It has been a very long time indeed since we posted an awesome runner, but the silence has been broken. We back on the streets with our #WCW

Q. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do for a living?
My day I am a Legal Assistant and also a Lifestyle Blogger and Writer. I launched my lifestyle blog over a year ago. I love writing blog posts and sharing them with others. 

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?
Time management is huge for me. Since I have a full time job, blog and train, things can get hectic. I make sure all of my workouts are in my calendar. By doing this, I never miss a workout and I am aware of what needs to be done. 

Q. When and why did you start running?
I started running 11 years ago in college to get healthy and to relieve anxiety and stress. Over the last year I have increased my long distance running to gain strength, clarity and wisdom.

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?
Thinking about how far I have come motivates me to get out there. I also surround myself with positive and motivating individuals. My running team, Movement Runners helps stay inspired and motivated. Knowing I will finish strong always keeps me motivated!

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?
26.2 miles! 

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?
There is nothing like running in the streets. I love being out there on the pavement, feeling the air and seeing the people pass by. I feel connected with the city. I hope by running in the streets that I am able to inspire others to workout.

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise among the youth?
Lack of exercise amongst the youth is really unfortunate. My parents made us get out and exercise and I am forever grateful for that. 

Q. What was your best running experience?
Running down Hollywood Blvd during the Los Angeles Marathon. The energy was amazing!!The crowd and the people made me feel as if I were a million bucks. Even though running a marathon was hard, that moment made it all worth it. 

Q. What was your worst running experience?
I tripped over a pothole and strained my left foot after a mile in. I was so excited for that run but I ended up limping my way back and not being able to finish. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?
I redirect my mind to not focus on the pain. I keep repeating to myself “It will be over soon”

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?
Start off slow. Start with a power walk and increase to jogging. Do not feel intimidated by advanced runners! We all have to start somewhere. Just Keep Going!

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?
I am on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and SnapChat.

Instagram: @Christal_Lauren

Facebook: Christal Ryles

Twitter: @ChristalLRyles

SnapChat: @Bravebird24


Last week saturday, on the 18th of march. The 2017 edition of the Old Mutual Om Die Dam took place and for once I was not running the race. Shocking! I know, me at a race, not running... 

The Horror, The Drama 

The thing is, these past few months have been very hard on me. I can hardly keep up the pace that was too slow for me 6 months ago. So I have gone back to basics, running 5km at a time and taking it easy. There was no way that I was going to survive 50km in the sun. It just wasn't going to happen! 

I was offered the opportunity to ride the media bus and thought it would be great opportunity to experience the race from a different perspective. You know... behind the lens in the back of the bus. The Media bus... 

I made extremely sure that I got to the media bus in time otherwise it would have left me. That meant that I had to be awake by 2am, leave Johannesburg for Hartbeespoort at 3am and pray that there would be no traffic by this time. I always get so embarrassed when I arrive at a race and it has already started. 

The way the world works, The race started and the bus still haven't moved. So we had to make our way from the back of the pack to the front of the pack. It was a treat for me because I could see everything, the runners, the landscape, the route I was inspired by all the runners that I saw, they were so determined to finish. 

Standing at the Finish Line watching cross the finish line with smiles on their faces and hard work in their sweat. I was so jealous of them, Next year that will be me!

Below is a link to the facebook album which contains the pictures that were taken while I was at the back of the van.

 Will you join us next year? Come on its just a 50 km shuffle around the dam. 


On who you are…

My name is Vicente Lumbreras (@vicentedarunner on Instagram), and I am a postdoctoral scientist living in Chicago. I am originally from Spain, and have lived in the US for almost 7 years between Chicago and Miami. During the week, I spend the day at the lab studying the electrical and mechanical properties of vestibular hair cells, which are the balance sensors of the inner ear. During the weekend, I like to run, catch up with friends, explore the city, sing, and dance.

On running… 

I started running for PE class back at home in Madrid. I ran on and off during college, and went back seriously to it during grad school. My friend Micah got me hooked again with so many beautiful and fun runs in Miami. That is when I started really loving running, as it was about enjoyment, friendship, and discovery of beautiful sweet spots in the city. I began racing after I moved to Chicago for my postdoc two years ago. I do a long run at least once a week in the Chicago Lakefront, which is a beautiful 18.5 mile path for walking, running, and biking with astonishing views of Lake Michigan. It’s a great place to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. I love running with friends, so kudos to Sara and Albert for the great times along the lakeshore together. These days I also do HIIT running on the treadmill so as to speed up my pace (currently I can hold a 8.33 min/mile in a marathon, and would like to bring it down to 8 min/mile). Running is one my passions, and keeps me healthy, very happy, and connected to their people. 

