Following much anxiety I actually ran and finished my first 10km road race this morning!
I don’t recall prepping for race like I did for this one. Last night already I had my gear out and ready to fit and run this morning! This morning the alarm went off at 4am and I was up and about getting the family sorted to hit the road within the hour…. and that sadly is where the organisation ended today!
The organisers of the SandtontoSoweto Road race either didn’t realise the magnitude of setting up 3in1 races or left everything for the last-minute, hence the poor delivery. First off there were no t-shirts on registration on day1 it opened! Told to come the next day and still nothing! I decided I would wait for the race day .. and perhaps .. just maybe I’d get one! Hmmm… NADA!
This morning as we made our way to Soweto at the crack of dawn, the coordinates shared by the race organisers just would not be accepted by my Garmin! Yep no matter how I entered the given data it would not be accepted! Never-mind, hubby has been to that neck of the woods in the past so kinda had an idea of where we should be .. kinda I say .. after much driving around we finally found the Soweto Rugby Field.
With 45 minutes before the start I went to the loo, only to have my privacy invaded by this gorgeous lady .. who later ended up being an angel in disguise. Although the latch to the door was clearly down, it didn’t lock the door. I’m not sure who was more embarrassed! Did my stretches .. no not in the loo man, lol .. and off to the start the three of us went.
Race was scheduled and communicated to start at 7am! Hmmm … we eventually left at roughly 7:30. During the 30 minute wait, not one person from the organising committee came to chat to us or explain the delay. Turns out the wait was because there was no start gun … I read this online on their page this afternoon..post race from one of the athletes. It also turns out that the 21km race were merely told to go off .. no countdown, no gun send off … nix! At least while we waited I saw Sharon and Wayne. I understand from her blog here that she was also doing her first 10km.
The route was amazing, as we got to run through the streets of Soweto, passing by quite a few home owners as we ran through their streets, and at time being cheered by the kids as they stood at their gates watching all the runners pass by. It added an amazing touch to the event.
It was only at the 9km mark that a few of the residents had buckets of water and canisters offering us runners some water. I’m assuming here, that those runners that had already passed them ahead of me had either requested for water or commented about it to the residents.
Surprise! Surprise as we’re about to finish, literally at the 10km mark, that is when the organisers had a water table for the runners! Really! Oh and throughout the route, no toilets either … for those that may have needed it!
It was at this point that two things happened as well, first the lady I mentioned above that walked on me in the loo caught up to me. As you can see from the picture I had stopped .. it’s not distorted or blurred, and then decided to walk a bit .. to catch my breath. She then says to me .. “move that ass! If you walk you gonna make me tired!” It was all I needed to get me moving again 🙂 … a little further I pasted a young man, probably early teens. He was one of the brisk walkers in the race. He was motoring it and passed me at the next uphill. Yes, the hills are still a bit of a challenge for me at this stage.
I made it to the finish!
Not too exhausted but honestly do believe I could have gone another few kilometers .. how many now is the question.
Having got my medal, next was the queue to get a goodie back and t-shirt!
An hour, if not more later we finally got to the front. No t-shirt and lame excuses for their lack. Funny thing is that we could see two of the individuals that were giving the t-shirts away actually pack a black bin bag with t-shirts and pack them away in their mini van. This all in front of a yet long line of runners!
We finally left, and to be honest I’m not sure I will be making the effort next year to run the race.
For now though, I’m thrilled I finished and have my medal to show for it!
Could a 21km be in the horizon … ?