought my knees would cease, or my leg would fall off or Fanie would grow hair again, but it just kept coming.. the mileage beacons started taking longer to appear, the potatoes started tasting like honey from Jannah, but it kept me going.
U start questioning yourself, why, for who…
Sea point pavilion was never as long as this before(this is where I do my 5km sprints in 25mins), rounding Putt Putt and then into Vlei Road …the finish Algamdoelilah I thought
6km to go .. I am now already on 4h05min ..my Garmin’s satellite is telling me the route is 600m longer, so now it’s wicked thought time.. if I don’t finish under 5hours, then I won’t pre-qualify for the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, so do I want to qualify for this stupid race or am going to have a coffee and croissant at Noya’s, anyways, out of the bushes pops Faradeebah..potatoes..Energade..gums or knee massage?, first looking around to see if Farouk was anywhere close, I opted for the complimentary knee massage..Faradeebah, shukran it helped, but more importantly, u said something that spurred me on, and gave me the motivation I needed….maak gou ..Fanie is al verby..en hier kom daai Ebrahim ou!
Seeing all the familiar faces on that last 200m, the” come Itheko” chants, gave me the strength to sprint that last 200m, crossing the finish line with pains running down my back, my hammies under my arms.. I felt like a gladiator.. finish time 4h57min25sec..I qualified for the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon …would I do it again.. maybe
Fanie finished at 4h40min..ok Fanie.. jy wen.. maar jou tights het reg op in die Naat geskeer!congrats..we did it !
Will I do it again….most definitely ..a feeling, a sensation that no words can describe. I am now a marathoner..
Thanks to all who supported us through this quest for a new milestone recorded in our lives
Thanks to all the training staff, my running partners, Ebrahim Osman, Refai Ryklief and supporters