Mnweni Marathon

20 Apr 2019 13:57 - 01 May 2019 20:35 #74911 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Mnweni Marathon
I also have an entry up for grabs for a friend that has injured herself, message me if interested 

edit: entry not available anymore
Last edit: 01 May 2019 20:35 by Smurfatefrog.

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25 Apr 2019 11:42 #74926 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Mnweni Marathon
I'm looking for people who travelling down for the marathon who interested in travelling together as I have no one going with me..

Anyone travelling from JHB?

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27 Apr 2019 18:44 #74945 by WarrenM
Replied by WarrenM on topic Mnweni Marathon
Ruth is unfortunately injured so if anyone is looking to pick up a entry please let me know. 

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08 May 2019 17:37 - 08 May 2019 17:42 #75002 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Mnweni Marathon
Shocked and horrified at no Ghaz report back here!

I did my first Mnweni Marathon this year, wasn't quite sure what to expect but set a goal of 8h30, with various splits along the way.
I took it easy for the first 12km trying to hold back running much uphill, then I made a rookie mistake and blindly following people in front of me and crossed the Mnweni river 2km before the normal Mbunduni / 5 Star / Shepherds crossing, so ended up with a frustrating period until I got to the path heading down from 5 Star cave. I lost about 25 minutes here and thought 8h30 was out the window.
I managed to make up 23 minutes on Mnweni Pass though and felt surprisingly strong once up top. I mostly stuck to my splits on the way down except for once again following someone in front of me and missing the last river crossing which cost me a further 10 minutes as I had to scramble down banks, walk through swamps, get across the river and between kraals to get onto the road.

Overall though was very happy with 8h37
Will be back in Spring aiming for a sub 8

For those that don't know, it was won by Meg Mackenzie in 4h58

With Nolai and Macc at the top of Mnweni Pass
 

 

 

Well deserved beers after with Papa Dragon, Macc and others
 

and for good measure; Dozer the dog, that did it in 10 hours

 

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Last edit: 08 May 2019 17:42 by Smurfatefrog.

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08 May 2019 18:51 - 08 May 2019 18:51 #75003 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mnweni Marathon

Smurfatefrog wrote: Shocked and horrified at no Ghaz report back here!


Month-end with 2 public holidays at the same time as financial statement auditors in 3 different countries and BEE auditors in SA makes for a Ghaz with barely enough time to make plans for the long weekend next month :P

Here's my very brief writeup done in about 23 seconds. [added later] well that was the plan. Took more like 15 minutes - now I need to get back to work, which is entirely normal at 6:45PM on a public holiday...

After a 3h30 drive to Mnweni (due to a mass of roadworks on the N3), I only got to Mnweni at 8:10PM. Was great to have a chat with WarrenM, who has bounced back nicely since our GT attempt a few weeks ago,

I first realised I had made a mess up when I was getting my gear ready for the race. I was running in my Hi-Tec Condors, which are fairly stiff shoes. Without double socks, the outer being a thick sock, these shoes can be very uncomfortable. However, as it turns out, my thick socks were not in my bag. Neither was my sunscreen - although luckily the guys in the tent next to me were happy to help with sunscreen.

I stuck with my normal strategy of walking the start. The sweepers were annoyed at how slow I was and tried to pressure me to walk a bit faster. A few people bailed along the road section.

I passed Papa Dragon and his daughter just after the road section, but would not pass anyone else till the Nceda River (incidentally Mavis and Faye - great to see them in the race, especially since Mavis just finished her 4th DGT).



Just below the turnoff to Fangs Pass, I finally started catching up with people. I passed Ingrid (who did Mnweni Pass with me on my 1st Mnweni, in the snow back in 2017) at the river, but still had no sign of anyone else. Just after the last river crossing I began to pass people again. Of all the Mnweni's I've done, this is by far the least people I have passed at this point.

I reached Chi Chi Bush Camp 48 minutes before cut-off, 3 minutes faster than my previous best and was generally feeling strong. I was very aware that my shoes were an issue. With the smooth inside of the shoes, without padded socks, my feet were moving around too much in the shoe - while uncomfortable on uphill, I knew this was going to kill me later.

I decided to ignore the voice in my head that said "you have messed up on gear, just bail before you have an injury", and started up Mnweni Pass. I passed a lot of people on the way up, and ended up stopping for 3 breaks on the way. It was a beautiful day to be on the mountain - but my mind wasn't in the mountains. I made a point of taking some photos, but I my heart wasn't in it.

I reached the top at 11:28 (what would I do if my photos didn't record the time they were taken, although the smudge in the middle of the shot isn't great), a bit behind schedule, but well on track to at least get close to 8h30.

It was around this time that I decided that I wasn't going to bother pushing. Rockeries Pass is loose and eroded at the best of times. My shoes have very good grip, but my feet would be destroyed trying to move fast down the pass in these. So I plodded along slowly, and was passed by a bunch of people on the pass. At one point I sat down and had something to eat, wondering what on earth I was doing here. I think I looked at the Rockeries twice, and barely noticed much else on the route.

Just before the junction of Rockeries and Nguza, I got my phone out and posted a Whatsapp status. I finally caught up to that dog that had disappeared into the distance as I passed Scaly Cave (I may have the cave name wrong, gone blank on this one). I could have gone faster on this section, but I didn't really want to.

I had revised my target to 9h30, but had been too slow and hit the road in about 9h. By this point I decided that I was going to walk the entire route, I had walked so far and my time was going to be faster than my first Mnweni (in the snow) and slower than my other 2 - so no need to rush. I power walked the road and finished in 9h53 (well, about 9h52m45 on my watch, but Bruce wasn't at the table when I finished). I did not run a single metre of the route, so it might be the fastest entirely walking time ever, but no way to be sure (when I asked Bruce, he replied that it has definitely been walked in under 12 hours, so I don't think he fully understood my question).

It was great to see various people, and meet a few new ones. The race itself was in the best conditions I have ever had - just a shame I wasn't really there. But at least I pushed through and finished, even if my feet were very sore in the end.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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Last edit: 08 May 2019 18:51 by ghaznavid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn, JonWells, Smurfatefrog, andrew r, GriffBaker

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08 May 2019 19:14 #75004 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic Mnweni Marathon
So, a couple of factors caused my daughter and I to bail between Mbundini River and the base of the pass.

I am disappointed but not distressed by this, we learned a lot, and will definitely be back in September..

We still had a lekker 30 odd km day hike in the Mnweni Valley..

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