Win With The Energizer Night Race

I like to think I’ve come a long way since my first trail run, when I arrived at the venue, kitted up in all the right gear, headlamp on and about as confident as Mark Zuckerberg at a Social Media convention. Then the gun went off and I found myself panting after a 12 year old in converse and stumbling through the finish line what felt like 3 days later.

Trail running is a whole different ball game. I was used to flat roads, gentle slopes and dodging only traffic. Trail running involves precarious surfaces (think golf courses, rocks, rickety bridges and rubble). It also requires a lot more stamina due to having to concentrate every step of the way. But what. a. jol!  It’s an opportunity to go out at night with a bunch of people, often dressed like a bit off an oddball and run around forbidden spaces. Theres something quite liberating about dashing over the 9th hole on a larny golf course.

One of the more popular trail runs on the calendar is the Energizer Night Race which is now in it’s 8th year. So just like the battery, the event keeps on going (see what I did there?)

Energizer Night Race
Energizer Night Race

This year the Energizer Night race is being held at the stunning Central Park Trails in Jozi, on 1 December. It’s a Saturday night so there’s no excuse not to grab all your mates, family and running buddies and go through for what promises to be an action packed event (think 5 km run/walk fun races, 10km trail run, 12km team relays as well as a 40km mountain bike relay for teams of 2). The entertainment line up is a win, with the likes of Jesse Clegg (yes, ladies), local band Tokyo Groove, Code Red drum corps, string quartet ‘The Muses’, SA fire performers ‘Dreams of Fire’ and Laser X – a dance and laser experience show.

Sounds good huh? And from only 100 ronds to enter, it’s a no brainer if you are looking to be festively financially savvy. If you are keen to enter simply visit their website or like them on Facebook. You can also find out more about race and event details on these pages.

Now for the fun part. The super nice folk from the Energizer Night Race have given me two hampers choc-a-bloc full of goodies, to give to two of you. They are valued at R1500 each and consist of various Energizer items, an Enrista coffee hamper a Salomon t-shirt and a 32Gi hamper. Everything an avid runner needs before the big race!

To win one of these hampers all you need to do is follow @nightrace_sa on Twitter and then tweet why you need want to win this hamper with a link to this blog (I’ve shortened it here just to make life esier – wp.me/p1ZuF8-7Q)

I will be picking the 2 winners in the next few days, so enter as many times as you like, and good luck!

For a bit of visual stimulation, this is a piccie of what you can win :

Energizer Night Race Prize
Energizer Night Race Prize

Also, be sure to check out the video from last year’s race

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1qw6gV8lbQ&feature=share&list=PLFEBC54E51B9F8004]

Share your trail running experiences with me below – would love to hear them!

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The Proposal

This is our story – and sure to go down in the books as one with many laughs and comedy of errors!

A few months ago Barry – the then boyfriend – ‘won’ a sales award at work. Yay for us we thought as he claimed a free weekend away at a venue of his choice. In true Barry style he kept the destination a surprise, only mentioning it would be in The Kruger Park area. (I of course used every available opportunity to remind him that he couldn’t claim this as a romantic gesture, as it was a free holiday…Barry just nodded and smiled). We booked the dates, I took leave and we carried on as normal. A few weeks later I happened to be planning one of my besties bachelorette parties, and while liaising with the other Bridesmaids we decided on a date, booked the venue and bought the theatre tickets. Cock Up #1 – I had now double booked the bachelorette and our weekend away.

I first became suspicious when Barry reacted in a not-so-calm manner, and was seen sighing and huffing and puffing on the phone and email to his ‘boss’ to try reschedule. Panic calmed down to relief when the holiday was pushed out by a week (Shame, I had now added on an extra 7 days of panic for the poor boy)

The night before we were due to leave I booked a spray tan to test out before the above-mentioned Bride-to be’s wedding, thinking that should it go orange (it did), tan my hands and feet an obscure shade of tangerine (it did) and make me look like Snooki (you guessed it) at least there would be no-one to see me on our weekend away. Haha, jokes on me. Cock-up #2.

