I’ve been a little quiet since my last blog post, but it has been a little crazy since my last update. So as you know we were here to compete in the Rio Corre 10km run on Sunday. This happened to be my first race outside of South Africa and I can tell you it was a fantastic introduction to the world’s sporting events. Nike never holds back and it’s always a festive, fun and vibey experience. We had an early call time, but that allowed us to take them selfies and absorb all of the pre-race excitement ahead of the race. I must tell you standing at the start was somewhat intimidating though. Obviously there are people who take this really seriously, so all them stretching regimes, psyching themselves up was happening around us… The crazy, loud South Africans. Anyways, we also got ourselves in the zone and then we hit the road.
I have never experienced such incredibly hot and humid conditions, but despite all of that I managed to clock my personal best time, sneaking in just under forty five minutes… Granted it was a flat route, but whatever 🙂 I pushed hard and it clearly worked. I wasn’t the only one who did well. Top SA runner, Gladwin Mzazi won the men’s race in a whopping 28:30, while the Phalula sisters came in second and third respectively. Represent Mzansi, represent. It really was a wonderful experience and I cannot wait to do more (I have my mind set on the NYC 21km next year).
After interviews, prize giving and general hanging out, our much needed showers were in order. I’m sure many were pleased to hear we showered, haha. We then headed through to the Ipanema hippie market, which was just a glorified market really, but it was good to see nonetheless. Ipanema has a really great beach actually. I assume that the surfing is better there, judging by the amount of surfers in the water. And despite the shit weather, people still did some beaching. I guess it’s a Sunday afternoon, so when in a Rio really. Later we headed back to the race area, where there was a free concert featuring some of the local stars. Obviously we got into the VIP area, but it’s always nice being around the crowds and experiencing the true concert experience. So that’s what I did. I don’t understand he language, but the universal language of music resonates with us all and that was good enough for me. Sidebar, the World Cup is going to be incredible next year and if I have a chance,I will definitely be aiming to head back here. The new Nike jersey was revealed at the concert and for this soccer-crazed nation, this was clearly a winner. So book your tickets… I can recommend a good tour guide too 🙂
Yesterday was one of my best days… Again, the weather wasn’t working in our favour, but we went up to Christ the Redeemer anyway and what a special part of the trip that was. I’m not a very religious man at all, but the presence and complete sense of calm I felt up there was amazing. It’s divine to say the least and an experience I will hold dear to me for a long time to come. Plus the views from up there were beautiful, with the city peaking through the clouds and all. The rest of the day was spent shopping and eating… We’ve done a lot of that since we’ve been here, gosh!
And now, here I am sitting on the balcony of my hotel room looking out onto the ocean and reflecting on this awesome experience. It really came at the right time for me, personally and professionally and I’m very grateful for it. I said on Facebook that my love affair with South America would be starting here and that it has. I guess it’s because I see a lot of similarities to the way we are back home; passionate,friendly and alive with possibilities. I also enjoy the new culture, the language and it’s simply awesome. No lies, I’m not overly excited to be heading home just yet, but it must be done and this love affair will continue for many years to come – cannot wait. Thank you Seruscka, Peter, Pippa, Simmy, Claudio, Alexander and the rest of the Nike team for making this #RioCorre experience amazeballs. To my fellow travelers, (Zama, Lebo, Lebohang, Thato, KK, Busi, Gladwin, Laura, Tasha, Xoli, Obet) you guys rock the party. I loved traveling with each and everyone of you.. Thanks for the laughs and memories!