Another great weekend, another great race.
Sunday the 7th of February saw the running of Sydenham Athletic Club’s annual event.
Starting at 5am just outside their club grounds, runners and walkers had the choice of participating in either the 16km or 32km discipline.
Until a few years ago the 32km race required athletes to complete two laps of a 16km circuit. Although the route changes retain the single lap format for the 16km event; the 32km is now no longer a “double lapper”, but rather a longer single lap route is followed.
The longer of the two distances is a popular choice amongst entrants as it is viewed by many as the ideal build up and preparation for the full marathon distance (42.2km). This being said, 32km remains a popular intermediate distance in its own right.
Regardless of distance chosen, there is little doubt that both routes are fairly demanding. Long, steep uphill pulls with downhill stretches offering blessed relief. Anyone familiar with the geography of the Sydenham and Westville areas can attest that : simply put; if you are not going uphill, you are going downhill. Flat stretches are indeed few and far between. If one wishes to test strength and stamina then this is the race for it !
Unfortunately a minor marshalling ‘faux paux’ resulted in some 16km competitors being unintentionally misdirected; this writer being one of them. The result was a slightly shorter run than intended. This mistake did however not detract from the writers enjoyment of the event!
Natal Carbineers A.C. fielded about 15 athletes, comprising walkers and runners in both the 16km and 32km distances. We acquitted ourselves well in the manner that is best described as “Carbineer camaraderie “!