The word Soweto is world-famous given the significance of this settlement or ‘Township’ in South African history. The name Soweto was first used in 1963 and within a short period of time, following the 1976 uprising of students in the township, the name became internationally known. The Soweto Marathon is a world-renowned race that attracts thousands of runners, as it also falls within the training season for Comrades Marathon. Below is a race report by Willoughby Brits.
- Name: Willoughby Brits
- Marathons completed: 14
- Ultramarathons completed: 12
- Shoes: 361 Spinject
- Marathon PB/PR: 3:02 (Kaapsehoop 2017)
- Soweto Marathon result: 3:29;52
- Training: Willoughby trains under Lindsey Parry. Training programs for all distances are available here
Weather:Hot! Soweto is known for being a hot race. The start was a little chilly but it heated up well before the 1st hour passed. 2 hours into the race and it was well and truly hot!
Route profile:Soweto marathon is a demanding marathon and is one of the more grueling marathons that I’ve ever done. The race starts off gently and the first 15km is almost exclusively downhill. However, the finish line is situated at the highest point in Soweto so you have to climb back up. 561m of elevation in 42km is saying a lot!
Race day atmosphere:Soweto is an amazing place! You get to run in the world-famous Vilakazi street, which is the only street in the world where two Nobel peace prize winners lived, namely Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Only the Comrades Marathon and the Two Oceans Marathon has more support next to the road. Mamas in nightgowns and children by the 100’s lined the streets to cheer the runners on. One man even got out his hosepipe to water the runners down in the heat!
Race day organisation:I must applaud the organisers. The water tables were exceptional with cold coke and water all throughout the entire route. Pretty medal and a bonus to finish in the exceptional FNB Stadium. Difficulty Score 8/10 Organisation score 9/10 Willoughby lives and runs in Pretoria, South Africa. Feel free to connect with him on Instagram. If you’re in the market for some sexy shoes, check out these deals on Amazon. With running love, Anna and the team at GetToThe Start
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