Today was race day! We didn’t really do much other than FINISH A MARATHON!
So far every day in Africa, we’ve waken up before 6:00am. Today was another one of those days. We had to be at breakfast by 6:30, catch a Jeep to ride to the start of the race (about an hour drive) and be ready to start by 9. Here’s a selfie of us with our friend Corelien when we were trying to stay warm while waiting for the race to start.
Ready to go!
And we’re off, right at 9:00am!
It’s winter in Africa now, so everything is pretty dead, its like fall in the US b/c it doesn’t usually snow. Real crackly leaves and dry grass.
Here’s one of the first water stops, these boys were playing xylophones – cool!
In one area we had to do an out and back and go get a wristband to prove we did it. Here’s Chris running back from there. This terrain REALLY reminded me of Moab trails, anyone agree?
There’s a plateau that we drive up to for most of our adventures during the day and usually see a lot of animals there, here’s a photo of me running there, no animals really in this photo, though we did see a bunch of African Anetelope running in a heard ahead of us. The mountain in the back on the right (looks like a big nipple- that’s what they call it too) is Entabeni, which the park is named after.
We had to run down from the plateau next. A really steep road, here’s Chris at the start of it.
Videotime! At the bottom of the hill there was a party going on at the water stop and Chris and I took a minute to dance. Watch it – it’s bumpy at first but settles down. All the water stops were great – the locals really came out to make us feel welcome, I hope they had a lot of fun too!
Below the road was a lot of sand, which wasn’t real great for running in!
Guess what? We had to go back up the steep road, here’s me heading that way – the steep road is essentially in the V in the middle of this photo.
We’re smiling pretty nice in this photo, but weren’t exactly feeling that way. At about mile 21, Chris decided he was over this race and wanted to walk the rest. I actually felt good and thought I could walk/run to finish, but didn’t want to leave him. Since I felt responsible for taking him on this adventure and knew he could get the 26.2 done, even if it wasn’t pretty. So we probably walked for an hour to the finish, stopped to take this photo and I tried to talk to him (to keep us entertained) and he said he didn’t want to talk or think about the answers to my questions. It wasn’t really fun for either of us, but we got it done!
Done! About 6 hours and 20 minutes! Chris is still standing!
I should have really kissed him in this photo. I’m so proud of Chris – he couldn’t have done this a year ago with his back problems, but committed to getting better and came back stronger than ever before. I’m pretty lucky to be married to a guy that will be patient when he’s injured and then be bold and come back strong when he’s put in the time to heal. A marathon!? Africa!? Way to go, Chris. I love you. No more running races with me, at least for 2017.
After the race, we got in the shuttle to head back to our hotel and it was the jeep with all the KM marking on the course. Here’s #40, which is only 2km from the end – woohoo. This is my friend Erin, she’s from England, lives right outside London.
On our way home, we saw an ostrich.
Then we saw a giraffe! Not part of the Big 5, but I was really really hoping to see one and today I did!