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near Boplaas, Western Cape (Republic of South Africa)
This is not the most difficult marathon if the weather plays along.
We arrived on Friday to 41c degree temperature. The forecast was for cooler weather on Saturday. It rained on Friday for the first time in almost two years. The locals were ecstatic. This helped to cool the weather down.
Race day was most overcast with a little rain. Temperature in the low 20s for most of the race.
From the caves its downhill for about one km and then its on the road towards the Swartberg pass. It is undulating and you are going up all the time. No big hills. From the turnaround point it is downhill to the finish. There is a catch. The last 15km are downhill but you can't see it. If you conserved energy in the first 27km then this is where it starts to pay off as you pass people.
Look at the profile carefully and you will see little bumps in the route where it goes up but then comes down again. On tired legs these bumps feel much bigger.
Just after 39km when you turn off the main road there is a hill. Be prepared for it and its not a problem.
The route has no shade.
A well organised race with waterpoints fairly close together. They even had a guy cycling back on the route handing out water to the backmarkers.
If you want a marathon PB then you could get it here - just pick the right weather.