Monday, April 13, 2009

Running in Johannesburg

Arrived in Johannesburg early Sunday night -- 9:05 pm -- after an easy flight from Amsterdam. The KLM flight was less than half full so I had the whole window section (15A-C) to myself. It was still economy class but I had a bit of room to stretch out and got some decent naps -- I rarely sleep more than about 30 minutes at a time on an international flight but got a couple of 2-hour naps along the way.

Lots of renovations at the Jo'burg airport since I was last here a year ago. We had to walk forever from the gate to Customs and then baggage claim. My bags were slow coming out (maybe that's bag lag) but both got here with no damage and nothing missing (that I can tell).

A colleague met me outside of customs. That was a pleasant surprise as I was expecting to have to catch the hotel shuttle. Thanks, Wade! He had even bought me a couple of bananas, an apple, and some muffins. Friends are a blessing.

After unpacking and showering, I hit the sack. Up just before 7 and on the road at 7:15. It didn't take long to start feeling the 5500' altitude. Being used to running in Short Pump at what, 240', I was huffing pretty heavily. Still, I managed 4.6 miles in 37:37. Today, Easter Monday, is a holiday in South Africa so traffic was very light, even at around 8:00 when I finished. The rest of the week will be a bit different and I'll have to keep an eye on traffic. I do have to remember to look in opposite directions. You drive on the left here -- run on the right -- and that takes some getting used to.

If you're interested, here's the route I ran:

Run well, y'all,
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