Sunday, 19 January 2014

First road race in... ages

This morning I ran the Bobbies 11km -  a nice 'n local road race not far from home. They moved the event from the Oriental Plaza area in town to Modderfontein, which made it a quick 10-minute drive to the race venue. Even though I arrived just after 5am, there was already a queue of cars to contend with and then a very, very, very, VERY disorganised and chaotic registration.

As a result the race started 30 minutes late and I'd hazard a guess that runners still were not able to register in time. There was one table with a few helpers, no signs (no instructions either and everyone was clueless), in a small area (inside), three different courses to enter for and thousands of runners was a recipe for long queues and not a lot of early morning happiness.

Nonetheless, in the queue, I chatted to people I knew and made a new friend - a lass new to running but also into pole dance.

The route itself was pleasant - with a nasty uphill through to the finish - and I ran with Gavin, a chap I met in person for the first time this morning - he's running Forest Run. I also saw a number of fellow Adventure Racing Club mates on the road as well as other people that I know - and that's always super cool.

I had a very easy and chatty and casual run. Just right.

I haven't run road races very often for a few years and while I don't intend to make it a habit, I do enjoy the social vibe and the positive energy of running. Goodness, in the 90s I ran races most weekends! Although I do love trail, road is nice and chatty as you can run next to people. Loads of chirping and commenting happens too.

I've been hanging at the recent road races - Dischem last weekend and Menlyn yesterday - to hand out Forest Run flyers. I haven't really considered the road-running community much but in fact, if you're looking for people not too scared of distance and ultras, then these are indeed the people to target, especially those hitting the marathons. I have a number of entrants who are doing Forest Run as training for Comrades. The timing is good, the course has the distance, it is scenic and off-road is more gentle on the body than tar.

These events are a good way to spread the word - I'll do flyers again at Johnson Crane next weekend. I'm running the 21 and would like to catch the marathoners afterwards.

Handing out flyers is a funny thing. A good number of people take flyers; I tend to too because then when I get home I look through them to see what is on. Some people brush off the people handing out flyers. Others say they have entered already - without even looking to see what the flyer is for (Pinocchios! I know they haven't yet entered Forest Run - they don't even know what it is) and others walk through with eyes cast down, pretending you don't exist. What do you do?

What I have really enjoyed are the one-on-one interactions with runners; meetin' and greetin'. I've met many really nice and friendly people over the past week. On the whole, that's runners - it's a wonderful community of people.

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