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Archive for March, 2008

For nineteen consecutive years Two Oceans has been run on Good Friday by runners who choose not to run races on Saturday for religious reasons.

The main differences between the Friday run and the Saturday run, are that the roads are not closed and there are no refreshment stations.  On Friday, runners are allowed assistance from a ‘second’, providing them with water and energy drinks.  As there are no marshals to guide the runners, competitors must ensure that they are familiar with the route, because if they get lost, they are really on their own.

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The second International Friendship Run was held on Good Friday, 21 March. Two Oceans runners from over 60 countries were invited to take a leisurely trot through the Cape Town city centre, past historical landmarks and key points of interest. 

Starting at the Good Hope Centre, the participants meandered through the Company Gardens, past the Museum and Planetarium, into Bo-Kaap, and finished in the Waterfront. 

Loads of vibrant colour and smiles ahead of The Big Day.

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Sun Damage

The chlorine crackles as my skin dries.  Beads of sweat burst and tickle-trickle down my skin.  So hot and sultry even the cicadas are quiet.  An apathetic breeze shifts a few leaves then gives up.  Thirsty ants crawl over my legs. Flies land on my face.  I blow them away.

I shift so that the shadow of the book falls over my face as I turn the page.  The cool relief as sweat-sodden skin is exposed, drying quickly.  My arm aches.  I put the book down.  Blinded.  Phosphorescent colours sear my eyes.  I turn over, stiff from the prickly bricks.  ‘Chinese writing’ on the back of my legs, with bits of grit stuck to the sweat.  I lean over and brush it off, baby oil coating my hands.

I reach for my watch.  Two hours.  I lower my head onto my arms. Peer through the shadow at the light bouncing off the blueness of the pool.  I close my eyes.  Listen to my own breathing.  The sweat sucking on the bricks as I breathe.  The lapping of the water against the steps.  So relaxed.  So peaceful. 

One hour later I wake up, parched skin screaming.  I roll over into the water.  Intense relief followed by immense horror.  Look at the colour of my skin!  The dread of my parents’ rage.  The memory of blisters forming and bursting.  Pain. Swathes of wet skin. Raw and red.  Oozing. Scabs sticking to the smooth seat of the school desk.  No more sun for weeks.

Until next year, the same again.

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The numbered green blocks are approximately where the pics were taken:

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Ryan stood astride his bike, at the front of his group.  He’d worked hard to get his B-seeding.  He’d ride in the League next year.  Maybe he’d even qualify for Giro.  That would be awesome.

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He grinned at his reflection in the mirror.  He looked good and he knew it.  He winked at himself, took a deep breath and pushed out his chest.  All those hours at the gym had paid off.

“Ryan, your breakfast’s getting cold.”

He sighed. “Ja ma, I’m coming”

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