Most people go out and buy towels when they need them. I don’t. I win towels. I am a towelwinner.

It wasn’t always like this. For a while now I had been meaning to buy a new towel, as I well overdue for an upgrade. Here’s why: It had seahorses and shells on it. Also, it had my nametag sewed on it by my mother. This means it dates back to primary school when it was compulsory for mothers to sew names on clothing to prevent mix-ups and tears in the changerooms after PT.

“…and lose all potential friends in the process.”

It’s not easy to pull something like this off. Nothing about this towel is cool. It’s not even ironic hipster cool, like flaunting your old Space Case or going to work on the skateboard you had when you were nine years old.

In the latest Men’s Health, there’s a special feature on how to upgrade your crib and seduce ladies with your savvy decorating skills and (spoiler alert!) there’s nothing about draping your pink-and-yellow maritime-themed towel conspicuously. Yes, I neglected to mention that there was a fair amount of pink on it.

The thing is, I had just moved into a new flat and was completely broke. Usually flats are decorated with all the stuff that the landlord doesn’t want. Not this flat – I had to buy furniture so I couldn’t afford such extravagant whimsies like towel-shopping.

I had planned to buy the towel on the weekend, after running a trail race in Somerset West. (Can you guess where this is going, dear reader?) The Helderberg Mountain Challenge is hosted by Wildrunner Events and offers three races for different running abilities. I took the newbie option, which was a 10.75km route with a 600-metre vertical gain. There was 24km option that takes in the Helderberg Dome and West Peak twice with an ascent of 1960m. But I know my place.

The route consists of a steep uphill and a steep downhill, with the peak at the middle of the race. Being a trail run novice I perhaps started a bit too quickly and was severely tired by the time I got to the apex. Luckily, the second half of the race was downhill so gravity took care of the rest and I managed to come first in the men’s senior category. And the prize was an adidas hamper that included… a towel. Naturally, I was chuffed. And I’m reminded of my athletic majesty every time I dry my chiseled body. It’s my blog, and I’ll use flattering words like “chiseled” and “majesty” if I want to.

Hats off to Wildrunner Events for organising a great race. Next time your prizes need to consist of:
A snackwich machine
A coffee table
Braai tongs