Constantia is one of the oldest suburbs of Cape Town and is famed for its wine. The Klein Constantia Estate remains one of my favourite vineyards and their dessert wine ‘Vin de Constance’ – enjoyed by the likes of Napoleon, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen – is simply delicious.
So, when Nic set me a tempo run during my stay in the Cape and I heard that the Constantia 15km was taking place that very weekend, I jumped at the chance to run through the undulating Constantia valley and its patchwork of vineyards.
The race started at 06:15, just as the first rays of sunlight were appearing; it was so refreshing to be out in the morning air, with 2000 training companions – OK, so really only around 20 after the first few metres had been run. I relaxed into my tempo rhythm and enjoyed it. African men, unused to female running company, would sprint off when they saw me beside them before drifting back a few minutes later; this made it impossible to relax behind anyone into the wind but kept me amused as I ran. At one point I tried to encourage one of the athletes beside me not to fight against himself so greatly after he had drifted back for a third time: ‘relax my friend – life is good’!
Over the last 5km I was a little isolated but had fun on the twisty section through the nature reserve before heading back toward Constantia Village. When I entered the grassy finishing straight and saw the clock I laughed as I tried to dip under 50 minutes – there were so many white lines painted on the rugby field that I could not tell exactly where the finish was! Eventually the clock stopped at 50:02 and it was great to have my session plus warm down done and dusted well before 07:30.
Many thanks to acsis VOB for putting on such a great event and making me feel so welcome. One year I will be back to break Elana Meyer’s course record!