They weren’t lying when they called it the Tough One!

There is this thing that you get when you are a runner.  It’s called runner’s FOMO.

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In April of this year I had entered to run a 21km race called the Cradle.  I was sick as a dog and ended up downgrading my entry to a 10km and then sat with my RWFL buddies to wait for my running partner who was running the 32km race.  The more I sat and waited the more the FOMO built up.  I knew there was no way I could have run *that* 32 feeling the way I did that say BUT I knew that I wanted to start training for another 32km.  The problem was that the only 32km race left in the race calendar was the RAC Tough One!  TOUGH ONE.  I mean, the name kinda says it all right?  But I was in the thick of runners FOMO and my running buddy who was also in the thick of running FOMO sat there and said “ok we are entering tough one.”

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That was the start of it.  What transpired in the next few months was training and on my part a lot of doubt in my capability to run that far.  I was training every weekend (even when we went away to Zebula and Kruger) and increasing the distance gradually to get close to where I knew I needed to be.

Yesterday was the BIG day!

They were not lying when they named this race – guys, it was REALLY TOUGH!  With an elevation of 527m you can just imagine how hard it was.  I was lucky enough to have Cliff ride along on the race route encouraging and cheering us on.  It was so great having him there helping me and my buddies stay strong in mind.

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I was feeling strong until around 24km and then I hit the wall.  I battled till around 28km where I felt ok again and then I hit another wall with only 1km to go!  However even after all of that, somehow at the end when we heard we only had a minute to break the 4 hour mark we managed to do a sprint finish and came in under that 4 hour barrier!

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The race itself (besides for being tough) was so well organised – water points were always well stocked and they were spaced every 3km which was awesome.  The marshalls and JMPD were great and the crowd support was so nice.  There were some families that had set up water stations outside their gates and around the 26km mark there was this guy handing out watermelon and nik naks – that watermelon REALLY hit the spot!  The only negative I had been that there were not enough loo’s at the start – the queues were really long and thankfully I was not needing to go!

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All in all I am so CHUFFED that I managed to do this race.  I am so proud of myself for pushing through and crossing that finish line.  The mental barrier of doing more than 21km’s is amazing.  My body can survive and keep going for 32km’s.  Now that I am preparing for the Oceans Ultra I am feeling a little more confident in my ability to do the distance required.

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Lets do this!  Oceans here we come!

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7 thoughts on “They weren’t lying when they called it the Tough One!

  1. Well done!!!! I told you, you would ace it… now you have to do the sunrise monster… it also is a 32km race because apparently it is so tough you can’t go further than that…it is usually in March in pretoria. Will remind you once registration opens..

    Ps: my runner’s FOMO hasn’t take me more than15km😁😁

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  2. Hardest race ever! I also hit the wall at 25 or so! Mentally I told myself that I was running a 21, then a 10km. I thought by breaking it up in two I’d manage better. Not a chance! That race takes over your mind!! But I walked on air for about a month afterwards! I was so damn proud of myself and you should be too! What a fab time and I love that last pic of you with such a big smile! Well done!!!

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  3. Sam you’re amazing! I knew you’d be fine.
    Hitting the wall on those long races isn’t fun though 😦
    Still bleak that I wasn’t able to run it with you. But the next one for sure!

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