Friday morning we leave for the destination – incident free apart from me whining like a baby about my post spray tan catastrophe tequila induced hangover – and arrive at a rather larny Rose farm/Spa/Slice of Heaven – Summerfields Estate. Ooh I say to Barry, this is quite nice hey – Your company has really spoilt us. Barry just nodded and smiled.(Disclaimer, all his work had to do with the engagement weekend was give him leave -the rest was up to him, and his 3 months of planing really paid off!)

Post (mouthgasm) lunch and quick nap we decide to go to The Kruger Park for a late afternoon game drive. It was fairly chilly and drizzly at this point so I pop on my comfy hoodie and granny loafers. As my dad would say – nothing brings the man out in me like the bush. Poor Barry (isn’t he lovely for loving me?)

We arrive in the Kruger Park after several confusing who-is-our-driver-what-the-hell-is-going-on-moments and finally hop on our game vehicle. Sans any other guests… Ding dong Kearney! After half an hour of driving and chatting to our wonderful ranger Pat, we pull up infront of a massive koppie and get told we can go up it to have a sundowner (we had a trusty 6 pack of Castle Lite with us).

I walk up this bloody hill to find a tatty old blanket and a bunch of daisies in a broken vase, knocked down from the wind. Panic stricken I point an accusatory finger at Barry and to the offering in front of me and say ‘What The F*ck Is This!?’. Barry looks back at me with such confusion on his face that any inkling of a proposal evaporated. (Turns out the folk at the Kruger Park had added the ‘rock picnic’ in – much to even Barrys surprise.)

So, Cock-up up #3 is now the ring is in the backpack in the game vehicle, and we are standing on top of said hill like awkward fairies. ‘Let me go get your phone’ says Barry. ‘No babe, we dont need it’ I say. This goes on for a few seconds until he shouts in satisfaction ‘Instagram, you need to Instagram!’ and promptly runs back to the vehicle. All the while our game ranger is animal spotting with his rifle and pretending to ignore us’

I wont go into the whole proposal part, just to say that despite the sweet but slightly tacky efforts from the Park (they even threw in a bottle of JC Le Roux, despite requests from my now fiance to send ANYTHING but JC) it was a proposal that couldn’t have suited me better. The bush, my love and some wonderful stories to tell for many years to come!

PS – Glad to report that while I still looked like an Oros man, the rest of the weekend went off as smoothly as could be and I managed to drink my body weight (a skill!) in delicious bubbly and tequila.

Happy days!

The Rock On The Rock
The Rock On The Rock

Celebrations
Celebrations

 

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What would you do , if you weren’t afraid?

What would you be capable of doing, if you didn’t have fear? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for several months now, and the answer is ‘much more’. I’m not sure if this fear I am feeling has something to do with growing up, nearing my thirties and generally becoming more aware about the futility of life? When last did you see a young child not jump in the water, for fear of the cold or harm? Not often I’m sure. Post swim, said child will be all blue lip smiles and chattering teeth. Why then, as adults are we so terrified to do what brought us so much joy only a few years earlier?

Lately I have been even more bothered by this question, as I’ve experienced something so utterly terrifying, I’m actually embarrassed. As you may know I started training for the Half Iron Man event in January next year – an intense race broken up into a 1.9km sea swim, 90k cycle and a 21 km run. Who would have thought that I’m considering quitting the training and selling my entry because of the swim?

I jokingly recounted my first open water swim a few weeks back, and even mentioned how I was going to do another swim (part of a triathlon) the next weekend to ‘get over my fear’. I may as well have stated I was just going to ‘hike to the moon’. That swim proved to be one of the toughest and draining experiences of my life. To find yourself suspended in 13 degree dam water, surrounded by hundreds of swimmers, 200 m from land, whilst having an panic/asthma attack, sobbing and needing to throw up was a horrendous experience I wish never to repeat. Even after the lifeguards had come to take me to shore, I still refused. Some (still sane part of me) refused to quit. ‘Harden up Kearney’ I told myself, more than once, as I repeated the above process for 3/4 of a kilometer until I managed to get to dry land. (I can honestly thank my very patient boyfriend for not leaving my side the entire time, for me not completely losing it). Once I got to shore I handed in my timing device, quit the rest of the race, and spent the rest of the day in a very dark and sad place. Not my proudest moment.