On Street culture…

I love Chicago. I am so Miami though. I should say I am happy to be an adopted Chicagoan now. It’s such a great place and the people are simply amazing. You can meet folks from all over the world, taste every possible cuisine, and get to know many different cultures. Chicago is really famous for it’s beautiful architecture, but also for the warmth of its people. Get ready for some old Chicago Blues and falling in love with Lake Michigan. Miami is the door to Latin America and the Caribbean, and home to my family in the US. You can hear the whole array of accents of the Spanish-speaking world in this city. Get ready for some salsa and merengue in Calle 8 and to live together with the wildlife that is your neighbor in the city.

Running culture...

There is a strong running culture in the city of Chicago. The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle in april marks the start of the outdoor running season. Chicago runners come back to the lakeshore for fun and start training. It’s so great to run Chicago in the spring, summer, and fall. There are many running groups, so you can always join one and get motivated by fellow runners. The winter is pretty tough in the Windy City, so most people run on the treadmill, but you can still see those intrepid ones who don’t mind al all running in the snow and the freezing weather.

Miami’s running culture has gained a lot of momentum in recent years thanks to many clubs motivating people to start running. Miami is indeed an incredible race for running. You can run around the growing urban skyline of the city, but at the same time you can just jump into the wildlife. My favorite spot is the Crandon Park Marina in Key Biscayne, where I have been able to see rays jumping out of the water, beautiful birds like sandhill cranes, and manatees. The biologist inside me rejoices running around this place, so thank you Micah for bringing me over here so many times. You have to be aware of the humid Miami heat, so you have to take additional precautions to prevent exhaustion and dehydration as temperatures can rise to 80-90 Fahrenheit very quickly in the morning.

On gadgets…

My ASICS shoes and my soles. They keep my knees safe from stepping impact. In a marathon you may step up to 33,000 times.

My Gu gels of chocolate peanut butter flavor with caffeine. I have at least 5 of them during a marathon to keep me from “hitting the wall”. I hit the wall in my first marathon, and the struggle couldn’t be more real if this happens.

My Garmin watch to keep track of my distance and pace. It is very helpful to balance your objectives and progress.

My iPhone and my music; running + music = trip to another dimension

On injury…

Tell me about it. Every runner has to take very good care of himself/herself. I have had runner’s knee, bad cramps, and what is called movie-goers knee. My best ally against injury is the foam roller and patience. You have to let your body recover and heal well if you notice any painful symptoms. 

On achievements… 

I have run so far a total of 18 races (4 marathons, 5 half marathons, one 15K, three 10Ks, one 8K, and two 5Ks). That means a total of 235.8 miles/379.5 kms in racing alone. This has involved a lot of dedication and training, but the results have been completely worth it: a complete body transformation, a collection of medals, many wonderful memories, lots of laughter, and great new friends. 

On future goals… 

I would like 2017 to be a year full of positive changes, for me and others. Therefore, I want to use racing this year to fundraise money for HIV/AIDS research and prevention and also to inspire people to make changes for a healthier lifestyle.

To make this happen, I have joined Team to End Aids (T2); all donations done on my webpage go to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, which aims to help HIV+ individuals thrive and prevent new infections. An AIDS-free generation is possible.

I have many races coming up on 2017 for fundraising, and it is very exciting. I also hope to break my current marathon PR of 3:45.

On your social media…

- Please, follow me on instagram @vicentedarunner. That way you can get updates on my running, my fundraising experience, get to know cool places in Chicago and Miami, see nice people, food, etc. Also, please, visit my fundraising website to get to know more about T2, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and my motivations for this cause.

On Pink…

I love pink, wear pink (not on Wednesdays though), and think many times in pink. And P!nk the singer is amazing, just like fire.

Also, pink reminds me of my wonderful friend Shari, who is the strongest runner I know. She is an incredible fighter, a rockstar, and my greatest inspiration for running. Love you Shari, keep up running, you are incredible.

On Pain…

Starts around mile 21-22 in a marathon, but you have to run fierce and proud to celebrate at the finish line. Running can be physically painful some times, but at the same time it can bring you a lot of peace and satisfaction thanks to the chemistry of endorphin's. Running has been one of my best allies to go through stressful times, disappointments, and broken hearts. You just have to run through it.

When I die…

I hope all I can I say is that I had an incredible ride. I wanna go surrounded by loved ones, and thinking that I did something to make the world a better place for those I am leaving behind.


Q. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do for a living?

I run a digital and influencer engagement firm called WordStart where we connect brands with influencers and I consult in the marketing industry, as well as speak at conferences.

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?

In recent times exercise has become part of my lifestyle, it is balancing random things with exercise and work. Most of it is guided by the goals, both health and fitness, that I aim to achieve.

