Race Report: adidas Run your crew, Johannesburg, South-Africa

Date: 3 December 2016

Distances: 12km, 8km, 4km

Venue: Newtown Junction JHB, South-Africa

Website: runyourcrew.com

 

On 3 December we shut down the streets of Johannesburg. Hundreds of teams came together to run together through the streets of JHB. It was a experience like no other for me.

adidas Run you crew is an inner city run through the streets of Joburg. You have to run with a crew consisting of 6 members all of which have to start together and finish together. There are different route options and after the run there is a major block party. There are amazing prizes including a change to take part in the international RYC event.

Running crews are a global and international movement. It is celebrated in places like Tokyo, Paris and Berlin. The main focus is running that brings people together to meet other runners, find new routes to run and to explore the cities around the world. This experience helps people connect in a completely different way than normal.

We had two teams running, Furious not Fast, and Fast not Furious, we consisted of 6 members for each team, male and female mixed. We got really awesome race packs with shirts and cell phone running-pouches, along with all the info we would need for the race. The quality of the items was very good, so the entry fee ended up being a bargain I’d say!

It was really hard to take good pictures as the event was at night, and my phone’s camera sucks-ass, but I got a few amazing images that was made available to us from the adidas run your crew website – So all the beautiful awesome pic’s are from there – the dark dingy one’s are mine, just bear with me!

We all got together in the Parking lot of Newtown Junction; we applied some stripes to our faces and headed to the start of the race. The energy was amazing, music was loud. I was very excited; I’ve been looking forward to this for months. We all walked over to the open area where the race was to begin, the music was loud and all the teams looked different.

Some were stretching, taking pictures, laughing and having fun building each other up for the race.  They started the countdown and we all made our way towards the starting line and we were off, suddenly I realized how fast the sun set, it was literally almost dark.

 Into the darkness we ran into the city of Johannesburg.

I am a Pretoria girl so for me this wasn’t only the first time in some of these parts of JHB, I think it was my first time there at night. I was very excited, looking around more than I think I was running.

The buildings, the people, the cars and the city –the living city. This is where people actually live, these streets are their livelihoods, their playgrounds and their classrooms. We ran past the old and the new, Buildings harmoniously coexisting with one another making up the landscape that was the city of Jozi. People were looking at us from out their apartment windows, traffic jams, of angry drivers protesting against us closing down the streets.

I love the culture and the people and the rawness of it. I really don’t think that any of the other international teams can say that they have similar experiences where they come from. After all we are in Africa. The vibe- the smells – the people, really like no other.

We ran past a celebration that looked to me like a wedding or the after party of one at least. We ran past what seemed to be a ‘nice’ street party – with Friendly citizens offering us some refreshment, Lol, it was a little dodgy to say the least – it was like something I’ve never experienced before. I was happy that we ran in groups, it made a difference as opposed to running alone.

Nevertheless we were surrounded by officials and police, as well as the search and rescue department, so it was safe. I was a little shocked that there wasn’t any real refreshment stops as per other races. There was one stand that gave little water bags, But not really the same as other day races.

Maybe they thought we would drink more at the after party if they didn’t give us water along the way, haha.

As we neared the end, we realized we needed to frantically huddle up our teams to finish together, as that was one of the rules of the competition. It was pretty cool to finish and get a nice cold class of coke. We also got some free drink tickets and a band to enter the block party. The energy was amazing.

As you entered the lights were flashing and music was playing from the DJ Booth. The energy really was amazing. We continued through the tents mesmerized by all that was going on around us.

It was time to party….

We got our free drinks and headed through the bustling crowds – crews taking pictures at all the photo booth points –

There were food stalls that smelled amazing after running that far, also delicious desert treats. Love love loved everything around us. We continued to the front and watched the bands and DJ’s play – We watched Desmond and the Tutu’s, they sang I love Pretoria girls. Made me feel special.*wink-wink*

The one thing I was absolutely amazed with was the beautiful street art in JHB – it was beautiful, colourful, and just an amazing experience to see. I really wish I could have taken better pictures of them, but like I said my phone’s camera sucks-ass.

If you are ever able – do yourself a favour and go have a look at it. It’s truly art. And amongst the City and its inhabitants it comes to life, it tells a story of the people, of its beautiful, unique, little-bit-dodgy-city that many call home.

I would definitely do this race again – loved it.

Well done adidas! Till next year!

XOXOX – Jani

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