So this is the week before Christmas !!! Training is going well with a run everyday and a longish one every weekend. My goal set for December to run with the pack ( 3 kilograms ) at least 15 times are done , with a few days to spare...so I have some credit ! Running in the sand becomes a bit easier , although not faster ?
In Namibia we have very definite weather patterns. If the clouds build up for the very much needed rain in the inland , the coast gets the best weather.....warm misty mornings and when the sun gets out .....it is hot and humid. Evenings here are then a perfect time for a beach braai....and Namibians can braai !
To get a running partner now for a long run is quite an Epic......all is relaxing and most Companies in Swakopmund are closed in December , so they run mid morning and some souls must work.So running now is a one man sport !
We have a little Oasis about 45 kilometers from Swakopnmund , called Goani Kontes , and is in the Swakopriver. On a Saturday , I will run from Swakopmund , all the way on the river bank , running through what we called the Moonland to Goani Kontes.On these runs one find that the Desert are not lifeless at all......with baboons warning you to pass quickly....little mountain goats watching this creature running without being chased..... little adder snakes ....and of course what I call the Kalahari Ferari.....a spider about 5 -8 cm in diameter.....but fast !!!!! Often I found ostriches , Springbok and Oryx on this run. There is this little restaurant where one can have coffee and something to eat. The family will drive out and pick me up.
To all my new running Friends that I have not met yet and the Team at 4 Deserts.....I wish you all a Merry Christmas. May you be blessed and enjoy this Special time.
Sahara Desert Race 2017
When living in Swakopmund , and training for a race like the Sahara race you are indeed a lucky soul......
Within 10 minutes or less of running, you are out of Town and in the Swakop River - which keep the dunes from entering the Town.
Running at a 5 minute per kilometer you hit the river sand and the pace drop to a 5:30 - 6:00........then you enter the dunes......and the pace drops even more ....... way over seven minutes....and your lungs scream ...slow down....this is 3 minutes per kay.......it feels at least like it !
And this is without a pack .....???? ....Hallo ...seven days of this ????
Well...... did a 32 kilometer river run this weekend......end up without water.....and extreme heat and got sun burn......after just more than three hours of running ...only about at max ....four kilometers from the cold ocean.
In January , we start our training for the Comrades Marathon , held annually in Durban in South Africa.......which is a 90 kilometer race between Durban and Pietermaritzburg , with a cut off time of 12:00 hours. The distance is not so much the challenge ....it is the route profile with long uphills and killer downs. This year my training will include mostly off road running as training for the Sahara race will include a lot of river and dune training. However...I wonder of any amount of training will help to ease the effort of my last run ??
At the end of the day ....I think it is mostly about pacing.....respect to the course and accept the challenge ...offered by the Organizers......
Be conservative the first 4 days , survive the fifth day , and do an easy 10 km morning run on day seven.
So by the way......Namibia can be sometimes as flat as a pan cake.....but some where she will make you walk a long way....
One must always remember ........be thankful that you do have the ability and opportunity to participate in an event like the Sahara Race.
Ps: Last night we had rain !! Our average rainfall in Swakopmund are 2 mm per year......we just had 3 mm ! As we still have a lot of streets made of mud , sprayed with salt water....the Town is quite a muddy mess. As I sit here and write .......I can hear the thunder....and there are a promise of more rain.
Keep those kilometers ticking and most important .....enjoy it !
To be able to run in Namibia must be one of the biggest privileges one can have !!
As a Competitor in the Sahara Race, to be held in Namibia in 2017 , you will have the honor to run in the oldest Desert in the world....The Namib Desert. You will have the chance to breathe the freshest and cleanest air ever.
Namibia went through a few years of little and no rain....and predictions are that we will have a normal to above normal rainy season in 2017. Being a summer rainfall country....we may be so lucky to experience rain during the race...... and you will smell the rain on hot desert sands ....the best there are and for a born and bred Namibian , no smell equals that.
Swakopmund is a small Town on the West Coast of Namibia, about 360 kilometers west of Windhoek , the Capital city of Namibia. Swakopmund have a population of about 45000 . Swakopmund is also the prefered holiday town for the rest of Namibia. Our sandy beaches faces the very cold Atlantic Ocean.
It is also this cold ocean that makes our weather in Swakop and to about 100 kilometer in land so unpredictable. You can wake up at six in the morning, with the sun shinning and within 30 minutes it can be cold and misty. During April , May June and July , when temperatures in the in land drop to minus degrees, you get what we call East weather......it is a wind coming from the east (inland) ........and as it moves over the desert plains it pick up speed and sand and you get a proper sandstorm. The wind normally starts at 01:00 and by 07:00 you get hit by the sand.Temps can then hit 40 - 45 degrees...and at 13:00 the wind just drops.
Swakopmund is probably the only town where you will have your four seasons in 24 hours.
The Sahara Race (Namibia) will be held in The Skeleton Park , about 360 km north of Swakopmund.........and that name was earned not given...........
More to follow.......Happy training !