Q. When and why did you start running?

I started seriously a little over 2 years ago, prior to that it was all seldom and unplanned. A lot of it was because I was unfit and I shallowly wanted to walk around the beach topless without feeling too self-conscious. The reality is that I enjoyed it and it was one of the most accessible ways to get fit and healthy. 

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

It is mostly the goals that I have and the fact that I need to cover some distance to reach these aspirations. When you have a marathon or an ultra-marathon in a few weeks or months that you have committed to, you have to get on the road. 

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?

It was just over marathon distance.

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?

I never think about that, I just get to it. Confidence isn’t something that comes up about running, it’s mostly increasing distance and improving performance. 

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise among the youth?

I think we can all do with more activity in our lives, adults more than youth to be honest. That said, I think we can give young people more options. The youth, in part, emulate the rest of society and we all need to make exercise a part of our daily lives.

Q. What was your best running experience?

Fighting past exhaustion and broken legs to finish my first marathon ranks up there with the ultimate running experiences I have ever had. Another one was when my parents (70-years old and over) and my cousin all came out to a race and took a 10-kilometre distance while I ran the half marathon. I can’t choose one over the other.

Q. What was your worst running experience?

Getting cramps and desperately needing the toilet, both at the same time, were lows and water shortage at another race.

Q. How do you push through the pain?

Sometimes I just walk through it to regain mental and physical composure, other times it’s the experience of past moments and positive thoughts that help me through it.

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?

Start now. Pick up your shoes and slowly.

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?

Twitter: @Mongezi
Facebook: Mongezi Mtati
Instagram: mongezimtati


So ever since I started running there has always been one thing that I have always desired. See when I started social running, I went to Nike Run Club Rosebank quite a bit and I was always so jealous of Tasneem and Ashraf. They always ran together and in life that it was I always wanted a running partner. Who would drag me out of bed if I did not want to, who would tell me that today we running 10km no questions asked. However, in life we don't always get what we want now do we? 

While I appreciate my partner, these are the tunes dedicated to all the running lovers out thurrr! 

This is also my official February Running Playlist. 

1. Into You - Ariana Grande

2. Love You Still - DJ Kent (feat. Dominic Neill) 

3. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 (feat. Kendrick Lamar) 

4. Let Me Love You - Dj Snake (feat. Justin Bieber) 

5. Nguwe - Culoe De Song (feat. Thandiswa Mazwai) 

6. What I Did For Love - David Guetta (feat. Emeli Sande) 

7. J'adore - Four7 (feat. Tiffany) 

8. Sweetie - Heavy-K (feat. Nokwazi)

9. Charlotte - Prince Kaybee (feat. Lady Zamar) 

10. All this love for you - Ralf Gum 

So Which is your fave ?!!?!?!? 


I started seeing adverts on Instagram for this race last year, my initial thoughts were "this is another overpriced, crowded 5k race". So, naturally I did not pay attention to it, even though I saw more adverts. It wasn't until I received an email asking me to be an ambassador that I started taking this race seriously. To be honest, I did not really fulfill my duties as an ambassador but January was a very hard month for me adjusting to a new job and the stress of being a tax paying citizen. 

As I type this it out, I declare that I am slowly adjusting to my new life and the experience I had today has encouraged me to stay blogging. A few days ago I received entry vouchers to this race and so I honoured my entry and participated in the race. This was the best 5k of my life and it wasn't even on the road. I didn't even run it, instead I live tweeted the race. If  you don't follow the blog on twitter, click here and click follow :) 

THE BEST PART we got a medal beyps!

Thank you so much to the team at The Music Run for sending me tickets to this event, it is now Permanently on ThatIndieRunner's Race Calender. 


Hi there! My name is Ken Romanello (@kennyromes on Instagram). A little about myself: I am 32 years old, from Port Chester, NY. I began running in the summer of 2014 while incarcerated in a CT state prison (can go deeper into that if you want to include this). 

At the time, I was out of shape and overweight (220 lbs). My first day of running I could only do 1 lap of the dirt track in our rec yard. Slowly built up my stamina to be able to run 30 minutes consistently. Was released from prison Jan 2015. Ran my first ever race (5K) in Feb that year. Fell in love with racing and signed up for at least a dozen others that year (all 5K). Challenged myself to do the NYC Half Marathon earlier this year. Have run 5K, 4mi, 8K, 10K, 10mi, and half marathons this year. Currently training for NYC Half 2017. Qualified for the 2017 NYC marathon (my first ever marathon), and will be training all summer/fall for it. Also trying to put together a team for Ragnar relay in the Adirondack (Sep 22-23). Began working with a running coach a month ago. 

