After participating in our very first Fun Walk around our own neighbourhood last weekend, it didn’t need much effort from Colette and her Mom to persuade us to join them for the Women’s Day 5km/10km Fun Run/Walk in Bellville, which is one of the northern suburbs of Cape Town. Although Women’s Day is officially on the 8th of August, that date happened to fall on a Sunday this year, which meant that Monday became a public holiday.
The race/walk itself was due to start at 8am, so we were up at 6am, got dressed, and headed out to Bellville on the N1 as quickly as possible. When we’d picked up our registration numbers at Sportsman’s Warehouse on Friday afternoon, the friendly helpers had cautioned us to be there as early as possible, if we still wanted to find parking near the Velodrome, the start and end of the walk. So we were, and we did. The parking marshalls, waving flashlights and red flags, did an excellent job directing convoys of cars and lines of buses to empty parking spots.
As it was still very dark, and drizzling intermittently, we stayed inside the warm car for a while, before joining the crowds that were first trickling and then streaming onto the athletics track next to the Velodrome in large numbers. The grassy area in the centre was covered with stalls selling snacks and welcome hot drinks, as well as stalls belonging to the various participating athletics clubs. Despite wearing five layers, I was freezingly cold and standing around wasn’t helpful, so we went for a brisk warm-up walk around the track until we reached the grandstands, from where we had a nice view of all the activities.
By about 7h30, we slowly made our way back across the field to join the crowds near the entrance, all the while looking our for Colette and her Mom. Suddenly, it started to rain, and we sprinted to get under the cover of the narrow little bridge at the entrance to the track, squeezing into the space with as many other people as possible! It didn’t help much, because the wind was blowing the rain horizontally into our faces. Eek!
After meeting up with our friends at last, we followed the crowds down to the start, which was at the traffic light of the intersection between Carl Cronje Drive and Mispel Road. From here, our route was a very straightforward there-and-back-again route:
We walked northwards, up the left side of Tygerberg Valley Road, past the Tygerfalls ‘Waterfront’ on our left, the Tygervalley Shopping Centre on our right and Willowbridge Shopping Centre on our left, until we u-turned at the large intersection with Mildred Avenue to walk down the opposite side of the road, all the way back to the Velodrome. The 10 km walkers and runners, meanwhile, continued walking and running south towards Frans Conradie Road, where they did a u-turn to come back up the same road.
As it was specifically a Women’s Day Fun Run/Walk, there weren’t many male entrants; also, the entrance forms had – in a tongue-in-cheek manner, of course – encouraged men who did want to participate to enter into the fun and playful spirit of the day to let their ‘inner woman’ shine forth by cross-dressing as women.
As a result, there were a fair number of clearly very brave men, accompanied by their giggling girlfriends or beaming wives, sporting colourful wigs, short skirts or dresses, which earned them appreciative looks from many women. It was all done in good fun – and with the frequent bursts of drenching rain and the gusts of icy wind, we sure needed some lighthearted entertainment today!
I hope you enjoy the slideshow!