OLD MUTUAL Soweto Marathon

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

This past weekend was the OLD MUTUAL Soweto marathon, I was only going to post the race recap after my exams. However, I had such a crappy exam period that maybe sharing my thoughts will make me feel better and leave me more positive about my life at the moment. 

Last year the Soweto marathon's main sponsor was Nike and we experienced our first Bridge The Gap event which was called #homieshalf and you can read about it here

This changed this year with Old Mutual stepping in and Nike being a technical sponsor. 

I collected my race pack on Thursday, unfortunately I did not take any pictures. I arrived just before the shakeout run was going to start and I was not able to take pictures of the expo. From memory, I remember that it was very pretty and several companies like Futurelife and Nike were exhibiting their products. 

I have been a member of the Nike Run Club since its inception and on this day a local run was scheduled to take place. I did not know what a local run was and I was very excited because we were going to run ofcourse! 

RUN MABONENG that is. Maboneng is this area in Johannesburg which I like to refer to as an island. Nonetheless, I would like to live in this island. I call it an island because it is this very vibey and upmarket area that is located within the ratchets of Johannesburg. I love running through places like this, I get bored of tree lined surburbs with birds chirping. I want to run through THE STREETS. 

The local run took us into the new section of Maboneng. I did not even know where we were until 2 kays into the run we stopped at this new spot where we were treated to juice and a talk from the coach about sundays race and what not to do. 

I was snapchatting this experience so I was too preoccupied to take pictures. Do yourself a favour and follow us on snapchat: thatindierunner .

The rest of the run was fun! I do not normally run through those parts of Johannesburg and listening to this woman screaming "EASY MAKHE, EASY" was so entertaining I didn't even want to listen to music.

Also the race pack was filled with goodies I didn't even know they put in race packs. Olive Oil?!!??!! never ever in my life have I seen olive oil in a race pack but thank you because now I have olive oil in the cupboard. 

Race Day

We had to wake up at 3AM in order to get dressed, eat and leave on time. With races as big as this one, I know that parking is such a big problem I have to get there 2 hours before the gun goes off. This year however, Nike provided a park n ride shuttle service for its runners and this helped us a lot. 

We arrived just in the nick of time, because traffic and we had to run to the warm up spot do the warm up and then we were off to the start. For some reason they made the 21.1 km runners start first at 05:45, then the 10km runners at 05:55 and finally the marathon runners at 06:15. We also got to start at the very front with the elite runners who were aiming to win. 

In my head I was just going to take it easy and enjoy this race at an easy pace. I was going to be paced by him and stick to his pace, we were actually talking during the first 4k but at around 5 kilometres I looked back and I could not see him anymore so I soldiered on alone, because we will meet at the finish line. I was pushing a nice pace the first 10k's and the water points were enough and the coke was flowing. I also took pics of the surrounding areas and the scenery. 

In the second half of the race it was hot and I was slowing down I kept telling myself "we will walk at the next water point and enjoy that coke like it is the best piece of pizza ever". Only that plan did not work. There was no water point at kilometer 12 or 15. The residents of Soweto were providing water from their hose pipes and  I took that opportunity because I had no idea when I would taste the coke again. I ran walked until the 18 km water point, by which I had drank too much at the sight of all the liquids. My stomach was too heavy for me to run up the hill. 

At the 19 km mark I just said to myself "SUCK IT UP" we nearly there and I did suck it up. I sucked it up so well until I saw the finish line. Then I looked to my left and saw @jenty and sam from twitter streets. We all crossed the finish line together and took a selfie at the end. 


In a time of 2:31:32, not my fastest and definitely not my goal time but its a finish and I will take it. The rest of the Soweto Marathon experience was spent cheering my crew peeps from Braamfie Runners doing the marathon and food and taking snaps at the photo booth. 

Next year, I will be 23 and older and wiser and I will be doing the Soweto Marathon. 


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