Overall, running has changed my life. I've lost 50 lbs, feel great, and run every chance I get. Life goal is to be part of the 100 Half Marathon club as well as the 50 State Endurance Club (Half or full marathon in each state). I am a vegan. Turned vegan while still incarcerated (approaching 2 year anniversary Jan 1). I have a vegan food page on Instagram (@vegmatic) and have launched a vegan-inspired clothing line called Vegmatic Apparel (@vegmaticapparel, 

For work I am a distribution manager for Green & Tonic in CT. We have 5 locations currently all in CT. We offer plant based health food grab and go style as well as cold pressed organic juices and smoothies. (@greenandtonic, 

2017 goals include starting my own blog, podcast, YouTube channel,  expanding the clothing line, PR in Half Marathon (currently at 1:57) and completing 1st marathon and Ragnar. When not working and running, I help feed and clothe the homeless in NYC with my group Brown Paper Bag Movement (@brownpaperbagny). Our most recent outing was on Dec 21. We served hot food and handed out clothes and blankets. 

Happy 2017, this is the very first throwback thursday of the new year. I would like to throw it back to my very first marathon, the 2016 Soweto Marathon. To say I trained for this race would really be a joke hey. In retrospect, I would have liked to train more so that I maybe could have posted a better time, but it is what it is. 

A few months leading up to the Soweto Marathon the awesome folks at ARENA wellness offered to open up their doors to me as a complement to my usual running training. Even though I was not going to get paid for this, I jumped at their offer because training at the ARENA is electric. There really is no way to describe, you put in work shame. Even after a few months of workouts there, I never got used to them. They always knocked the wind out of me.

I attended classes at every opportunity I got so I can not tell in detail what went down at the ARENA. What I can tell you is that every class is an hour long, the workout consists of treadmill running and floor exercises and also the classes are killer! After my first class I felt like running a half marathon was an easier task. You can read about this class here

I spent so much time having running conversations while I was trying to survive until the instructor told us to switch the treadmills off. I came up with theories, conclusions and also had internal arguments, all while trying to burn this fat. Allow me to share some insights that I gained while training for the  2016 Soweto Marathon

Housewives Run FAST

I used to attend the 8 AM monday class, I liked this class because I could drop my partner off at work and use the car to attend class, then drive to university. Often times I would be the only  guy in the class, apart from the instructor. He is the instructor afterall so he couldn't feel out of place. I won't discuss my feelings though because most times I would be feeling nervous about the sweating I was about to do. Towards the end of the class the instructor would tell us to choose a speed between 14 16 and 18 km's per hour, I dreaded this moment because I hate sprints. I would always choose the lowest speed and struggled to maintain that for the few seconds they required us to. 

But not the women of the 8AM class, the women of the 8AM class always chose the highest speed or faster. Not just for the sprints though throughout the whole class they choose the highest speed and they slay it. I peeked over to their treadmills so many times and told myself that one day I would be able to run at those speeds. 

Lorna Jane Rules the North

So if you know me, you know that I am very much interested in running tights. I can have one pair of shoes, but I can never have enough tights. In my usual life, with my usual fitness circle all I see is Swoosh, but this was a new fitness circle, this was a new environment and all I could see was Lorna Jane. It was my first time being so close to it. I have heard a lot about it and how it is popular at the gyms in Johannesburg. Finally, I could see the market penetration and dominance. Lorna Jane you are loved... 

Beetroot tastes good 

Beetroot is that veggie that we only eat on a sunday, its part of the 7 colour's sunday lunch fiasco. We ate it so much that we don't want to see its foorprints any longer. We have had enough of beetroot so much that its now been pushed to the funeral food menu and even then we don't want it. Due to this, I rarely consume beetroot. After one particular class, I decided to live a little and buy the juice at the juice bar that contained beetroot, carrot, ginger etc etc. It was so good, I slurped it up so quickly that I regreted it and I wanted more. At that point I had driven too far to turn back

*Mental Note* When visiting Morningside shopping centre, visit the ARENA WELLNESS juice bar, just to order my beetroot juice


I have been avoiding all core strength throughout my running life. I can't even tell you why I did that. When visiting the ARENA you can't run away from the core exercises. This is why I kept going bac because I knew that I needed core strength for the marathon. The journey towards my 6 pack had started, I failed to keep consistent because varsity got too hectic. Now my 6 pack lies beneath my dad bod.  

All along I thought that community aspect of exercising was limited and exclusive to the running community. I was wrong though, there is a community at ARENA WELLNESS as well. Everybody knows each other, everybody knows what class they are going to and who will be there and who will be the instructor. Everybody knows which treadmill is theirs, just like how gamblers know which is their luckyslot machine. A fit community where no excuses are made and we just sweat our dad bods away, isnt that the dream community

I gained so many insights during my time at ARENA WELLNESS, I could go on forever telling you about how excited I got when the lights were dimmed and the neon lights came on. I could also tell you to bring semi frozen water because even ice melts during the workout. However there are insights which you have to derive on your own, You can do so by registering for a class on just be prepared to Train Move Play