Running with the horses: a race review of Kaapsehoop

We’ve never run Kaapsehoop before but had heard many reviews of the race itself. Fast, easy, downhill all the way. Great for a PB. Running with wild horses. It sounded magical, so off we went.

The race profile. Downhill all the way home.

The race profile. Downhill all the way home.

My highlights of the race:

  • Race number collection was super quick and easy. It’s the first time I’ve seen the Mbombela Stadium & it’s stunning. KK got so caught up in the excitement, he decided to upgrade to the 21km.
  • Busses on the morning of the race were on time & made the run even more adventurous being driven up to the start of the race. Doing “my business” in the forest because the port-a-loo queue was so long is another story!
  • The water points were excellent! In that boiling hot sun, the water was ice cold at every stop. They even increased the water stops closer to the finish, knowing full well that this is where runners would need it most in that heat!
  • Snacks, such as bananas, oranges and even koeksisters (yup!) were on offer at the water points. Even Vaseline.
  • Ice in cups of Coke as you crossed the finish line. What a delightful experience! It’s the little things…
    Race entries at the Mbombela Stadium. Is it just me or can you see the giraffes?

    Race entries at the Mbombela Stadium. Is it just me or can you see the giraffes?

    Running club tents erected at the finish

    Running club tents erected at the finish

What I thought would be an easy race because it was mainly downhill all the way proved to be quite challenging for me. I know that I dislike hate flat races. But downhill ones aren’t exactly easy either. I was consistent in my pace but not that much faster. Running downhill felt like it took loads more energy.

The road had an uncomfortable camber for almost the entire way and I woke up the next morning with blisters between my toes but only on my right foot. The heat made it pretty tough too and I take off my running peak to the marathon runners who battled it out on the road in those temperatures!

What I lacked in speed on the downhills I certainly made up for on the hills. The last three km’s were hell but I felt strong. I’m quite happy with my time. I had hoped to run under 2:40 but came in at 2:44 (my Pick ‘n Pay & Vaal PB) which is great considering I’ve struggle to run under 2:50 since picking up with 21km runs at the end of winter. I can only improve on this and Dischem is coming up in January.

I was so happy to see that finish line!

I was so happy to see that finish line!

So did we see any wild horses? Nope, which means we must go back, right? And besides, with such a well organised race in such a beautiful setting, it’s an easy decision.

We stayed with friends at Pine Lake Resort and woke up to this spectacular view every morning

We stayed with friends at Pine Lake Resort and woke up to this spectacular view every morning

2 thoughts on “Running with the horses: a race review of Kaapsehoop

  1. C’s teacher also ran the race and loved it! She recently did that “Otter in one day race” – and is more of a trail runner than road runner but she also said it was beautiful and so well organized

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