Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 159 June 2023 | Page 29

Although we had a quick and easy bus experience , I heard later that many other runners had a very different experience , having to queue in the cold wind for a lot longer to catch a bus to the start . Some runners even took to social media to complain loudly about the disorganisation of the event . I understand their frustration , but things do not always go as planned , or how we ’ d like them to go , no matter how much event organisers try to plan , and I do not envy the responsibilities of race organisers .
No problems for the author with the bus queue and ride
The author getting ready to start her race
When these things happen , it ’ s how we react that makes the difference for our own experience , and I keep going back to the fact that it was just three
Fellow runners will understand this … short years ago that we were confined to running laps around our houses , up and down our driveways , or even back and forth on our balconies ! Yes , there may have been an incredibly long queue for the busses , and perhaps things could have been done better , but at the end of the day , we ’ re here , healthy , and have our running events back on the calendar . And that ’ s something to be grateful for .

Life is a master of surprises . Just when you think that you have it all figured out , you get thrown a curveball , disrupting your plans and challenging your resilience . But it ’ s in these moments of unexpected twists and turns that we have the opportunity to learn to adapt , persevere , and make the best of a situation . My experience of participating in running events is no different .

I have some ( non-running ) friends who give me ‘ sideways looks ’ when I tell them I ’ m voluntarily setting my alarm to wake up at 3:30am on a Sunday for a running event . Heck , there are times when even I think I ’ m a little crazy , especially when my alarm goes off and all I want to do is turn over and go back to sleep . This feeling is magnified when I hear the rain pelting down , or the wind howling outside my bedroom window . But then I remember my reason for running - my ‘ why ’ – the feeling I get when I ’ m surrounded by fellow runners , the vibe , the pull towards the finish line , and the celebrations of another one in the bag . And that ’ s enough to get me up and out the door before the sun is up .
We arrived at the start line to a party atmosphere , with the incredible backdrop of Table Mountain . Despite the queues ( both for the buses and the portaloos ), runners were smiling , dancing with the warm-up crew , and soaking up the pre-race vibe as they prepared to run the 10km race route back into the city centre . A major highlight of the start programme was the giveaway of a Chery car , and the pure excitement of the winner , virtually bowling over the Cape Town Mayor , was a moment to be cherished ! I saw later that the photographers captured it beautifully , too .

Now That ’ s a Happy Winner !

Images : Chris Hitchcock , Jaco Wolmarans , Mark Sampson & courtesy Nicole Hayes
But speaking of things not going to plan … that ’ s exactly how my race day started for this one . If you ’ re a runner , you ’ ll likely understand ( and appreciate ) the need to use the loo before a race . There ’ s nothing quite as unsettling as not being able to ‘ go ,’ and knowing that the jiggling of your innards during the first kilometre or two into a race is likely going to cause some kind of volcanic incident . Runners know what I ’ m talking about ! Well , that ’ s how my morning started ... not according to plan .
Getting There Early !
Myself and my fiancé , race commentator and MA Editor , Sean Falconer , got to the Grand Parade before 5am . It was cold , dark and the wind was already starting to pick up . To be perfectly honest , I had a few moments where I was questioning my life choices – the race entry , not the relationship ! – but that soon changed , starting with the arrival of my good friend , Mirri . After a wee catch-up chat in the car , we decided around 6:45am to catch one of the buses to the start line . We probably queued for around 20 minutes , and then a short bus ride took us to the start at Woodbridge Island in Milnerton .
It was very much a case of , “ if you ’ re happy and you know it , hug the mayor ” when Mogamat Adiel De Villiers heard his name read out on stage before the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K start . As one of the five lucky finalists whose names had been randomly
drawn , he was holding thumbs that he would walk away with the keys for a brand-new Chery Tiggo 4 Pro Urban vehicle . When race commentator Thabo Molete read out the winning name , drawn by City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis , Mogamat sprinted forward and gave the mayor a massive bear-hug !
As part of the 2023 Absa RUN YORU CITY Series , a car is being given away at each of the five races in the series . This awesome prize , valued at over R289,000 , is presented compliments of event partners Chery South Africa and Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance .