Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting some exercise in the beautiful Pretoria

I just participated in a marathon.

Really I did.

Well, actually it really was a marathon, the Deloitte Pretoria Marathon 2009 to be exact, but what I had signed up for (in the drunken stupor of last weekend's braai) was to walk the first leg of the race, i.e. the first 10 kilometers. I and my friends managed to do this in 1 hour and 45 minutes, which I consider an achievement and will cherish the medal I received for all eternity. Actually I think I'll be wearing it for the next couple of weeks. It's red and gold, so it goes with a lot of my outfits.  

I didn't even really get out of breath, which was the real achievement. The five of us, all women, had a lot fun chatting as we walked and the kilometers just disappeared. Very cool. And at the finish line awaited the photo-happy hubby snapping pictures of the sweaty me like there was no tomorrow (perhaps he was thrown by the sudden motivation in me to do something like a 10k race, he still seems rather baffled) to show the future generations and probably everyone on facebook that yes, occasionally, I do take up something that does not involve alcohol in any way. 

However, the real cool thing about this race was not the sweating, the incriminating photos, honking angry motorists (to whom we waved with smiles on our faces), smiling metro policemen, the snap-happy hubby, or the guy who ran the 10 kilometers in sloppies (flip flops), but the chance to walk in the beautiful neighborhoods of Pretoria. I hadn't realized how long it has been since I have had the opportunity to just walk around, peer into other people's houses and yards, and enjoy the streets lined with jacaranda trees. I wish they had been in bloom. That would have totally made my day. 

As we finished and the man whose face I'll always think of with a camera in front or near it was running around "getting all the angles", we gathered a bunch of leaflets for other races. I'm really looking forward to more of these with the same excellent company at my side, as well as to seeing more of South Africa in this most organic of ways - moving my two quirky-sneaker clad feet. 

Points to SA for getting me off my behind! 

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