So what now? Now I learn how to face my fear, and not feed it. I grew up swimming in pools and swimming for my school. Pop me in the clear blue waters of a Virgin Active and Im positively dolphin like. So why the fear of open water? Too dark? Too cold? Too open? Who knows, all I know is that my fear of that, along with every other paranoid feeling and thought I have needs to be eradicated now. So there you go fear-demon – from now on you shall be starved and left to die.

Off to give it a 3rd attempt on Saturday. Hoping it will be a ‘dam’ good experience!

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What would YOU do, if you weren’t afraid? 

 

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BSG Triathlon Series

After months of training for each discipline I finally merged the three and took part in my first triathlon. It was the Hartabeespoort leg of the BSG series. The distance is what’s known as a ‘sprint’ (600m swim, 27 km cycle and a 5 km run)

I hated the swim and almost got out the water after having a mild panic attack. It was my first open water swim, and having several hundred bodies crash into you, pull you down and kick you while you battle to breathe is very uncomfortable. I walked/breaststroked most of it. the cycle was brilliant and I loved every second – it also helps when the route is fairly flat. Pity about the no-road closure as I found myself waiting behind some slower riders at times. The run felt like I was walking backwards in cement shoes, but I finished in a decent time. 

Swim – 15 mins

Bike – 57 mins

Run – 27 min

To overcome my fear of the water I’m taking part in another sprint tri this Sunday.

Less than 3 months to Half Iron Man!

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Impi Challenge

Never one to decline a challenge, I recently took part in the Impi Challenge race – held at Van Gaalens Cheese farm close to Hartabeespoort Dam. Despite the pre-race nerves (fear-for-your-life commentary from MC Guy McDonald not helping) the race was absolutely fantastic, and I look forward to taking part next year.

Admittedly, it wasn’t at all easy and I was pretty relieved that the 13km course was broken up by 19 various obstacles – trail running is a whole other ball game and the terrain makes you work twice as hard.

Even though I loved the race I was not amused by a few of the obstacles (10 m high cargo net and sewer tunnel included) and I’m pretty happy I only saw THIS photo of one of the obstacles AFTER I had gone through it. Vom.

If you are considering taking part in this race – here are a few pointers

– Dress up if you are part of a team

– Wear clothes you never plan on seeing again. Even 2 caps of new OMO liquid wont be enough. Ooh eh eh.

– Dont wear watches, sunglasses, caps or valuables. Trust me, between jumping 6 metres into a river, wading through compost, rolling through trees and swimming through dams, you will lose it all.

– Take your time – the event is not timed so the idea is to finish it with a smile on your face (Or not dead, either all)

– Bring a clean change of clothes for after

See you at Impi 2013!

Pre race - clean and shiny
Pre race – clean and shiny
Post race dirt
Post race dirt

 

Titan Adventures Pre Race
Titan Adventures Pre Race
2nd last obstacle - Floating LilyPads
2nd last obstacle – Floating LilyPads

 

 

 

 

 

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An Ethiopian Experience

One of the main reasons I love my friends is for their adventurous tastes and the fact that they are willing to try anything new, atleast once. My friend Lauren recently celebrated her birthday and we joined her for dinner at a very quaint, tucked away Ethiopian spot in Bedofrdview called Abysinnia. Practically a hole in the wall, this place oozes charm, and I can imagine that this is what a local eatery would look like of we had to be visiting their country in the horn of Africa.

The decor is minimalistic, rustic and quaint, and the 10 of squeezed around 3 small round tables. Faux clouds are painted on the ceiling, the ladies bathrooms are a bright fuchsia and dated soapies play on the TVs dotted around the restaurant. It truly was delightfully kitsch.

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The host was such a charming man and convinced us that we would be better off if he brought us platters of all their food and we shared amongst us. After warning him we had a few vegetarians in the group, he assured us there would be enough food for us. He even promised free seconds for any dish we loved. Bad move, especially when I’m around!

When he did bring the food, in 3 very large silver trays my jaw dropped. I was convinced that it had all been dished out onto thick linen napkins, so was very relieved to be told that the napkins were actually an Ethiopian bread, to be used as our utensils.

