Is running the new kid on the block?

Running races in South Africa have become increasingly popular. If you don’t arrive at sparrow’s fart before a race, be warned about getting stuck in gridlocked traffic! This was us at Johnson Crane in January. Added to that is taking over 20 minutes to cross the timing mat at the start of the race, like majority of suckers at Vaal marathon. 

Start line race

The starting line at Pick n Pay 2017


Is it due to health trends hitting our media that people suddenly want to run? Could Parkrun have ignited newbie runners into challenging themselves to run further than 5kms? Or have other events such as Crossfit, Bootcamp or Warrior have added to the flow of budding athletes trying their skill on tar? 
Race runners

Another view of the start of Pick n Pay 2017 – crazy view!

Whatever it is, it’s fantastic! Running is a reasonably cheap sport (that’s before you think you need a GPS watch to upload your runs to Strava) and you don’t need to run official races to enjoy yourself. 

YouTube is loaded with free coaching and it would appear that people are catching on to this. Don’t believe me? Check out Cape Town’s promenade. Or head to Jo’burg’s highway aka Westcliff stairs. Packed! 

Start line at Sarens 2017 – a stunning pic!

In between the ever growing numbers of runners are everyday people like you & me. The average Joe who will never run an ultra like Comrades; the casual half marathoner who dreams of full marathons; the 10km social guy and yes, all the really fun runners at the back! It’s a mixed batch and we’re all in it having fun together. 

Let’s keep running! 

Runner, you’re doing it wrong!

I’m not a professional or even serious runner but I would have thought that by now, after a few years of running, I would know all there is to know about running. My copy of ‘Lore of Running’ is dog-eared, I’m a regular subscriber to Runner’s World, I download my runs to Garmin Connect and I always buy my running shoes under the guidance of the experts at Dunkeld Sweatshop. I even speak runners’ jargon, such as plantar fasciitis, and call races by their first names – Deloittes, Colgate, Dischem.

But when KK was disqualified at a race recently, I realized that sometimes, the smallest detail about running can go unnoticed, even by me.

It was at the Springs Striders 15km road race that KK was stopped at the finish line and told that he was being disqualified for not having worn both of his ASA licence numbers. KK was quite confused because, we always pin our ASA licence to the back of our running vests? But the referee was not interested and informed KK that runners needed to show both numbers – one on the front and one on the back. Huh? Since when?Race number

Runners who join an official running club are given two numbers. But I always thought: a) the one was for Summer tops and the other for Winter; or b) when your running top is in the dirty washing, at least you had a spare. LOL! How embarrassing, I’m such a chop!

Apparently, we’re supposed to pin one number on the front, the other on the back of your running vest. We have run so many races and never noticed. We’ve also never been stopped by any referees before. I suppose it’s because our race numbers were covering the front.

Oh well, you learn every day…we’re still laughing!