WE DID IT!!!
I am so proud of every one of our friends: Natali Van Loggerenberg, Davy Muller, Jim Pait, Kevin Hickey, Val Renn...well done!!!
What a journey these past 9 days has been. Not to mention all the preparation that got us here!
Today was not an easy day. In fact, it may have been one of the hardest for me. I was so tired, and just watching every kilometer tick upwards on my Garmin hoping it would soon be over.
At the same time, I have to say there was some beautiful riding today. If my saddle sores didn't have saddle sores, I would have considered today a great day on the bike! There was some amazing singletrack, beautiful lengthy pedalling through cool forested sections, and great water stops with lively helpful volunteers and lots of drinks and snacks.
But in the final 20kms or so, I bonked and every pedal stroke felt like a herculean effort. I couldn't get enough food/drink at that point because I had already reached the point of exhaustion. I felt like I wanted to throw up. But amazingly, I did not cry!
The trail continued slightly uphill, uphill, uphill. We inched closer to the ocean, and the winds picked up. On one hand, the cool wind was a welcome relief. On the other, it presented another challenge to getting to the finish. I tucked in behind John, but I was going so slowly I couldn't even keep up with his ambling pace. More and more people passed me on the uphills and I became frustrated and could not see the end anywhere in sight.
Finally, we came around a bend and saw the last floating bridge. We rode past children and their parents swimming at the beach, around one more uphill and then the Old Mutual inflatable arch at the finish line appeared before us. The finish was packed with other finishers celebrating with champagne. We rode across the line triumphantly holding hands high above our heads and stopped for a hug with proud tears before heading to the beach for a quick photo.
We are now in Durban and this evening we enjoyed recounting our race with our friends over a feast of seafood and some celebratory drinks.