Monday, 27 August 2012

Race Report: Pretoria Spar Women's Race 2012

The annual Pretoria Spar Women's Race has been one of my all-time favourite races since way back in 2003, when I completed it for the first time.  The organization, the bling, the loot, you name it - everything is of an incredibly high standard.  And this year was no different: Once again a highlight of the annual racing calendar!  

Race registration was an absolute breeze.  I have no idea where the other 24 999 runners were when I picked up my race number, but I literally sailed through the registration process.  (Note: Get there early!)



Exactly two minutes later I had my number and t-shirt and was ready to roll.


No. 555.

Will and Baby Girl dropped me off at the starting line a whole two hours before the official starting time, because, trust me, things tend to get very crowded at the start.  I joined some ladies on the curb for an hour or so, and then made my way to the starting line, where I sat flat on the ground in the shade of the poor lady in front of me for another hour.


Waiting for the race to start.
Almost time...!

The race started at 14:00 on what turned out to be a perfect summer's day in August - it was a scorcher!  Just before the starting gun fired, the announcer warned us that it was 32 degrees Celsius out there and that we should take enough fluids - hoowee, it was hot!

The first 7 km of the race was hilly, hot and challenging - I could literally feel my face glowing as I ran.  But the water points were more than adequate and well-stocked with both water and energy drinks - major kudos for that.  


The route profile.

Almost each and every lamppost along the way shouted some encouragement, which made the kilometers fly by...



And even for a ladies' race the, ahem, facilities were ample...



I really, really wanted to finish the (10 km) race in under an hour, but given the size of the field (25 000!), as well as the heat, I knew it would be a challenge.  In the end I sneaked into the stadium amidst a sea of orange 58 minutes and 20 seconds after the starting gun fired - yay!   


  
One of the main reasons for loving this race so much, is that the medal and goody bag never disappoint.  And this year was no different.  In fact, it was the best yet - the goody bag literally weighed a ton.  Love!


The stuff!



Baby Girl has perfected the "medal between the teeth" pose (or in her case, gums) at a very early age.  My little future champion!  



Thanks Spar, and everyone involved, for a fantastic race.  You guys are awesome!  God willing, we'll see you again next year - same time, same place.

4 comments:

  1. Glad you have found a perfect and well organized race.
    Very good finishing time despite the crowd and the heat. Congrats.
    All beautiful pics but the last is priceless.

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  2. Awesome run, well done! 25000 is crazy for 10km's! Luckily these guys know how to organise a good race. Lovely photos!

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  3. Congrats on finishing under an hour! That goody bag looks awesome!

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  4. That was a cracking time in the flag-cracking heat. Well done! But I had to laugh at how very different your race was to the one I ran on Saturday. In mine, which cost £5 to enter, there were only 74 finishers, no medal, no goody bag and prizes for just an elite few.

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