2012 annual Tomato Trot at Lilyfontein school happens later today...
It's still (fairly) early in the day, and there is a nippy blustery wind blowing, and it is wet, wet, wet out there.
somewhere out there is a Weather forecaster who, according to new legislation in South Africa, is due to be (a) hung, drawn and quartered at dawn, or (b) given a promotion. The reason for this is that it is now a criminal offence to predict the Weather incorrectly. The relevant penalty depends on the weather predictors standing within the ruling Party.
About the only thing the weather forecast got right was that there was an incredibly good chance of rain on the day.
The fields at the school that were to be used as parking for the competitors are waterlogged, and consequently parking has been moved to the nearby Gonubie Farmers Hall, with a bus shuttle service moving people to and from the school.
The Cycle Race has been postponed/cancelled.
There will apparently be no Beer Tent :( , but there will still be beer :)
All functions of the Tomato Trot are being moved to the school hall, which was flooded a few days ago.
The graveled road sections of the race are going to be filled with puddles, and running water. The tarred part of the race should be okay though. The part of the race that none of the athletes are looking forward to will be the Start. The piece of road on which the Race starts was in bad shape earlier this week, and is probably worse now. The roadway is graveled, slopes downhill quite steeply, and is badly rutted. The water on the road surface will make it awkward to see where the holes are, and will also make everything very slippery.
Further on, those parts of the race that go through neighbouring farms are going to be interesting as well, as the ground is extremely waterlogged, which is going to make the surface very unstable.
Okay, so I've whined about the weather, and I've whined about the road. The other area that concerns me, particularly for those less tough individuals, is keeping warm. There is limited protection from the elements at the school, however, some competitors will be at the school from early on, with minimal outerwear. It is very likely the competitors will be running in the rain, and the ablution facilities at the school are not yet operational.
Our preparations? Running kit without shoes (they go on just before the race, nice and dry and cosy), long sleeve top and track suit pants. In a sports bag, 2 sets of dry clothing, towels, a few energy drink things, deodorant, and then whatever else gets tossed in just as we leave home.
What the hell, we only do the Tomato Trot once a year, so let's just enjoy being cold and wet and miserable. We can laugh at ourselves tomorrow...