We waringly eyed the plates before digging in using our fingers as forks and the breads to mop up the sauces. I can only speak for the vegetarian items but they were delicious. Lots of curry infused legumes, cabbages, tomato and potato. The meat dishes consisted of chicken, mince, eggs, raw meat in a dish as well as a curdled cheese.

I ordered a few more portions of the curried lentils, although no-one else seemd as enthusiastic about those as me. After dinner we were served traditional ethiopian coffee. Delicious

If you are into different food, willing to take a bit of a drive and eating with your hands then this is for you. Make sure to enquiry about their coffee ceremonies over the weekends.

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Expect to pay around R100 per person including drinks.

Abysinnia is on the corner of Langer,an drive and Queen street Kensington.

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Sleek Geek and Half Iron Man

To make up for doing absolutely nothing that was even remotely interesting in the last few weeks, I have decided to repent with a bang and challenge myself to probably my biggest event yet. Somehow between a bottle of wine last weekend and a bit of heckling from 15 post Comrades runners I committed to doing the Half Iron Man race next year. After a small vom (nerve, not wine induced) I pulled up my big girl panties and decided life’s too short to say no to a challenge and decided to give this my best shot. I also reckon the biggest reward at the end will be looking slim and sexy in spandex, not an easy feat.

The Half Iron Man race consists of a 1.9km swim, 90 km cycle and 21 km race. I am so lucky to know a few awesome people, doing this race and have 2 fabulous training partners for most of it, Barry and Eryn.

The training seemed to start almost immodestly, so I was literally thrown into the deep end on day one (hello swimming pool mid winter). I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend with several Iron Men under his belt – gosh that sounds rude – and his trainer who is so specialized he makes chuck Norris look like a janitor. Their input into my workout plan has been invaluable.

My training at the beginning consists of the following :

Monday : 1 km swim
Tuesday : 1 hour spinning class
Wednesday : 1 km swim
Thursday : 3 km run and an hour Bootcamp class
Friday : Off day. This means the heaviest lifting I will have to do is pouring my wine into my glass.
Saturday : 2 hour spinning class
Sunday : 8 km run

So far week one has gone pretty well, but I am nervous for the weekend part. Acknowledging that my morning lie-ins are now a thing of the past has cut me deep. I also know I better suck it up because this training is apparently very basic, and it will only get worse going forward.

I’m also hoping this exercise will pay off with regards to the Sleek Geek change I’m currently taking part in. The diet has been going well and I’m surprised I haven’t yet tripped and fallen into a family sized pizza considering this shite weather. Wait, when I say well I mean I haven’t gained any weight. I still however weigh exactly the same as I did 3 weeks ago. FML.

The below pics are of me full of joy upon acceptance of my quest. And also my heart rate – how not to do it – monitor, after lasts nights Bootcamp.

Happy Weekend!

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Is that a python on your shoulder?

On Saturday we attended a fundraiser my mom and some of her ‘committee’ members held at ‘their’ river. One of the activities of the day was a snake demo. I was asked to step up to the plate when the snake wrangler had run out of kids to use (and after watching a 4-year-old girl handle a huge tarantula I couldn’t really say no).

I got to play with this ‘little’ cutie for a few minutes.

I think yellow is my colour.

 

 

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Gym Class, for beginners.

Yesterday I was dared to try out a new class at gym, on my own. The class was kickboxing/aerobics and required three things, which I do not possess ;

1) rhythm

2) Co-ordination

3) The ability to watch a man perform an exercise and then repeat, while facing a mirror.

Thank the dear sweet universe there were no cameras filming me, but to give you an idea of what I looked like, see below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1-xiBwQ6dI]

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How to eat a cupcake

Yes folks, seems we’ve been doing it wrong all along.

Yesterday we celebrated a colleagues birthday and in true Cerebra style we grazed upon glorious cupcakes, which were very fitting for Renee, our resident cat lady. Thanks to Kim however, we were able to enjoy these delicious treats even more, after being shown the proper way to eat them.

Choose desired cupcake. It could be this charming kitty
Or this charming ball of wool for kitty to play with.

Turn cupcake upside down and pop out of it’s container, like this :

You’re doing it wrong.

Finally, slice the cupcake through the middle, scone style, and pop the bottom on the top. Make sure the icing is in the middle, like a red velvet sandwich.

Now doesn’t that look edible?

Yum.

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