Olives, valleys and kilometres – what I got up to on the weekend

July 28, 2014

Dear Max

A few months ago I was invited to Riebeeck West to run the PPC Cement 21km. At the time I didn’t realise how unfit and unfab I’d be feeling, but at the time it sounded like a great idea. I’d never been to the Boland area, and I’d heard great things about the race.

But when the weekend rolled in, I wasn’t all that excited. The weather forecast was wet and cold, I’ve found a comfort zone groove at home that I didn’t want to leave, and 21km felt a bit daunting. But I went, and was joined by my friend Lara and her brother, two brilliant travel people.

We jokingly plotted ways to avoid the race if it was pouring with rain, and I wondered how I would tweet about the race from my bed while drinking coffee. On race day, it was dark, cold and miserable, but just before the start, with muddy shoes and soaking-wet socks from traipsing to the start, the light emerged, and the sky cleared to reveal a clarity of the area, and a clarity of thought, which is often what happens to me on runs like these.

While I love big-city races, with entertainment, crowds and supporters, it is ones like these that stir me, and remind me how privileged I am to run. This race had no hype, no bands every few km, and no loud crowds of runners or supporters.

Rather, it had scenery and soul, and allowed me to lose myself in good thoughts, and worry less about my lack of fitness and slow running times, and more about “nothing” – no negative thoughts, and no worry.

It was a goodie. And I think I might be back on track…



This was before the race had even started…


A fit pooch


Sadly I saw no shiraz until later that night

IMG_4473 IMG_4476 IMG_4480     IMG_4470 IMG_4489 IMG_4491 IMG_4495

More cheerleaders…


The commentator commenting on my use of a cellphone at the finish…


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  • MeeA

    I moan a lot about not having run at all this winter, especially when I have no-one to run with, to keep me motivated. But in all likelihood, once I find it in me to brave the (admittedly slightly warmer) cold mornings again, I’m not sure I’m going to want that running buddy anymore. I love plugging in my earphones and setting off, up the first hill of my local route. I love how my breath and steps syncronise with the music tempo and the sting of the cold on my face and shoulders becomes a soothing coolness. I love how the voices and the things in my head start lining up and stop bickering amongst each other for space. This is how I know I’ll run again, even if I haven’t gone in weeks.

    I loved seeing your tweets on this race. They reminded me that I love running, too.

    July 28, 2014 at 10:40 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Beautiful comment MeeA, and so amazingly described. I got tears in my eyes reading your description – absolutely brilliant.

      July 28, 2014 at 10:53 am Reply
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