Ever since I did the Brandberg Rhino Run in Uis,I have been interested in mountain trails. I checked out OTB Sports events for the upcoming mountain trail events. Boom the Standard Bank Xtrail was two weeks away. It will be over a weekend, which makes it a perfect time for me to visit my Windhoek family. I have not seen them in a very long time and I miss them.
The trail comprises of two categories the 7km and the 15km. Since my knee was still recovering from the 26 km Brandberg mountain trail, I opted to do the 7 km this time around. I then registered and paid for the event. The week before the trail I worked out at least twice.
I travelled to Windhoek via hitchhiking and I had a successful hitchhiking experience.
I woke up early morning on the Sunday morning. The race was scheduled to start at 08h30. In my opinion the starting time was a bit late and the sun will be too hot for the trail. Alas, it is winter in Namibia though so maybe it will not be so hot.
I could hear the crowds from afar. The event has attracted more than 630 people and the unaccounted supporters from all works of life.
Upon arriving at the events venue, I made my way to the registration table where I registered, got my race number and goodie bag (I love making a collection of goodie bags). I could feel sense the excitement rushing through my veins.
The 15 km runners started off first at around 08h30. There was a huge crowd of serious runners who were ready to battle and face the Avis Mountains and off they went.
Thirty minutes later it was the 7 km runners at the starting point. The event organizers advised us to give it our best in the first kilometer as it will determine our position in the trail. As soon as the gun went off, I ran as fast as I could. My legs felt lighter, the only battle I had was with the cold and flu that was visiting me for the past week. It kind of made me tired and out of breath. However, I kept going.
The trail started off on a wide gravel road and after one kilometer, it converted into a single mountain climb track. We like had to run behind one another in a line. In that moment I then understood why the organizers encouraged us to run faster in the first km
The trail then made its way into a river bed. This river bed’s send was not as deep as the 3 km river bed at the Brandberg Run. In the middle of the riverbed there was a table of snacks. I then grabbed a handful of gummy sweets, KitKat chocolate sticks and half a banana. Then continued the race as fast as I could.
My legs felt like stopping but my heart was too strong and did not feel like giving in. I kept running and before I knew it, I have made it to the final turn around the Avis dam. At this point in the trail, the Windhoek city could be seen. The city showed off its beauty from afar.
At this point in the trail, I was one kilometer away from the finish line.
I could hear the vibrant crowd as they cheered for those that are crossing the finish line. Part of me wanted to give up but the little voice in me encouraged me to keep going. I did not come this far to only come this far. And so I kept going, putting one step at a time while trusting my body to get me through to the finishing line. In that moment I also controlled my mind by not thinking of how tired I was, but to think of how it will feel to make it to the finish line successfully.
Before I knew it, I was taking my last steps to the finishing line. Boom I have made it, I have defeated the Avis Mountain 7km trail. I came the 15th in the Elite women category. I have become too tough to kill.
After 2 hours the all trail runners made it to the finish line.
In the meantime I mingled with two Zimbabwean guys. Hey had good plans for South Sudan. It served as a reminder for me to surround myself with people who are ambitious and are open minded.
After some long wait, it was time for the prize giving. I did not win any award but ii felt proud of having conquered the trail.
The Luck draw
I decided not to leave the event grounds until the last final words have been spoken.
After the prize giving the event organizers made the lucky draws. Various people including those that have already won awards during the prize giving became lucky in the draw. Then came the final draw which comprised of a backpack valued at N$1529 and OTB Sports vouchers worth N$1300. I sat there and whispered a short prayer to the heavenly father: Lord let it be me. The next thing I heard was the lady calling my name “Monika Sakaria. The luck number 429 has won me the ultimate price. Joy be to the Lord and the amazing power of the universe.
I always trust the universe to bring me everything that I need. I am going to buy myself new training shoes that I so badly need.
And off I went home, excited for the events that have played out in the past hoours.
What do you do for fun, what makes you happy or set your soul on fire? Comment below and lets connect.