The rain poured as we made our way to the start. Nerves had already set in. Was these showers of blessings or was I to brace myself for a wet and squishy race. Thoughts flooded my mind am I ready enough, am I strong enough, am I crazy enough. My solace, my sister would be there even if I became despondent.
As I Stood in my ceding pen, hearing the shosholoza song my fears began to take the form of excitement the energy was electric…..the national anthem sent shivers down my spine, there it was, the below of a horn and a gunshot it marked the beginning. The beginning of yet a journey within a journey….Never have I experienced such beauty, it became the distraction the inspiration and the grounding.
Against the backdrop of a scenic mountain we made our way up to the first 28 km… Muizenberg with the quaintest shops, the families, children and even the bowsers were there to support us.
Thank you Cape Town!
As we passed this gorgeous town and soaked up the support, it energised me all the way through to Chapmen’s peak. As I watched the signs getting closer I began to make peace with her majesty… I respect you that’s all that came to mind.
Just watching the winding trails of people up ahead, I galloped one foot before the other just focusing on the scenery, soaking up the spirit of the mountain, stopping for pictures and having a chat.
The ocean the mountain the energy…. This had carried me, It was as though I had wings and the her beauty was my saviour.
I was in awe. It went on and on but with every bend something even more gorgeous lay ahead to get you through.
We were welcomed with lovely bananas or the melodious Cape minstrels.
There is magic in this Cape Town!
Down through to Fishhoek what a relief for those legs, but an undulating down that didn’t come to an end. Eventually some respite towards Constantia.
The marathon done but the tiredness sets in. The body moves and you fell like you running at 6:30 but actually the body can’t move any faster than 7:00.
Constantia I love you for your beauty, I love you for your kindness as you shade us under your trees. I love you for the gust of fresh air and the music of your winds. But you can be merciless with your undulating twists and turns …..I struggled as I moved from one end to the other seeking respite from your uneven surfaces. At times I felt like I was trail running as I tried desperately to get comfortable on your surface….but you showed no mercy…..I do respect you for you are what you are but would not allow you to break me so I embraced you Constantia for in trying to conquer you I discovered yet another part of me….
Thank you Cape Town your beauty your people their kind words and cheers carried me through the last 10 km. The kindness and authenticity of the Capetonians was my fuel my energy. There were moments that I had tears in my eyes not because of the pain or fear but just the mesmerising beauty of this city… I caught myself a few times having to ask myself why are you so emotional. It was an emotional roller coaster. Emotions oscillated from fear to anxiety to numb back to fear…..
Entering the stadium was so surreal the cheers the warmth the celebration… I was numb … Felt like I was floating in watching myself come in as I was dissociated from my body… Was it actually over did I actually make this … The fastest 6.33 hrs of my life….
I crossed over with my sister and my brother in law how special we did it … I did not just take my medal I received it … I asked the lady to place it around my neck for I was the winner today I was in first place… I worked sweat and tears through this race and I was not minimise any bit of it…. She did it with pleasure as she placed my medal around my neck… I knew it at that moment I am an ultra marathon runner !!
Hanifa Ebrahim, 2016