Spar Women’s Race – 17 March 2013

I would not under any circumstances class myself as a runner.

I shuffle.   I sort of stumble along.  I cannot run for very a very long time, or at a particularly fast pace without making people wonder how on earth my knees manage to move at that particular angle.

I tend to do short attempts at running, and spend the rest of the time trying to walk really fast.  There is also time that I set aside for dry heaving, as my body (and mind) do not enjoy exercise in any shape or form.

People keep promising me that my endorphins will be taking over and I will love it.  So far, there have been no sightings of endorphins or porpoises or Nemo for that matter.

I loath exercise, before I do it, whilst I am doing it, and especially when it is over.  I usually give thanks that it is over, and I can just go home.  I really do not sit there with a big smile on my face telling people how wonderful I feel.

The fact that I do it at all, speaks volumes about my ability to “just put my head down and get the fuk on with it” …..

I do enjoy running downhill (I can’t run uphill, and am suspicious of people who can – the human body is not designed to do that).

I like the way the sheer weight of my body propels the rest of me forward at a bit of a pace, creating the illusion of speed.  As my body hurtles down, usually at a speed slightly faster than my legs can move, towards the end of what ever lies at the foot of a hill is quite a thrilling sensation for me.

I am always surprised that there are not bodies strewn along the side of a hill when I run.  I definitely would be motivated to strew myself there if there were other bodies to keep me company.  But there never is, so I tend to take a deep gasping breath and just keep on moving — until I can fall down later.

I have been afraid of entering anything that has the word “race” or “run” or “event” in it – partly because there is this assumed perception that I am going to have FUN, and also that there might be pressure to wear a running vest.

I cannot think of anything more cruel to on-lookers or my sense of style that me donning a vest.   Vests are for people who beat their wives and convicts  no one else in the civilized world should ever wear a vest.  Just say no!!

Even with this knowledge I entered the Spar Women’s Race.

I decided that the best course of action was to do it by myself.  That way I would not need to feel responsible to someone else, and the “togetherness” that we must share.  I figured I could run/walk at my own pace, or chicken out and of all of this with no outside pressure what so ever.

I tend to ignore things, it is my coping mechanism.  Kennith kept asking me the route and other probing questions that only people who regularly enter outdoor activities would know to ask.  I kept telling him that other than the fact that it is sponsored by SPAR, I have no information, and was happy to remain uninformed, so that I could concentrate on other important stuff likes which hat went better with my ponytail!

On Sunday I went along to join the 10km run/race/event.  There was a great energy and music playing – Kennith and Connor came along to see me start and then to be there as material witnesses to prove I finished, should there be an enquiry.

I have never had to run/move in such a large crowd so that was a bit frightening.

I was scared of falling .  You know that if all you can think about is “don’t trip, don’t trip, for god sakes don’t trip” then you are inevitably going to pull a Zola Budd (for those born after the 80’s please google Zola Budd and Mary Decker — it takes falling on your banana to an entirely different level).

I concentrated on where I was putting my feet, and kept my hands ready to push anyone to the ground who got in my way.

There were so many people.  People who ran faster or slower than I was going.  Kennith said it took more than 20 minutes for the people who were waiting to start to move past the start line.  Holy crap that is a lot of people!  Fortunately our “early bird gets the worm” philosophy put me about 15 metres of the front, so I can’t imagine who overwhelming it must have been right in the middle of that packl.

I ran more than I thought I would or could, or believed I should!

I realise that if you had seen me at any point, you would have asked “when exactly did you run?”  I do admit my running is probably slower than my walking pace, but you would know I am running by my very red face, and the funky way I was moving my arms in an up and down sort of motion.

I have a Garmin running watch, so I can see how far I had moved, what my time is and my pace, so that really helped.  It helped because I constantly wondered if I had covered 7 kilometers yet, but then was always stunned that it was only 700 metres, like maybe!!

I was really happy with the way it went – mainly because I did not fall. I did not end up having to use the porta loos along the way.  I only drank one gulp of Fanta Grape along the way, and nearly projectile vomited.  I thought it was coke – I hope it was going to be coke.  After that I was really suspicious when ever anyone tried to give me anything along the way, which is probably a healthy approach if you are ever in Sea Point Main Road.

I was glad I finished the 10km – not exactly flying, but I will take 1 hour 22 minutes as a win or at the very least a finish.

Thanks Spar!!

It was a well organised run/race/event, goodie bag was pretty awesome.  Thanks for the free muffins.  I was really impressed with the  sms’s I received before and after the race.   The race marshals were really great and were a constant source of fun and good cheer along the way.

I still have not seen my endorphins though.


Leave a comment


  1. Alexandra

     /  March 26, 2013


  2. Good for you!! I so wanted to compete this year 😦 Didn’t know the race was this month. I’ve done it twice before.. a couple of years and MANY kg’s ago. Walked most of the way, but loved it! Maybe my goal should be to run the race in 2014… I’m out of breath just typing these words!

  3. And as for endorphins. They said the same thing to me about natrual childbirth. Something along the lines that my natural endorphns would mask the pain. Obviously men who had never actually given birth.

  4. Well done. You are a braver woman than I. I recently did a job for Brooks running shoes that necessitated the use of the term “neutral runner”. I did a quick poll around the office of whether or not this was a derogatory term for a runner who doesn;t take it seriously. When at last the office’s only runner walked in and said “I am a neutral runner”, I pounced on her, “Do you find that term offensive?” “Why?” she asked, “It’s how I place my foot down.” Oh… and this why I have never got further than thinking about running. Even buying the shoes is fraught with trauma.

  5. Shuuuuusssshhh it’s a well kept secret that in order to unlock achievement: endorphins you must immediately consume something unhealthy after a workout. Chocolate usually.


    But WELL DONE on you achievement. It’s an incredibly daunting thing to enter a Race let along finish it in a most respectable time! Shuffling along FTW!!


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