Monday, 15 February 2016

The race that made me smile for days

On Saturday we ran our first ever race as a team of three: Miss K, J Bear, the double stroller and me.  But wait, the story doesn't actually start there.  It starts on Friday night with the rowdy dude down the street: The one who starts and revs his bike at midnight on a pre-race night and then blasts his music until after 04:30 a.m. - rise-and-shine time for Team Potgieter...  Next time he's going to have to deal with a crazy, barefoot, nightie-clad woman giving him a (big) piece of her mind.  Just sayin'.

Anyway, Will and I tore our tired bones out of bed at 04:30 a.m. (he was doing a long training ride with his buddies) and I auto-piloted through the usual routine: Lunch boxes - check; juice bottles - check; blankets - check; diaper bag - check; double stroller - check.  I loaded my two sleepy-head running partners into the car as Will rode off for his long ride, and we made it to the 46th annual Diamond Marathon venue just in time.

Entry: Check! [Photo by Louis Botha Photography.] 

The pre-race vibe was awesome: We hung around a bit and chatted to some parkrun friends, and soon the lack of sleep was completely forgotten - we were ready to race!  My goal was simple: To clock a sub-30 minute double stroller 5 km.  [A bit of background: I've been frequently training with the double stroller since late September 2015 (on gravel roads) and haven't been able to clock a sub-30 minute 5 km once during this time.  But by now I also know all too well that tar roads, on which Saturday's race took place, are a whole different ball game when it comes to stroller running, so I knew we had a chance.]

We're here!  And awake!  (Some of us...)
The 5 and 10 km races started together and after a bit of a bumpy start on a grass field, we quickly settled into a rhythm once we hit the tar.  The route (and weather!) was any stroller runner's dream: Flat as a pancake, wind still and cloudy - wahoo!  

I never looked at my watch once during the race - just tried to keep a hard, but doable pace throughout.  And before I knew it, we'd reached the turn-around point (and a very welcome water table!) and much to my surprise (as we were running with the 10 km racers up until that point), we were the first ones to turn around...!

I kept on expecting some fleet-footed latecomer to overtake us at any moment, but rather weirdly it never happened - WE WON the darn race!!  And as we crossed the finish line, I heard the timekeeper shout out our time: 26:15 - uhm, what?!  A double stroller PB by two whole minutes.   

Done!  [Photo by Ria Janse van Vuuren.]

That moment right there...  Miss K and I giggled like school girls, while J Bear, in true Bear style, slept through the whole thing.  It was perfect. 

(Double stroller) PB, baby!

So after months of discouraging runs, puffing like an out-of-breath steam engine on those gravel roads finally paid off.  

I'm still smiling.


  1. Wow, well done! If I am ever caught running, leave the building because you know it is on fire! Never mind running with a double stroller.

    1. Haha, thanks, Adrienne! Running is a funny thing: Easy to hate at first, and hard to fall in love with, but once the bug bites, it just doesn't let go!

  2. Fantastic! Wow that is a great time, I doubt I could do that without a stroller! Well done!

  3. That is awesome to hear. I'm glad you were able to get such a great run in, I can only imagine how awesome you feel now. With a double stroller too? That's awesome.

    1. Thanks so much, Hollie! A bit slow compared to your speedy times, but we felt like we flew! ;)

  4. Many congratulations Karien for that incredible performance. Not only a stroller PB but you actually won the race. Yay, how brilliant is that.. Carry on smiling!

    1. Thanks so much, Gordon! Definitely a memory safely filed away under the "Lifetime Highs" tab :).

  5. Yes, congratulations for winning the race while strolling along!


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