This was the second FNB Joburg 10km road race I’ve run and I absolutely loved it!
It’s definitely one of the races in Joburg that you absolutely have to experience. Yes, it’s huge and I don’t normally like the really big 10km races but it’s so worth doing. This year there were 14 000 runners that took part! That’s a lot of runners!
Although it was so enormous, it was really well organised. Every runner was seeded into pens. The A-D pens left at 8am and the last 2 pens left 15 minutes later. There were a lot of arguments online about the seeding, as happens with all races. But, IMO it works, so I wasn’t going to moan.
One mistake I did make this year though, was to wear the T-shirt that we got. Somewhere in the entry form we were all sure we read a portion that said you needed to wear the event T-shirt. However, the shirts were horrendous!
Everyone raved about the quality of the T-shirts last year, so I was pretty excited to get one. Well… this year’s version was definitely not up the same standard. I actually cannot believe that Puma were happy to put their branding on a shirt they didn’t make. The fabric was that cheap and nasty stuff that smells. Thankfully it was a cold day, and even then they were hot to wear.
Anyway onto the race itself!
Flags for Heritage Day
The start of the race was at Bank City in the middle of the city. It’s such a gorgeous place to start! If you look closely at the photo you can see how far back we were.
It really didn’t make all that much difference though, because the race was timed from your start to your finish. I really do prefer doing these race with proper race chips. There’s nothing more frustrating that the gun to mat timing when you’re right at the back.
Everyone was handed South African flags as they went into the pens. It was absolutely amazing to see everyone waving them!
This is such a festive race. There’s various types of bands playing at almost every kilometre. For some reason I didn’t take photos of any of them, but instead I video’ed them for Instagram Stories! So silly now, because I would have loved to share a photo of them now.
The sights and smells of the inner city
We ran through the city until we got to Ellis Park. I took this as we turned towards the stadium. You can see Ponte tower in the background there. We ran past that too!
The worst part about the race was the smell of the city! Man, the sewage smells were horrendous in places! It reminded me of the Soweto race. That and the litter. My word, this city is so dirty. When you run through it, you really notice the litter more than when you’re driving in your car. It’s really awful!
Other than that, the run was amazing.
One thing that stood out for me was the number of active churches that we ran past. The one church in Hillbrow really stands out though. It was incredible to see how full the church was. Outside, the pastor’s set up massive screens and loudspeakers for those who can’t fit into the building. In fact, the next 2 blocks had speaker systems set up too! And the sidewalks were jam-packed with his well-dressed congregants listening to his sermon!
Back over the bridge
I reckon this bridge is one of the drawing cards of the race for me. I absolutely love the Mandela bridge! As you know, I’ve done many photoshoots there. I find running over the bridge so special, every single time I get the opportunity to do it.
As you can see I took a lot of photos again. You may find that weird, but I’ve really been struggling with a foot injury so I had to take it easy. I walked quite a bit, so got my phone out whenever something looked interesting. It really is the perfect race to use as a bit of a sightseeing trip too. It’s not often that you get to take a stroll through Hillbrow! LOL!
If you haven’t done this race, the FNB Joburg 10km City Run is one to aim for next year. I’ll definitely do it again… in my normal race vest next time though!
PS. Isn’t the medal awesome?! I love the design of it!