The Journey: Day 1

A day of little mishaps, a few delays but finally a start. Well, both the celebration of a start as well as the start of a journey of self-discovery and celebration. The 1st of May will always be a day of celebration in South Africa, a day of remembering and celebrating the freedom we hold so dear.

This turned out to be one of the highlights of the day, starting the journey down to Durban at the Johannesburg Civic Center and running past and through numerous celebrations of May 1st, Freedom Day! However, running through Jozi started almost an hour late due to a few changes to my running set-up in the form of a newly acquired sim card and telephone number for the journey. Thus you can reach Barefoot Comrades 2014 en route on 0825155116.

Finally out of the city I headed out towards Alberton, truly starting the journey to Durban. 40 minutes later and heading into Alberton the first mishap struck, getting lost; at least a little. The result little extra twists and turns during the day’s run. Luckily this was not to be the final step of the day. I finally left Alberton behind and headed out toward Heidelberg.

The final little mishap arrived in the form of my wonderful back-up team struggling to find me, partly because I explored the unbeaten path and the team struggling to work the more advanced aspects of our trusty Daihatsu’s onboard GPS 😛 Luckily this was also quickly resolved and everyone headed back home at the end of stage 1.

We are grateful for a successful first day with a number of lessons learned. The first, make certain of the day’s route. The second, know how to work all the functions of the onboard GPS. And finally, know when compromises are needed.  The last came in the form of the surface of the blacktop somewhere between Alberton and Heidelberg. The road suddenly turned into minor blades and forward motion slowed down drastically. This made me realize that during the course of the journey down to Durban Barefoot might need to make way for Minimal in order to line up for Comrades Marathon on the 1st of June. I am certain this will make my friend Grant Hayward smile, but sometimes a tool is needed for the job, and then it is wise to use it and not to be stubborn and persist with ego or preconceived ideas.

So tired and grateful, a nights rest is welcome and Heidelberg around the corner. So stay safe and keep those feet moving.

Hanno Langenhoven, proud member of Pirates Running Club, at the start of the Barefoot Comrades 2014 journey in Johannesburg

Hanno Langenhoven, proud member of Pirates Running Club, at the start of the Barefoot Comrades 2014 journey in Johannesburg.

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