- By Kevin Flanagan Team Kelfords
African X has hit the runners world with the ferocity that TIK overtook the cape flats, but unlike TIK you get to keep your teeth, hair, brains and life.
The initial hit of day 1 was a trail running junkies heaven. A calves-tearing beach section, lung busting climb, dizzy technical descent and topped off with a quad quenching fast, flat section. The route could only have been concocted in a trail runners drug induced dream.
The beach section proved to be a tester for the slightly bigger than average runners like myself. In fact, it felt like I was wading through peanut butter, with a dead goat attached to my right leg. Nothing like doing hill repeats, as every wave chases you off the hard sand up onto the peanut butter sand. The big hill of the day was a welcomed relief, as my stride is about 3 times the length of my partners. In addition the running gods blessed me with an abnormally fast walk, so while she ran I casually waddled behind her. I failed to mention this to her when we got to the top and I decided that we needed to pick up the pace. No sooner had we got going and she decided to run into a tree. I cant blame her really; trees are fast moving creatures and come out of nowhere.
The rest of the day was spent holding back in anticipation of a monster second day. Now I know how my dog feels when I wont let him off the leash in the park. Needless to say we managed to rock our way through day 1, in our bright green lumo shirts that made us look like raving gherkins.
We awoke on day 2 with a slight runners hangover. The legs were a bit stiff around the edges, and it took a dose of caffeine and some force-fed oats to get going. I was desperate for a fix of trail runners X and the course did not fail to deliver. 42 kms of pupil dilating scenery and trail that would test even the most hard core of trail running addicts. I fell in love with some ladies’ perfectly sculptured bum on what came to be known as a$*$ehooole hill. Eventually the love bum of my life got away from us and no sooner I entered that special place where everything hurts, even your eyelashes.
Speed bump hill was the final test on already lactic acid soaked legs, and the run quickly turned into a slow intoxicated swagger. Did someone think it would be funny to put speed bumps on the final hill? Who the hell puts mini hills on another hill? After four and half hours of binge running we crossed the line, high on achievement and euphoric, what a run… what a bum!
Hearing the announcement that day 3 had been cancelled due to an ill tempered storm, was like being told as a kid that Father Christmas was not real. My drug fix for the last 2 days was gone, the world had turned beige or grey for that matter and all that was left was a void of time and some stiff legs. I had officially entered rehab for runners. 361 days till my next hit… cant wait!