So I went on the bus tour of the route yesterday. It's not called an Up Year for nothing. There were The Big Five of course - Cowies, Fields, Bothas, Inchanga, and Polly Shortts, but it seemed like when we weren't going up those ones, we were heading up some other type of incline. It never ended. I may have to call off all the bets on the 6:30, 6:45 and possibly the 7:00. The goal is still definitely sub-7 but even a 7:30 to get the silver medal (awarded to the finishers between 6 hours and 7:30) would be an accomplishment. It amazes me that the winners of this thing go under 5:30.
I know it's getting close to winter here but I still figured it'd be pretty warm in this part of the world. The weather I looked at beforehand seemed favourable. At getting here, though, it was drizzly and cool but still warmer than at home. That was Wednesday. Wednesday night and Thursday were pretty much filled with wind storms and rain showers. I went for a :30 run in between downpours and did the legs ever feel heavy!! Mind you I went up a pretty long steep hill which wasn't the best thing. Steep enough that I could feel it in my quads and IT bands the next day. I'll try them out again today for around 20 minutes.
My hosts here in Pietermaritzburg, Sally and Sean Jackson, have been superb in meeting all my whiny and moaning needs. They've been driving me all over the place. We're about and hour out of Durban so in order to be that much closer to the bus tour at 8am in Durban we stayed at Sally's mom's house in Hillcrest, only 30 minutes from Durban. We'll stay there Saturday night as well to give us that extra time to sleep. 3am comes early. Should be a chilly start so am glad I brought a sweatshirt to throw away after the start. Gloves too. Could have used an old pair of sweatpants but hey, if it's chilly for me it'll be freezing for these SA boys. Score one for the Canadian.