08 October 2012

Nike's #WeRunJozi 2012!

Yesterday, Jurg and I took part in Nike's #WeRunJozi race through Sandton and Alexandra!  Running a 10km has been sitting on our 2012 bucket list for quite some time, and with the end of the year just around the corner, this provided us with the perfect opportunity to cross it off our list!  

This is Jurgen's 'I just ran a 10km and don't want to take a picture' face ;)

Here goes for a quick race re-cap...

With over 20,000 runners competing, we were both generally very impressed with how well the race was organized from start to finish.  We were able to walk straight up to the counter and pick up our race packs on Saturday without any wait at all {which is basically the equivalent of winning the lottery in SA} and our packs were stuffed full of exciting goodies like a Nike race t-shirt, green body paint, a bright green Nike race bracelet, and special trackers to record our times.  At the starting line, Nike staff walked around and offered us sunscreen while we were taken through a pre-race group stretching routine broadcasted over a huge screen near the starting line.  At the finish, everyone received a medal, a bottle of water, and an ice-cold energade {think powerade}.  Part of our entrance fee also went towards funding a youth race in Alexandra {one of South Africa's poorest townships} the previous morning, so it felt good knowing that we were also giving back by participating.

The race started in Sandton {one of Johannesburg's most affluent areas} and then headed straight into Alexandra {which is known as one of South Africa's poorest and most dangerous townships}.  Side note: In Jo'burg, many of our wealthiest suburbs sit right next to our poorest, with only blocks separating the two areas.  The vibe in Alex was beyond incredible, with many of the residents lining the sides of the route to cheer us on and a ton of small children high-fiving us as we ran by.  For many South Africans this was their first time ever stepping foot into a township and it was wonderful to see so many runners stopping on the side of the road to offer the children their Nike race bracelets or bottles of water.  The sense of community was invigorating and made the time fly.  The race finished on the M1 {one of South Africa's major highways} and they actually closed down a portion of the freeway for the race.  Put simply, the route was epic!!!

The one big disappointment for me had to do with the sheer number of runners.  Jurg and I were towards the front of the crowd and only crossed the starting line seven minutes after the race had started.  Then, the pack never thinned out.  We were literally running amongst a mob of people from start to finish, with many of the participants choosing to walk large portions of the course.  At several points throughout the race, the road would narrow and cause a bottleneck and we would be forced to walk until it widened out again.  I initially went into the race hoping to PR, but very quickly realized it wouldn't be realistic to run for time.  After a few minutes of frustration and failed attempts to weave through the crowd, I decided to slow down and just enjoy the experience for what it was.

Still, {numbers aside} the race was a lot of fun and an experience that I'll never forget!

I'm so grateful that Jurg also enjoys competing in these type of things and is willing to wake up at the break of dawn to run with me!  Hopefully, we'll be able to squeeze in at least one more before the end of the year :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and here's to a fantastic week ahead!

13 comments:

  1. Hats of to you and Jurg Jenna! In terms of the crowd control, I think the organisers were aiming for a 'safety in numbers' vibe.

    Also, unlike the other marathons in the country, both this one and the night run were for the sake of community, as you mentioned, and perhaps not for the competition of it.

    While you guys were running, I had babbelas. {as fellow Saffas would say, eish}

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  2. So many of my friends did this, I am def entering next years one!
    This year I was tooo unfit and it was my birthday the Saturday so I was not waking up at the wake of dawn to go run a 10k! Plus I am super unfit! Starting my "let's get fit biatches" routine tonight!

    http://johced-ourjourneytoeverywhere.blogspot.com/
    xxx

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  3. Well done guys!!! The race sounds awesome and I wish Durbs would have one too!!!

    Eish! I need to get my butt into gear and start running properly! x

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  4. Wow! Good for you and Jurg - I'm not sure I could ever run a 10 k! Sounds like a really cool experience and a fantastic thing to support!

    (Next time, let us know - we might like to sponsor you guys!)

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  5. Sounds like a great route!! I was exactly watching the race from my hotel window - currently staying across the street from the Gautrain station in Sandton! I can confirm, there were MANY people :)

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  6. Congrats girl, that sounds like such a cool experience!! It's definitely frustrated when it's really crowded but it seems like y'all just made the best of it. It sounds like such a cool race, that's awesome you guys did it together!

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  7. Why are y'all always so cute?!?! I just love y'all!! Sounds like a really fun race!!

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  8. that's such a bummer when the race never thins out....i ran a 5k like that once...with people and their dogs! it was horrible....all the little dogs kept getting stepped on....you all totally win cutest runners though!

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  9. Hi Jenna...I joined Walk/Run for Life last night because I really want to participate in events like this but being unfit and asthmatic I cant so I am hoping by starting slowly I will eventually be able to participate and have some fun with exercise.

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  10. Wow! This sounds like such an amazing event! :) Love the idea! And great job to the two of you! I could never run 10k, haha :D

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  11. Hi Jenna! I just found your blog from a comment you wrote on Choose to Be Happy - I too am a Semester At Sea alum (S03) so I had to come check out your blog. It's awesome to read about your travels and life overseas - look forward to following you! :)

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  12. Wohooo well done to both of you! I ran 10k in july, it's so much fun but of course a lot of work! You don't even look tired in the photo though :)

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  13. is he your boyfriend?? awww!! to be honest, i enjoy reading your blog! i came across your blog once but i forgot to follow you :( now i'm back, i'm definitely following! you got an amazing blog!! <3 keep on posting! x

    http://thesassytheory.blogspot.com/

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Thanks for commenting! I love reading each and every one of them :)