I took a break from posting after what felt like a bombardment of spring break posts! So here is what I’ve been up to lately!
This past Sunday, I participated in the Cape Town 10K race. There was an option of doing a marathon as well, but I wasn’t quite ready to hop into that!
The 10K route covered the last 10 kilometres of the marathon, but some of the other runners told me their GPSs calculated the distance to be closer to between 10.5 and 10.8 km. I’m inclined to believe them, because my practice times running up through the UCT campus were faster than my race time, and involved some serious incline training!
The race kicked off at 6:30 am, which meant I was up at 4:45 to have some spaghetti and head downtown. It was still pitch black when I was getting ready and when I arrived at the Stadium, so I was a little worried, but the sun started coming up around 6:15, so I ended up running in the light!
The course was beautiful, especially when we got to run along the ocean promenade! We were lucky too, as it had been raining for the entire week (I was fully prepared to be miserable the entire race) and the weather was beautiful – even the wind was fairly dead!
I ended up finishing with a time of 54:01, which placed me at 55th out of the 682 women running, and 474th out of all 2208 runners. Not the time I was going for, but I’m pretty happy with where I placed (this time… next time I’m aiming for sub 50, top 50).
Since the race started so early, I was back home by 8:30 to get ready to go wine tasting that afternoon in Franschoek!
We took a little wine tram – it was a bus and train system that drove you around (it was adorable) – and ended up visiting four different wineries.
It was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to go to Stellenbosch to try some of their wines!
This past Tuesday was also a public holiday (National Heritage Day, which is essentially like May 2-4, and is commonly called National Braai (BBQ) Day), so we had a long weekend-ish. Myself, Julia, Ali, and a couple of Ali’s roommates decided to use the day off to go to Hermanus, which is known as the best place for land-based whale watching. We were not disappointed, and had a whale of a time! (I’m sorry for that pun, but I had to).
There was actually a whale festival going on that weekend (it was one of the strangest festivals I’ve ever been to) so there were quite a few people there. Apparently this time of year is prime whale season.
We started out just seeing a couple whale tails, but then they started to breach. It was just amazing to see.
The whales we were watching were Southern Right Whales, which is a type of baleen whale. They’re the most common ones to see in Hermanus, and August and September is their calving season – which meant yes, we did see a baby whale. Southern Right Whales will also come close to shore during the winter, and I guess it’s a good thing that the weather hasn’t been the best, because these whales didn’t realize it was spring, and ended up coming about 10m away from the rocks we were sitting on.
The photos really don’t do justice to how huge and impressive they were. The females can weigh up to 47 tonnes, and – fun Southern Right Whale fact! – the males have the largest testicles of any animal, with each weighing 500kg. I guess we can tell AC/DC who really has the biggest balls of them all now.
It was awesome to see, and another great break from school. I just finished a paper for my international law on the use of force class, and am just getting started on a three-week take-home exam for my women’s human rights class – it’s a 6000 word paper, I don’t understand why or what… Africa, man. So it was nice getting out of the city and relaxing before fully jumping into this exam!
These next couple weeks will be busy as well – I’m trying to make good progress on this exam, as I am going to watch the Springboks play the Wallabies on Saturday, and the following weekend is a music festival! I cannot believe it’s the last week of September already – I’m about to celebrate my three month anniversary with South Africa!