The Gun Run has become one of those iconic races in the Western Cape – often the event most people will choose as their first dip into road racing events.
Way back in 1998 I took part in the relay event (which has been discontinued) at the request of some friends. I ran the last leg, allowing me to experience the finish atmosphere, and back then, the very cool medal collection. The running bug bit, and the following year’s Gun Run was my first half marathon, and personal best time – which still stands.
This year I entered the Gun Run for the 6th time, after a 6 year hiatus. Many things had changed, but what remained is the awesome atmosphere and sense of expectance on the start-line.
I don’t make a trip into town very often – and the subtle changes to Cape Town and it’s surrounds was very pleasing to see – nice new stadium surrounded by a serene golf course ; upgraded promenade utilities etc.
I knew there were going to be a lot of people, so I arrived about an hour before the start – which is essential if you plan to get any decent parking. I opted to park on beach road about half way between the start at the stadium, and the finish about 4km up the road from the stadium on beach road. I think a lot of people who parked at the V&A weren’t expecting to walk so far from the finish to their car.
For those who are not familiar with the history of the Gun Run, in the “old days” the start time was 9am, and the cut-off was noon – and Cape Town this is when the noon gun fires from the top of signal hill.
These days the start is much earlier – most likely to avoid the heat for the thousands of participants, but the Gun Run wouldn’t be Gun Run without some sort of Gun, would it? Enter the start gun:
Trust me when I say that you don’t want to be within 10 meters of this thing when it goes off. It’s the kind of bang that makes your kidneys rattle.
The start get quite busy from early on: forward to the start line:
….behind – lots more runners.
.. from there it’s quite a nice scenic downhill, and flat to the finish – one of the best final few km’s of any half marathons around
.. for those interested in the route profile:
See you in 2013 - Happy Running