Today was the much anticipated Sandton to Soweto Marathon. I have been looking forward to running a race in Soweto for some time because I am told that the vibe on the road is truly South African and vibrant. I have to say this run lived up to my expectations.
Distance: I signed up for 10km as it fit nicely in my half marathon training schedule, Rob did the 21km.
Weather Conditions: It started out chilly at about 9C but warmed up nicely when the sun came out later.
Parking/Traffic: The 21km started in Braamies, and an hour earlier than the 10km, so i dropped Rob off and then drove to Orlando rugby club for my 10km. I got to my start an hour early so I waited in the car. Parking was well organised, just we didn’t realise it was R20, which we paid when we left, after the race. Good thing Rob had his wallet! We hardly ever carry cash to running events!
Event Organisation: Truthfully it was poor. It started poorly with race number collection at Troisport during the week. You had to have proof of payment but normally if you give your name you can collect your race number easily. I had to stand looking for my name in an excel spreadsheet on a laptop to get a race number. Naturally there was an unnecessary line, so this wasn’t a smooth process. Then on the morning of the run, there wasn’t a clear start line, everyone just huddle about in the cold. We waited 30minutes to start the 10km, it was apparently the same delay for the 21km. Even when they shot the gun to start the race, there were people still unsure if the race had started.
Water stations: There was only 1 water station at 9.2km! Which is just crazy! Apparently there were more for the 21km, and I would hope there were more for the 42km race!
Marshalls: Well organised and full of fun. Ran passed one Marshall who shouted “upgrade to 21km go left” and another who said “don’t be a coward, do 21km!” It was nice to have that kind of fun, entertaining spirit on the route.
Medals: Stunning medal! They were giving out goodie bags at the end but the line was incredibly long and we were keen to get home to our couch!
Vibe on the road: Great vibe on the road. The route was tough but fair. We actually travelled past the cooling towers in Soweto. Rob still wants to do the swing off them!