The distance to make a change

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT -

“Just three more laps, Tim, and then you can sleep.” It’s some time af­ter mid­night, and I’ve been run­ning (and walk­ing) around a 1km cir­cuit for the past 36 hours.

I am ex­hausted, but I re­spond to my Dad’s urg­ing as he walks along­side me with a gri­mace and, in si­lence, I plod on for another four laps.

It’s 1am when I fi­nally put my head down on the mat­tress in the tent I’m shar­ing with my dad, who is sup­port­ing me as a sec­on­der, and we sleep. For three hours.

The night be­fore, I’d slept for one hour. Dur­ing my de­but 48-hour race, which I com­peted in at the Mod­der­fontein Sports Com­plex in Jo­han­nes­burg from 15-17 De­cem­ber last year, I slept just four hours.

The idea of a 48-hour race is to try and stay on the cir­cuit for as much time as pos­si­ble. Dur­ing the race, many of us even ate on the move. The con­di­tions weren’t ideal. It was 37 de­grees dur­ing the day, and at night the wind howled, buf­fet­ing us.

The cir­cuit was mostly soft grass, with deep grooves in places that made it dif­fi­cult to run smoothly. A far cry from the smooth tar­mac of the long open road, which I am used to.

So what kept me go­ing for those 48 hours? Af­ter all, I per­son­ally can’t see how one takes up these longer ul­tras if “just” to run a race.

I was run­ning to help two-

Photo: Sup­plied

RW Ven­ter sits on his dad's shoul­ders as the fam­ily and oth­ers ar­rive to sup­port Tim Stones in his quest to com­plete the 48 Hour race in Jo­han­nes­burg.

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