Monday, 15 February 2016

The Race That Made Me Smile For Days {2016 Diamond Marathon 5K Recap}

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 motorbike 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: Lunchboxes - check. Juice bottles - check. Blankets - check. Diaper bag - check. Double stroller - check. I loaded my two sleepy 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 that 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!). Much to my surprise (as we were running with the 10 km racers up until that point), we were the first 5K runners 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 whole darn race!!  And as we crossed the finish line, I heard the timekeeper shout out our time: 26:15... Wait, what?!  A double stroller PB by two whole minutes!   

Done!  [Photo by Ria Janse van Vuuren.]

That moment was perfect. Miss K and I giggled like schoolgirls, while J Bear, in true Bear fashion, slept through the whole thing.

(Double stroller) PB, baby!

So after months of discouraging runs, puffing like an out-of-breath steam engine on those gravel roads had 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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