Participants in the 2018 Cape Town Marathon. Picture supplied/Brenton Geach
Participants in the 2018 Cape Town Marathon. Picture supplied/Brenton Geach
Catch Matshelane Mamabolo on twitter as @Tshiliboy
Catch Matshelane Mamabolo on twitter as @Tshiliboy

JOHANNESBURG – Why is it that time seems to particularly fly when you have lots to accomplish, thus leaving one under pressure to work hard towards his or her goals?

Take the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, for example.

I remember thinking I had three months to get ready for Africa’s sole IAAF Gold Label Status race just the other day.

Still reeling from my disappointingly poor Comrades Marathon showing, I thought I had enough time to recover before getting into training for an assault on the Mother City race.

Well, no sooner had I just gotten started with preparations than the calendar informs me there is just a month to race day. Where did the two months fly to?

While the Cape Town Marathon was always going to be my first race after Comrades, the idea was to run a half marathon or even one 42.2km just to warm up.

But there are just 30 days to go now and one has yet to get into proper training - my runs having been pretty sporadic and nowhere near good enough to set me up for the sub three-hour race I intend to have come September 15.

You see, one of the reasons I had a poor Comrades was because I chased a sub three at the beginning of the year, and failure to get it in the first two months meant I was still racing in March.

I then raced Two Oceans on legs that had not fully rested and the lure to pile up mileage in April meant I did not have much of a break.

No wonder then that these good old trusted skinny and fast legs of mine gave in after the 65km mark of KwaZulu-Natal’s world famous ultra marathon - leaving me to negotiate with them to carry me to the finish line inside the Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg almost an hour after the cut-off gun for my targeted time for a silver medal had been fired.

Hard lesson learnt, I resolved to earn qualification and seeding for next year’s Comrades early, and at the fast and flat Cape Town Marathon.

But alas, the race is upon us and I am far from being ready.

The temptation, with just a month left to the race, is to forget about the sub three in Cape Town and use it as training for a later race - most probably the Soweto Marathon in November.

Matshelane Mamabolo getting some 'magic spray' during this year's Comrades. Photo: @Tshiliboy on twitter

Any runner worth his salt knows, however, just what a monster the famous township race is, and how hard a sub three is to achieve there.

I missed it by nine minutes last year and the idea to go for it this year instead of the Cape Town one is currently very appealing.

After all I already ran a sub three in Cape Town - a 2:57 in 2017.

Why not go into unchartered territory? I have almost three months to get ready for it, and with proper preparations I should be able to get close, right?

The Cape Town Marathon is a beautiful and fast race but I know I am not ready to smash it.

At least not in a way I will be happy with. And there is just no time left for me to prepare properly.

I will descend upon the Mother City with the sole purpose of getting great training there in preparation for a sub three assault in Soweto.


The Star

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