Sunday, November 20, 2011

SCAS 24 marathon

On Sunday 13 November (may be the 13 was an omen!!) Theuns Pauw, one on our Double Century team members, posted a message to me asking if our DC team would be interested in entering the SCAS 24 hour marathon on spinning bikes at the Neelsie in Stellenbosch, starting on Friday 18 November at 14:00. I decided that it sounded like an interesting challenge and if enough members were interested, we could go for it. One of the conditions was that one of the team members had to be a lady. So the first hurdle was to get the lady on the team. As we have one lady on the team, I gave the guys the option that we will enter if she agrees and secondly provided we get enough interest.

First to come back with a positive answer, was Suretha, the lady on our DC team. Next for a yes was Joggie Prinsloo. I was game and I was sure we could count Theuns in. That gave us 4! Minimum was 6. Later Clive and Kobus also indicated that they would participate, so we had a team. Joggie then came up with two "mates" who would join us, but Theuns decided that he would opt out. That left us with 7 team members. Two had "conditions". Suretha was only available until 09:30 on Saturday morning and Kobus was only available during the night. Well, I felt we can work around those problems and our entry was confirmed!

I was a "bit" disappointed when I herd that there were only 4 teams entered. This disappointment became even bigger when I realised who the competition was! I was hoping for at least 8 teams with "some" reasonable competion, but come as it may, we were now in for it and had to make the best of it.

I got to Stellenbosch at 13:15 and found the "setup" in quite a state of flux. Jan Scannel was still busy setting up the bikes! Clive and Suretha arrived in good time, and the "competition" got underway at 14:30. Our "competition consisted of a SCAS team and 2 teams of "Developement Riders" from Jonkershoek, a senior and a very junior team.

Suretha got us going and we did 18 km in the first 30 minutes. Clive was next up and did 19 km. I followed that up with 20 km. Joggie then also did 20 km. One of his "mates" was next and did a 16 km. This "mate" turned out to be Ferdinand Rabie, the winner of SA's first Big Brother series. His other "mate" (Bjorn) arrived shortly afterwards and did 20 km. Thereafter most people settled on 19-21 km per 30 minute session. That was until hit the saddle again and surprised all of us with a 24 km stint. Even Ferdinand managed 20 km during all his subsequent stunts. During my second shift I really "went" for it, only to be disappointed in only posting a 21 km! I felt that the extra effort would at least have given me 24. I then decided that there is not much point in going harder, because your extra distance is not proportionate the effort!

Teen hierdie tyd het ek begin om 'n tydskedule vir die res van die maraton saam te stel. Hiervoor moes ek in agneem dat niemand meer as 2 uur voor 'n ander spanlid met tyd op die fiets mag wees nie en dat sekere mense na 'n sekere tyd nie meer aanwesig sal wees nie, dat kobus net tussen 24:00 en 08:00 beskikbaar sou wees en dat Ferdinand nie later as 22:00 beskikbaar sou wees nie! Die skedule is saamgestel met Joggie, Suretha en kobus wat die meeste van die trapwerk tussen 22:00 en 09:30 sou doen. Clive, Bjorn en ek sou die laaste 5 uur 30 minute saam deel.

Op hierdie stadium het Bjorn besluit dat hy sterk genoeg voel om 'n dubbel skof te doen en te kyk hoeveel km hy in 60 minute op die meter sit. Ongelukkig het die "paw-paw die fan gestrike" na 50 minute toe hy skielik begin sleg voel het en moes tou opgooi. Om sake te vereger het hy so sleg gevoel dat hy glad nie kans gesien het om enigsins langer te trap nie. Die tydskedule moes gou hersien word, maar die grootse bekommernis was dat Clive en ek die laaste deel alleen sou moes doen!

At this stage we were about 12 km in front of the Jonkershoek "Young Guns". Everybody was keeping to about 20 km per shift. When Kobus arrived, he informed us that he would prefer to do 60 minute shifts. Once again the time schedule had to be adjusted! Not a train smash and things kept rolling on. The atmosphere that prevailed was quite jovial and everybody was having a good time. The Young Guns were checking out our distance on a regular basis and was definitely concerned about the fact that we were ahead. Unbeknown to us, they had a plan and were determined to beat us.

Joggie did his last shift at 06:30, Kobus at 08:00 and Suretha at 09:00. From there on it Clive and myself. We were quite concerned about this would do to our energy levels and when fatigue would start taking its toll! To our surprise, we coped very well and maintain 20 km per 30 minute shift right to the end. While doing my stints I saw that the legs of the Young Guns seemed to be going much faster than mine. I did realise that there is not much I can do about it and just had to keep going, ticking off 20 km at a time.

Teen 10:00 kom ek egter agter dat ons nie meer voor is nie, maar 9 km agter die Young Guns, is! Op navraag bevestig een van die Young Guns dat hy gedurende die laat oggend ure 'n "maraton" sessie van 60 minute ingesit het, waar tydens hulle ons verby gesteek het.

Clive and myself kept the rhythm going and continued through to the end. We were rewarded for our efforts with the knowledge that we kept going and were ready for next Saturday's Double Century.

It was a good team building exercise for myself, Clive, Suretha, Joggie and Kobus. The rest of the team did join us at some or other time during the previous two months for some training rides down the Cape Peninsula and as a team I feel we are ready for enjoyable DC 2011!

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