Monday, April 30, 2018

Day 8 South African Youth Squad (TioMila-part 2)

The other half of us had a late start as our races were later on in the day. We dashed off the public transport again to get to our long walk to get to the TioMila event. When we got there, there were already a lot of people everywhere from runners to supporters. Over 6500 athletes took part in the 3 different relays (youth, women and men). We finally found the OK Ravinen tent where we kept all our bags. The people who didn't participate in the Relay got ready to run the open courses on the day. People not running could watch the relays on a huge screen, with a live camera and maps of the runners route choices. The screen was over the finish so you could see peoples sprint finish.

(Sarah running in a 'pair' with her OK Ravinen team-an interesting/ fun concept)

(being spectators before/ after running)

Christie, Tania, Heather and Sarah E participated in the Women's relay and found it very tough, including the long wait in the cold for the handover from their team mates. Christie and Tania ended up doing the 7pm mass start, which they told us was crazy running, with so many people out in the course causing traffic jams, lots of confusing forking and muddy elephant tracks getting deeper and even more dangerous. It was also a race to get home before the dark set in.

 Meanwhile Luan, Cameron and I joined in a ball game with fellow Orienteers from Norway. Luan left and Cameron and I ended up having a long conversation about South Africa with them. It started to become time to watch the Start of the men's relay so we all walked down to the start to get a good view. When the timer hit 0 (20h30), there were about 350 men starting the relay all at once. It was a mad dash of men with huge head torches as it was becoming dark.

After the start we all gathered together again -the ladies having finished their races and made the journey back home in the middle of the night . the mends  relay carried on throughout the night finishing at 8am on Sunday.

Written by Tristan Malherbe

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