Allow me to open my Soweto Marathon 42 km Experience with an opening paragraph of Charles Dickinson novel tale of two cities, mind you I already shared my photos and a video above for the race: It was the best of time, It was the worst of time, it was the age of wisdom, it was age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredibility.
Within a month after I participated in the Sanlam Cape town Marathon 42 Km, time was upon me to challenge the Soweto marathon, I have never two marathons which are this close before in my entire life for obvious reasons being I take six months to prepare for a 42 km marathon now when its two consecutive months it was a bit stain for me.
I had taken a break for the whole month after the Cape Town Marathon. I even forgot about the people’s marathon as Soweto Marathon is affectionately known. Primarily because the people from Soweto and whole over the country gather on this day and line up from the start at the FNB Stadium the whole 42 km passing through the historic Vilakazi street where South Africa Struggle heroes used to sat i.e. the late Former President Nelson Mandela and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu back to the Stadium as the finish line supporting the participants or contenders of the Race.
Only a week left I got a call from my brother Musa Sigudla who has also joined Eskom Athletics Club that in a weeks time we will be challenging Soweto Marathon,it downed to I have to start training preparing for the race however I was not fazed since I was fit after my previous marathon.
I thereby started training right away there by formulating an emergency running plan that was obviously different form my normally three days 20 km per day run to five days straight 20 km per day run. I had never done it before but my fitness level was promising and I was very convenient and especially after the whole month rest.
I went on with scheduled training untilthe big day Sunday the 3rd November 2019 time 05:30 .
As I started the marathon by seeding platform met new faces contenders of the same race that came from different provinces and different clubs of the country even elite runners from Africa and the rest of the world where available most likely at seeding A .we eventually got time extension of 15 minutes due to technical reasons. It gave us time to socialize and sharing all different aspects pertaining our origin to the training programs we follow and other wise the mood was very high as the organizers played different hit song which one of the most played was the famous Club Controller until before the race officially started the national Anthem was sung.
The start after the gun was not so much exciting as it was over crowded and I ended up waking the first kilometer however as time went by I managed to start running with my average pace 5 until 21 km and I had an injury. As I rested I realized a differently able person supporting the runners having South African Flag. There and there I stopped further two members of the Eskom Athletics club we stopped for total of 14 minutes socializing with this young man and taking pictures and finding out how is his over all state of health that he shared with us and he had the feeling of importance as we appreciated his affords and we where his guests. The pictures can explain further as his face was filled with excitement and hope as he now feels like he was belonging to the Eskom guardians Family. We even went as much as hoe the late former President Mandela made it possible to open ways for even disabled people to now get grants to make the state of living affordable.
I continued with my race after I changed my running shoes it took me another 14 minutes to change my running timing chip from the shoes I was using of the brand Nike to another shoes which are lighter and the brand was Adidas I had conquered a lot of hills with the former pair of shoes hence I got and injury and I could only run an average pace of 11 as I was nursing the injury. And the other challenge was the sun was very hot but the water spots that are set up every 5km made the heat bearable. Again at the end of Vilakazi street I had to continue running on hill tops tha made my Average pace to increase to 11 km I even met one radio station the christian radio station radio pulpit and happen to know the presenter Pastor Jack Motswetla who I stopped to greet and even afforded me time to share words of encouragement with fellow runners and the radio air ways.i continued with a much renewed spirit as I got a chance to fellowship.
As I continued with my race I got encouragement from the crowd now shouting Eskom you can make it, you are almost there. I went back to the average pace of 9 until the end of my race.
However when I got to the last five km I met my brother who was also running at his practiced pace and joined me up to the finish line.As we entered the FNB Stadium to reach the finish line I started a video to record and capture the finishing moments as they are extremely fun as I anticipated the crowd to shout Eskom again of which they did. As I approach the finish line the crowd shouted Eskom well done and I appreciated them by shouting back thank you South Africa.as we continue to run towards the last steps into the finish line the SABC commentator also started cheering us up on the speaker and said we have backwards runners wow as we came to the cross still shouting thank you to the crowd and the feeling was exhilarating, I never had such fun as I was with my little brother who was equally excited.
To share few live tweets I participated in whist running the race,
This brings me to the end of my experience thanks for reading this my experience of the 2019 Soweto marathon 42 km.