Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Women's Day Run

Today Ella and I ran a 5K at the Sandbank Wildlife Reserve. This is the place we scouted out last week where we saw zebra. We woke up to rain this morning and unusually cool weather. It reminded me very much of a fall run in Alaska. So I am totally intrigued by running in Africa. One interesting thing...the race was a 5K the same "distance" as our last race a couple weeks ago. Well, today's race took 10 minutes longer to run than the last one. I'm not on the official Track and Field Association but I know that we didn't run that much different of a pace. James was telling me afterward that most fun runs and "unofficial" races are not really measured they guestimate the distance and call it good. So we ran between a 5-6K race today.

The highlight you ask? There's always a highlight. A lot of the runners today were from running clubs. I mentioned this in my last race post, but people pay into a club, some more elite than others. They are assigned a number and race EVERY race with THEIR specific given number. No numbers are duplicated. In a more official race foreigners or non club members have to buy a liscense to run in a race and get a temporary number. The more hard core runners go barefoot. There were several today...on a muddy, rocky cross-country trail. Whatever works. These guys came 3 minutes after Ella and I crossed the finish line. Impressive you say...only they ran a 10K (or whatever distance the course really was) and we ran a 5K. We were thankful they didn't lap us!

Okay so I got on a tangent and didn't share my highlight. Five of the top ten runners were from the "Harmony Athletics Club." We saw them afterward and asked them if we could take their picture which they agreed to. So this picture is of me with the stellar runners that I never saw during the race. James said that this particular club is one of the largest in the country and they are known to send runners frequently to the olympics. I may be standing next to future track and field atheletes of the next summer olympics! Unlikely but you never know. Note the guy standing in the middle of the group is barefoot.

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