"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Monday, 1 February 2010

Living and Running in South Africa

I always get mails and questions from people about life in South Africa. A lot are work related, but since I’ve started my running blog I’ve been getting more general and of course running related questions. Julie asked me about this as well so I’ve decided to add some facts about life and running in South Africa to my posts from time to time. So to start off here’s our flag!

I was born in Johannesburg and have never lived anywhere else. SA is a great place with 11 official languages. My home language is Afrikaans so if you see some strange English from time to time, please forgive me. English is my second language, but luckily I had a brilliant English teacher when I was at school.

Running in SA is huge. Road running is extremely big with the 89km Comrades marathon the main event each year. Trail running is not as big but growing very fast. We have a very strong club structure in South Africa and most runners belong to a running club in their area. This is one of the reasons we have many good races to choose from each weekend as most clubs host at least one race every year. I can choose between 2 to 4 races in a 50km radius from my home almost every weekend…very lucky indeed.

This year I’ve joined a new club and got my new club colors last week. Club members have to run races in their club colors. We also have a license number that we have to wear during races. Usually we run with the race number in front and the license number at the back. Runners that don’t belong to a club must purchase a temporary license when entering a race.

My new club is called “Lewensentrum”. That is Afrikaans for “Life Centre”. This is a picture of my new club colors and license number. This is the colors you’ll be seeing in my race photos in future. Hope there’ll be many of them to share!

To end this post, just in case you are wondering…this is where South Africa is...in the red circle with the small red star (yes it's a star) where you’ll find Johannesburg.


Julie said...

Hi Johann,
Thank you so much for sharing a little more about yourself and where you live. I love getting to know more about people! Wow, there are eleven languages in South Africa!!!! How many do you speak? I am impressed! When I was in high school I took a little German and I am planning on taking Spanish within the next year or two. I love the color of your running shirt:) Blue is one of my favorite colors. I hope that you have a wonderful week Johann:)

ajh said...

Interesting post. I love your colors! How close are you to Antarctica?

Johann said...

Antarctica is not close enough as far as I’m concerned! It is 6248 km (approx. 3900 miles) to the South Pole. It is about 2600 miles from the South African coast to the nearest coast of Antarctica. Johannesburg is another 860 miles inland.

Natalia said...

Nice post - Funny thing, when I used to live in South Africa, I was never into running. However, having said that, I used to go for a small jog every morning - just down to the park and back....it would take less than 10 minutes, but I would feel that it was amazing. I guess it was a bit difficult to run before, so it's really interesting to hear how much it has grown. I am thinking of visiting my mum at Easter, and doing the 2 Oceans Half....when I looked at the entrance requirements I realized that most people belong to a club. Keep us posted!