I was looking forward to the Nike Soweto Marathon that happened this last Saturday, there has always been so much hype about the Marathon that when it was resurrected by Nike I was totally on board with doing it. However, I must be honest, I don’t think I will be doing it again next year, well definitely not the 10km.
As part of my “training” (and I use the word training very loosely) plan in attempting Comrades one day I have decided to focus this year on 10kms, next year on Halfs and towards the end of next year on Marathons – then maybe I will be
insane ready enough to attempt the next down run. As much as I love the halfs and have completed one before, I entered the 10km because that’s part of the plan.
Now when I run, I run with Ladybug, which means I run with the pram. One of the problems with the Nike runs (the Soweto Run this year and the Run Jozi last year) is that you cannot run with a pram. So that opens a whole other logistical nightmare for me – more often than not if there are no prams allowed I generally don’t do it – but I REALLY REALLY wanted to do the Soweto run, so I made a plan.
Then came the pack collection *sigh* what a nightmare! It took me longer to collect the pack than it did to run the race! It was the sheer volume of people collecting race packs that made the queue take forever. Once you got to the front everything was organised and quick – granted I was only collecting my race pack and not 10 million other peoples at the same time!
Then came race day… the traffic was a nightmare! Just as well I planned to get there early, but then again even if I planned to get there on time it wouldn’t have mattered because the race started 15 mins later than scheduled because of… wait for it… the traffic! The vibe was good, the DJ was getting the crowd going and they kept the crowd entertained while we waited.
But sadly that’s kind of where the vibe started and ended – let me be fair, I was expecting a better vibe along the route. When I started running it was with the #RunJozi warm up training runs through the inner city. I fell in love with the city, I fell in love with running. It was amazing to be up close and IN the inner city like that. I saw sights that I would never have seen otherwise, I went places on foot I would never have dreamed of going in a car. When I did the #RunJozi Run the vibe was electrifying. There were supporters along the way, there were organised water stations, and well just a vibe. Because the #RunJozi was also organised by Nike, I (mistakenly) expected the same sort of thing in the Soweto Run.
The 10km run went nowhere near Soweto, infact it should have been hastagged #WeRunAeroton or #WeRunIndustrialArea… there were no supporters along the way because who would be hanging around an Industrial area on a Sunday morning, well other than those mad enough to be running through it. The water stations were shocking, they had run out of water, they had run out of cold water – now I was about the middle of the 7000 runners… so I would hate to know how the other half of the field experienced this!
I finished the 10km Soweto Marathon, I don’t know that I will do it again next year. Its left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth and I can honestly say its one of the lowlights of all the runs I have done. But we move onto the next one I guess.