My goodness, you are beautiful Jozi! At night, more than ever before. Last night 10,000 of us took to the streets for the Nike Run Jozi 10km run. It’s not just any old 10km race – it’s a night race. In Joburg. You know, that place that everyone says to never, ever go out in at night. Well pooey to them
It was so awesome to be
dragging myself running around the city in the dark. The atmosphere was amazing. We really got to see parts on foot that we would never, ever go to in the night-time. I guarantee there were people running that had never set foot into the CBD before and this was their first time, and what a way to do it. There were crowds of people along the route for most of the way, but the best bits were the residential parts like Hillbrow, where the residents there cheered us on like crazy. I doubt many white people venture into those parts of town at night, and there were thousands running by. I could tell that there were some people looking at us like “these people are just crazy” as we huffed and puffed past them. I don’t blame them. I felt kind of crazy for signing up when it got to parts of the race. Especially the uphill parts
I wish that I had been able to take in and appreciate/photograph the sights of Jozi whilst I was running, but to be honest I was just concentrating on making my arms and legs go in the right direction. There were times when it took my breath away (not just because I felt like my lungs were going to explode). Running across Nelson Mandela Bridge whilst it is all lit up, running through Hillbrow, and that final realisation that we were in Newtown and nearing the finish were all magical. I ran like the wind! Well, OK, like a light breeze, but I finished!
Things that I learnt last night:
- Park and ride does not mean park your car at the designated spot and hop on the warm bus. It means park your car at the designated spot, and then walk 1km in the rain to the bus
- Always opt for the park and ride closest to the race and not to your house. When it comes to getting home at the end and you can walk to your car, rather than wait an hour to get on the bus, you will thank me for this snippet of wisdom
- Jozi weather means if it is raining just before the race, it will be bright and clear for the race. Thank goodness for crazy Jozi weather
- Although you initially feel like an idiot, once you get that plastic mac on you will be so glad that you did. It’s warm and waterproof? Winner
- Did you know that if everyone wears the same top, you all look like exactly the same person?! I couldn’t find anyone that I recognised, which was strange seeing as most of the people I know in Jozi were signed up. We were lost in a sea of luminous yellow t-shirts (by the way, this t-shirt is now my favourite item of clothing, and has been since the minute I picked it up. R70! Bargain!!!)
- At Neighbourgoods, everyone will still try and act aloof and trendy, even though they are wearing the luminous yellow t-shirt
- If you do not have a kick-ass playlist you will not make it around the track. Starting to Guns n Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” is one of the best choices you can make. My play list rocked!
- It’s awesome to find a person to pace yourself against that will spur you to run when you want to walk. Luckily for me Kate floated by quite early into the race and runs at the same pace as me, so I paced myself against her and we finished at approx. the same time
- Pedestrian’s will still cross the road, even if there are 10,000 people running in the way. They will think that they have right of way
- You will fall over one of the ridiculously placed red traffic cones in the middle of the street. Way to go Jozi run organisers
- If you let 2Summers feed you Ritz crackers 30 mins before the race you will run the whole thing with a stitch
- If the distance markers are not bigger than an A4 piece of paper, then you will miss them and spend the whole race despairing as you don’t know how far it is to the end, and therefore what pace to run at. Even though you only have one pace,, which is go…
weirdpeople run up the hills and walk down them. The down hill is the easy part people!
- An organised race is where all the hot athletic lads and gorgeous slim girls of Joburg meet up to make you feel totally inadequate. I thought they had all moved to Cape Town, but unfortunately they were out in full force, running effortlessly like it was childs play
- You must go to McDonald’s afterwards. No, you must. Judging by how many yellow t-shirts there were in the Melville branch at 22.30 those people share my thoughts. Driving past Nando’s and Steers was the same – full of yellow t-shirts. Hilarious
- If you do no training you will finish in 1 hour and 11 minutes, according to your iPhone
- You will feel 74 years old the next day
I was really surprised at how well organised the race was. It is the first time that they have held it in Joburg, although they do hold the race in other cities. I really hope that this race becomes an annual event here. It rocked! Thanks to Nike and anyone else involved in making it possible for us to experience this magnificent city at night. Even if we are all walking around like little old ladies this morning. It was an awesome night, even though I had to run 10km’s!
**all grainy pictures taken with my phone, in the dark. No, I’m not lugging my camera around a 10km race!**