Review of Modern Athlete Irene Ultra - 02 April 2017

Sport Race
Event Modern Athlete Irene Ultra
Date 02 April 2017
Where Irene, Centurion, South Africa
Distance 48 Km
Finishing Time 04:35:25
Race Number 1652
Result 674/3098
Top % 22%
Pace 5:44 m/km
Speed 10.46 km/h
Click here to view information about the course of Modern Athlete Irene Ultra
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My experience at the event:

The third long race of a very heavy 30 days period to prepare for Comrades ended up with a surprisingly good results at the Irene Ultra, after a very annoying start of the day.

Both Andy and I, still searching for a better seeding for Comrades (he had a great race at the Cape Vaal while I did my personal on the Om Die Dam course 2 weeks ago), decided to race the Irene since we both got our best times of the year there in 2016.

After leaving early in the morning, we got stuck in an insane traffic to try to find some parking. Usually the organization lets you park inside the Irene Campus, but for some reason they decided to close the entrances with 30 minutes to go, leaving everyone desperate to park on the road, and they ended up being forced to postpone the start by 30 minutes to accomodate the hundreds of runners still looking for a parking.

Honestly Andy and I were about to turn back and drive home. We found a slot to park our car on the road, and then we ended up having to jog 5km to get to the start. We managed to depart 15 minutes after the official start of the race.

Once again, just like I did for Om Die Dam, I forced myself to walk by every water station (even if I wanted to run by it), in order to get used to do the same at the Comrades. I didn't keep an eye on the watch and I only looked for timing 3 times in the whole race: at the 24km mid-way point, at the 42km marathon marker, and at the end.

Our goal was initially to get a sub-4 time for the 42km split and simply submit that one for seeding, but the very hot temperatures on the road and some general lack of fitness compared to last year, made our race totally different.

Andy had a bad day. After passing the 24km with me, he collapsed and ended up catching an Uber to get back to the finish line, not being able to complete the race (it was the first time for him).  

I had instead, on a course that allows you to get some sort of rhythm (6km in Irene, then 10 in the suburbs, then 8 on the motorway downhill, and then back, with 8 uphill kms, 10 again in the suburbs  and 6 more back at Irene), a great race, not feeling too tired and avoiding cramps. I could have probably run few more kms which, after 48km, is always a good sign. I practically run the second half the same speed as the easier first half.

At the end I finished with a decent 4:35. I wanted to call it at the marathon marker, just like last year, but my 4:01 was an annoying time to submit. So I run the other 6kms and finished the race in style, with a decent seeding for Comrades.

Usual stats from my Garmin 910xt here:  https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1653587499

Some pictures:

20kms in, still with Andy
With Andy, 20km in

At the arrival
At the arrival

My medal
My medal

Another ultra done!
A long, long morning for a medal
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