By Matthew Dray
I was close to bailing for Mineshaft on Sunday morning.
Saturday night’s weather wasn’t very encouraging, I’d just had Flu and I was hoping my sister Amanda would be the one to cancel. She didn’t.
We ended up on a cold Sunday morning at the race just before the 6am start. Before I began running I’d heard other runners say it was all worth it once you were on the road, but thought they were in denial. How could you be happy getting up at 4am, to get ready for a run in the rain? I was wrong, it truly is fantastic once you’re there! People get different things out of their run, but whatever it is for you, it’ll keep you coming back if you run a few races.
Although the race wasn’t too long, it wasn’t an easy 15kilometres. There are a lot of hills through Queensburgh and I ended up walking on quite a few of them. The marshalls and supporters helped us through the tough parts, and it’s great to know people young and old, are willing to be there just to help us. Just under 500 people showed despite the weather, and I think those who didn’t ended up with some serious FOMO, especially after it stopped raining before the start.
My final time was 1:18:41 which I was happy with even though a walker beat me (I’ve learnt to accept this). Before I started running I couldn’t do 3km without my heart racing and definitely didn’t consider myself a runner. I started training properly in January and the Tuesday and Thursday runs plus Gillies have helped improve my times.
At the finish the Stella guys were in high spirits with no casualties. The tent was there despite needing a rescue by Neville on Saturday night during the mini cyclone. Although the Harriers bacon egg roll wasn’t up to a Sean Mullins one, the organisers did a pretty good job with all the extras.
There were some decent prizes but Stella members only left with a case of water and R500 off of a GHD straightening iron. Don’t worry guys, I’m sure we’ll have better luck next time.
I’d like to thank the Stella team for their motivation and commitment. There are a lot of people behind the scenes setting up tents, sorting out beers and braais and making sure that the club functions. You guys are great.
I’m happy to say I now consider myself a runner, and I haven’t given up. The result is a happier and healthier person who now enjoys a 4am wake up to run in the rain. I’d encourage everyone to do it.