Running Tales

The Nomadic Urban Swara-CAPETOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

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I have reached that age in life where I no longer put candles on my birthday cake and dramatically opt for a firecracker and my parents have handed me over to my aunties and grandmother to ‘talk to that modern daughter of yours’. To have discussions on, ‘it’s okay to bring anyone home, even if he’s white’ (and that was my grandmother lol)

So what has this got to with running? Well thanks to Mitch ( for the newbie Swaras, Mitch is one of our star runners and mention an Ultra marathon, particularly the Two Oceans Marathon, the verb to the sentence is Mitch as the noun is Urban Swaras), my running route in Capetown was the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

As I was staying closer to the waterfront (which was one of my running routes but not as dramatic as the gardens), I was a good 15 kms away from these gardens and I had to use the highway to get there. A word of warning, running from my hotel to the gardens is not for the faint hearted and is advisable to run early in the morning over the weekend, as there is no traffic.

So armed with this information I went to the concierge and with the confidence of the gods I said I wanted to run to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. With an incredulous then cheeky look, he said, “ Eish Maam, that is far neh… You have to pass through the highway, the N2 and then get to the M3.” “I am aware of the route and that is why I am running this early,” I politely responded and he continued, “ okay Maam, it is a beautiful garden, perfect for proposals and weddings,” and he proceeded to look at my hands and then there was that awkward moment, “ ehhh wena , why are you not married Maam, we have strong South Afriken men who can survive with modern women like you.” At this point as I was patiently waiting for directions to my running route I did not know whether to laugh or cry though I had a good answer to why I was single that was brewing in mind and that is, ‘I am socially inept and I prefer Giraffes’. Finally I got the running route after a few match making promises began the run.

As I had mentioned, it is not for the faint hearted, as you have to pass through the highway, so running very early in the morning is advisable as there is no traffic. Words cannot describe the feeling I got when I reached the gardens and i leisurely ran through them. By the time I noticed what time it was it was after 9:00am and running back was not advisable so I took a taxi. Besides I had run more than 15 kms to and around the gardens. It is one place I highly recommend for any Swara who wants to run in CapeTown.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone and in typical modern woman fashion, I will be hiking that morning in Mt Kenya area, then come down for a brunch, then dutifully go for an ear pinching sit down with the aunties of being too much of a modern woman lol.

Next stop- Ghana