Squelching Shoes and Tired Legs

Private Property South Africa
Doug Mattushek

Saturday the 7th of April saw 12 eager Private Property runners bouncing up and down at the rather chilly start of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon. The rustling of plastic bin bags and the smell of Deep Heat filled the air. All the best tunes of 2012 were blaring over the speakers and there was a lot of excitement around, especially as more and more runners piled towards the start line. The race announcer reminded us numerous times that we were a part of the largest half-marathon in Africa. Just before the start, the party vibe became a little more toned down with the singing of the national anthem. Then 3, 2, 1, BANG! And we were off.

Several months earlier…

An enthusiastic Private Property staff member proposed that we should get a group together to run the Two Oceans half-marathon. A mass email was sent out, and 20 odd people replied with a yes. Some had points to prove, others had never even run before, but it was safe to say that none of us knew what we were in for.

The doubts and excitement became real when, a few weeks before the race, our HR lady decided that the runners would be a good vehicle to raise some funds for LIV Village. In case you haven’t heard, LIV is a fantastic initiative that provides a stable and secure home for some of the estimated 1.5 million orphans in South Africa. The idea is that the children stay in mother-headed households and live, go to school and play within the safe-haven of the village.

Private Property has been involved with LIV Village for a while now, to the point where they stole one of our employees to go and work there. At any rate, thanks to the very generous donations of the Private Property staff and their friends and families, we managed to raise over R13 000 for LIV, which will feed a whole family for a month.

And back to the race...

Rain had been forecast for the event, and about an hour into the run it began to come down. The rain steadily increased, as did the wind, to the point where the raindrops stung our faces. Despite the fairly atrocious conditions, the crowds were there in full support complete with brollies and ponchos. There were also two Cape-Malay Bands standing on the side of the road playing their old school renditions with great vigour and verve.

With each water-logged stride, the finish slowly became a bit of a mud pit, but there were many proud runners sporting their medals on their chests and smiles on their tired faces. Needless to say, the beer tent was choc-a-block with sweaty runners standing shoulder to shoulder trying to keep warm!

Were you one of the 12 000 odd finishers? Tell us about your race experience!

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