Wednesday, May 12, 2010
“You enjoy a beer or two right?” my brother told me more than asked me. Of course he was right. Doesn’t he know people only run so they can balance the intake of the delicious amber nectar? “Off course I do” I replied, “why you buying?”
“Not today, but check it out, if you run the Two Oceans Half Marathon dressed as Vanilla Ice you can win Castle Light for a year. Geeez I wonder how much you could drink in a year.” he dreamt as his mind wafted into a happier place which most likely had something to do with swimming in a pool of beer. I thought to myself: well, beer for a year would mean I would have to run a whole lot more and that seems like a fair trade for me. I am good at both those two past-times so it’s a win-win situation. I grabbed the flyer to see how I could get involved and next thing you know I am on the back of a scooter at 5:30am on Sat morning, weaving my way through traffic to get to the start of the half marathon … you guessed it, dressed as the 1990’s rapper with attitude – Vanilla Ice!
The competition was to be best dressed Vanilla Ice for a cash prize and/or the first one home to win Beer for a year. I had decided to give it a bash. After all I was running with a dude who was getting married that afternoon and whose ‘Best man’ had planned to stick him in a wedding dress. I would be in good company then. People would be more interested in the runaway bride than the lyrical-master-on- the-mic. On the morning of the race though, two things put paid to that theory. Firstly, my chains of bling were so excruciatingly noisy; they would have drawn attention away from Julias Malema running in a safari suit. And secondly, the ‘Best man’ never did manage to get a wedding dress for his buddy to run in (brides are so funny about lending out their white dresses like that? Go figure) so I stood out like a sore thumb. The pink parachute type jacket I was wearing would have been particularly fetching to Cindy Lapa, the massive double layered basketball pants would have done Michael Jordan proud and the finishing touches of bling, hat perched sideways on head and some old Oakley M-Frames had the crowd of 11 000 runners parting like the red sea in shock, horror and perhaps a little fear, as I moved forward to group A. A good thing too as we were trying to join the race from the back and the National Anthem was already playing while we were still ‘scuse me’ing’ our way through D group.
As I pulled into the gate of my group just in time, I caught the eye of the race MC who almost interrupted the hallowed Anthem to ask me what on Earth I was doing dressed as a rapper in group A of the Two Oceans half. I could see he thought better of it though as he pulled the microphone protectively to the far side of his body to make sure I never made a grab for it busting out with “Rollin, in my 5.0 with my rag top down so my hair can blow…” Before I could make a move for the mic though, the countdown was on and then we were away. My running partners sans wedding dress handicap were clearly still going to head out at sub 90min pace. This could well be a painful hour and a half of running that lay ahead.
It was still dark at the start so I got little encouragement as the cries of “Go Maties!” and “Come on Fishoek, just 20km to go” were directed to those around me. So I settled into a chaotic rhythm as we strung out pretty quickly in the front which tends to happen at 4:05/km. Another thing that happens at that brisk pace, is that XL basketball shorts flap about like Shoshaloza’s spinnaker sail in a squall. A bad time to decide I should have worn some tighter briefs too! About 8km’s into the race though the light exposed the crazy runner in the pink top and the chirps started flying from the sidelines which were hugely encouraging and made the decision of dressing up like a fool sort of worthwhile. Some of the younger lot got it all wrong by yelling out: “Go Ali G!” much to the mirth of my two running buddies who had not relented on the pace at all and were still busting out splits just over 4min/km.
Half way in the pink marquee I was wearing turned into a homemade Humidity Chamber and my temperature regulating mechanism was thrown into total disarray as the liquids streamed from my body making the attire that much heavier and uncomfortable to deal with. The groom has a worrying look at the cherry face lurching next to him. They carry on a little ahead as I shuffle up the long hill of Southern Cross Drive.
Close to the finish now and I see the running buddies have slowed up to wait for me so they can have their pic taken with ‘Ice’. It’s a taste of fame which I am comfortable with as I pull a gangster rapper pose for the lenses. Done with the picture they dump me again “time to go solo”.
All the hard effort in the early stages of the race has paid off and Vanilla Ice crosses the line in 1:27min. The announcer gives me a big shout out and notices the smile on my face which he explains must be for finishing such a beautiful race. What he doesn’t know is for the next year beers are on me. Cheers!
Vanilla Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice Ice Baby
Vanilla Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice