The 3rd leg in the Ashburton Investments Series was held in the artist’s favourite little town of Clarens. This year the event doubled up as the South African Elite Marathon Championships, guaranteeing a strong field on the day.
Rewind first – During the penultimate stage of the Absa Cape Epic I had a silly crash which left me with an ITB injury which lingered longer than expected (or sought). This meant my training, or the lack thereof, in the following weeks was mainly focused on rehabilitating my injury. Fortunately I have a knowledgeable and caring Chiropractor in Dr Paul Birdsey who somehow got me on to the start line of the 2016 SA Marathon Championships.
I had no expectations going into the event as I didn’t know how my body would respond in its first race back since the Epic and the injury induced layoff. I was well aware and prepared that my race could go either way, but I was surely going to find out by racing as hard as I could.
Despite feeling pretty good during the first quarter of the 77km event, my racing ambitions were reined in when I suffered a mechanical mishap. Once the problem was sorted out I pedalled on for a short while in disappointment knowing that my race was done. That was until I realised that I could continue having a bad day or I can at least try and turn it into a good day. I chose option B so I stopped and waited for my dad who started a few minutes behind me. My dad is an infectiously positive and remarkably pleasant person to be around and anyone in his company will confirm this. If you’re feeling blue, go visit Francois du Toit – you will walk away smiling – guaranteed!
So it was that the two of us cycled the remaining 42km together making my once disappointing ride a very positive one indeed. How often does one get the opportunity to race alongside your inspiration!
I have always been fond of Clarens and its beautiful surroundings. Visiting the area is always a highlight and this time around it was no different. Of course it was disappointing not to be able to give my best on the day, but sometimes you need a setback to put things in perspective. After all, it was just a bike race…