No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Price really did do African X.
Was it fun? No!
Should I have done it? No!
Will I ever do it again? No!
You see, my trail running career is short. As things stand, I have done 5 trail runs since July 2017. 3 of them were African X. And one was the Sunday before.
And the previous one - part of the Spur Trail Series - resulted in the following conversation with my coach (it took me just under 2 hours to do 16km):
Kent: "Price - What the hell happened on your long run?"
Price: "I did a trail run. And I wasn't very good"
Kent: "Well yes, I can certainly see that"
Price: "But don't worry - I'm sure I'll be better next week."
Kent: "You know you have a 70.3 in 6 weeks, right?"
Kent: "Well we don't have time for you to be WALKING your long runs, so next week go and run on the road. For two hours. Without stopping. Please."
So how on earth does someone like me end up doing African X a mere two weeks after Ironman? Well, that story goes back to last year and includes Mark Roberts.
Roberts: "Price! I miss you and want to spend more time with you because you're amazing" (ok - I admit that wasn't quite how it went, but I'm telling this story, so sssshhhh). "Our fans miss us and I'm getting fat so let's do African X."
Price: "Roberts, that's a stupid idea. Absolutely not."
Roberts: "Don't be soft" (well, he didn't say soft, but we need to keep this PC) "I've got your ID number from DC, so I'm entering you."
And he did.
We did one training run. In December.
In the middle of March, I saw that Roberts was on a plane to Geneva. To Ski. Clearly there were other priorities.
So at this point I came to the conclusion that we wouldn't be doing the race. And forgot about it.
Until the day after Ironman, Craig said he'd run with me if I was still keen to do it.
Now I'll admit to some apprehension. After all, I was about to run 90km up all the mountains in Stellenbosch with someone WHO THOUGHT THAT DOING THIS WITH ME WAS A GOOD IDEA.
Despite my better judgement, I said yes and we found ourselves on the start line in Jonkershoek.
Well, for two guys who had a total of 3 small trail races between us, we smashed it out the park.
We pushed each other, we encouraged each other, Craig waited for me whenever it got technical and I was doing my Bambi-on-Ice impression and we ran like bloody maniacs whenever it was something that I could run on.
We even dressed in full cricket whites and accessorized with sandpaper (We are just here to take full responsibility for our actions) for dress up day which got us second place behind two pretty blonde girls dressed as penguins (no, I'm not bitter. At all).
Was it fun? Well, day 3 was. Kinda.
Did we laugh? Yes - eventually. Once we dried our tears.
Will we do it again? No. But if you are a trail runner then you really should because the views are breathtaking and it's brilliantly organised and you will have the time of your life.
As for me, I'm just immensely thankful to Janine for letting me borrow her Boots for the weekend. It's like a hug for your legs. And after that much running, I certainly needed a hug.