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28 April 2010  |  Misc

South Africa- Pre-race

Before I started this trip, it seemed like we were going to have so much time here- arriving on Tuesday for a Saturday race.  And now it’s the day before the race and the last 4 days have been a blur.  The only reason I’ve read any of my book is that jetlag has me getting up early in the mornings.

We arrived in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening, spent the night in a hotel, woke up Wednesday morning and drove 5 hours from Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg which was a beautiful drive through the countryside. Actually, I was kind of surprised to find the view from the highway looked alternately like Northern California, Colorado, and the Southeast US, until finally we started seeing more of those trees you think of when you think of “Africa” (I think they are acacia trees, but I’m not sure).

Waldek did his research (as usual) and found us some really cool little country cottages that are not too far from the venue, but far enough from all the hub-bub.  We have our own kitchen, which I have been making good use of (I cooked ostrich for the first time last night- pretty delicious).

The venue is right next to a mall, so hopefully there will be lots of spectators out there for the race. Clearly, the organizers have put a TON of work into the course, and I think it will be a good race course- hard but fun. There’s a lot of freshly cut, fast singletrack, but there are plenty of passing opportunities. And of course there are the requisite man-made rocky sections which are awkward and kind of terrifying. (Luckily there’s always a chicken line!) Even though we’ve had a little rain since we got here, the course seems to dry out fast, and the dirt gets nice and tacky. So that’s it, I guess. A little more than than 12 hours from the first World Cup of the season.  Wish me luck!


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