Temperature in our kitchen at 4:00 am

The weather forecast had tough news for us: Expected temperature around 38°C (100 F)

My plan was to aim for a 3:35 – 3:39 Marathon finish at the Peninsula Marathon. But with this outlook, I changed my plan. It’s not worth risking your health in those conditions.

The new plan: Aim for a 5:10 – 5:20 min/km pace until the sun would come up and the heat would set in. With a starting time at 5:15 in the morning, we had at least one hour before sunrise. And after that, just slow down a bit to adjust to the heat.

How did it go?

Better than expected. Much better.

Usually I am terrible at running in heat. But I seem to have adjusted a bit, or I am more fit than in the past.

At 5:15 in the morning we had 27°C (80 F) already at the start. Funny enough, I was able to run extremely consistent in the range of 4:58 – 5:15 for the first 2.5 hours!

Even when the sun came up, the heat did not hit us as bad as expected. Lucky us!

A bigger challenge was the wind every now and then. I tried to hide behind bigger runners and use them as windbreakers. It was remarkable how much energy this saved! The wind was a treat as well, helping us to cool down a little bit.

IMG_4403Foodwise I had some Powerade PowerShots, 1/3 High 5 Berry Bar, 1 race food bar, 1 Peanutbutter sandwich and 2 x 1/2 salt tablet.

After 33 km the wind and the heat made it a bit harder to run and I stopped at a few waterpoints for a little treat: I took some ice (used to cool the water sachets) from the tables and applied them to my neck and legs. This costs me maybe 1-2 minutes in total, but it felt very good.

Eventually I realized, that I would have a chance to finish in 3h39 min, but from km 36 – 39 I really had a  hard time. My pace went down to 6 min/km and I lost this opportunity.

At km 39 a few running buddies from my club AAC caught up with me and I joined them.

This did help a lot in keeping me going. Some conversation and the company of strong runners keep away the nagging voice in your mind telling you, that you don’t need to run faster 😉


Peninsula Pace Chart 2014

If you look at the pace chart you can see, that I was able to run a 5:09 – 5:15 pace at the last 3 km again. (The arrow shows where I met the running buddies).

I am happy with the result and more than amazed that I was able to run that fast in this heat.

You could say, that I would have been able to finish in 3:35 – 3:37 despite the heat. With some more perseverance in the end, I would have been able to save at least 3 minutes. Yes, that is right. At Two Oceans and Comrades I definitely will…

At the finish it was again around 27°C, not as bad as expected, but still too hot for a perfect run.

I finished at place 246 out of some 2,100 runners. That’s ok.




100 m to go


Sitting and having a drink – what a treat


Amy enjoyed some ice from the coolerbox as well 😉


Some members of our running club AAC

Distance 42.2 km / 26.2 mi
Time 3 h 41 min
Pace 5:14 min/km
Monthly distance (February) 184.4 km / 114.6 mi
Total distance in 2014 528.6 km / 328.5 mi