Upon hearing the advert for the RunJozi advert on 5fm, one afternoon while driving home from work, my initial thought was more along the lines of “ it’s only 10km”. I have wanted to do a 10km run for quite a while, and thought this would be the ideal opportunity. And well being in a relatively new year, with good things happening, I thought why not. And of course the fact I had about 5 or 6 weeks to drum up some sort of cardio fitness.
Well it’s without a shadow of a doubt the best running race experience I have ever had –and I say that with little more than 2 or 3 handfuls of trail runs under my belt – and basic ones at that but none the less this is my 1st road race I have ever done, and I will most certainly do it again.. And again. Running through what is currently one of the most dangerous areas in our beautiful country is fairly liberating, even if it was under the watchful eyes of hundreds of police men and women.
Nike really outdid themselves in the organisation of this race – although personally i found the end part while waiting to hand back chips etc. was rather poor – the rest of event was fantastic. Jozians came out in their droves.. Hundreds of men, women & kiddies (amazingly all with cell phones) lined the streets cheering us on. I was also rather pleased that no microwaves or beds or fridges or the like were tossed out of windows, as is custom in Hillbrow on occasion.
It’s quite a goose bump moment, when you run over Nelson Mandela Bridge, to the most spectacular fireworks display, running or walking through streets that by day are filled with so much traffic and crime, that most of us don’t even consider going there. But my fondest memory of this event, was when I got to the top of the road by Ellis Park, and looked back down the hill … the sea of neon yellow was just spectacular. Ponte, Constitutional Hill, and of course the last kilometer (which I’m pretty sure was longer than 1km) what a feeling! I felt like I had conquered the Comrades Marathon.
I urge anyone, who was not lucky enough, or had doubts or whatever your reason for not entering this run – Just do it. No one is out to set PB’s … it’s about taking back our streets, taking back our security. But mostly it’s about our human right to run anywhere.. To run free!