Fitness level not a barrier for fun run

Octayvia Nance

EVEN couch potatoes can take part in the city’s fun Color, Muck and Urban runs by following this advice from Zports owner Michael Zoetmulder.

The runs are non-timed events, with the Urban Run next month consisting of man-made obstacles said Zoetmulder.

“The Urban Run is a challenge of agility, strength and determination but you don’t have to be a super fit athlete to take part – the event is for anyone regardless of your fitness level as long as you’re prepared to have a good time and get dirty.

“You can run, walk or crawl your way along the course, whatever you’re capable of doing. It’s all about the completion and not speed.

“The event is more a social one than a tough 10km run in that there are so many obstacles along the way that it will feel more like 10x1km runs than a straight, boring road run.

“The course this year includes crawling through stormwater drains, jumping over and climbing under traffic barriers, climbing a 4m structure, crawling under cars, running up or down stairs, climbing into Fort Frederick, running through tyres, climbing over a wall, climbing along monkey bars, trying to balance while crossing a river, and running through an electric fence.

“In the Urban Run you’ll use every muscle in your body while all senses will also be challenged as you encounter fear of heights, water and electric shocks. There are a lot of climbing obstacles which means people don’t have to be fit but focus on strengthening their arms, back and legs– and have fun while doing it.”

He recommends:

  • If you see a tree, grab a branch and practice pulling yourself up – very few people train their back muscles. Do a lot of pull-ups.

  • Take the stairs at work instead of using the elevator. Steps are important and you also do not have to be super fit to take it on.

  • Do push-ups, which will help you train your upper body strength, and help with leopard crawls.

  • Sit-ups will also help to train arms and abdominal muscles, which will be needed for the climbing obstacles.

  • Practice balancing skills by balancing on poles at the park or even just on one foot at a time.

  • Women in particular should do squats. This helps to train legs to climb the stairs. Squats help to lift your knees higher than you would when walking.

  • Run or walk. Because it is a fun run, you have to be able to walk or run. Instead of driving to a shop just around the corner from your home, walk – it’ll save on petrol too.

“With all the people along the route and participants running in company groups, time will fly by and participants will have a great time – granted they will be tired the next day, but are certain to get through the course easily and with a huge smile on their faces,” he said.

LACE up your running shoes in preparation for a series of fun, untimed runs from September onwards.

  • The 5km Color Run is first up, on September 1 at NMMU.

  • The Urban Run is next, a 10km course that weaves around central Port Elizabeth with obstacles galore on September 15. The beneficiaries are the Smile Foundation and Cheshire Homes. The Kids Urban Run (for runners between six and 15) will be held at 3pm on September 14. The 2-3km race will be in aid of the Scouts of Nelson Mandela Bay.

  • The Muck runs are another festive event, to be held on November 9 and 10 at Bushpig Adventures on the Kragga Kamma Road outside Port Elizabeth. The Muck Run itself is 5km of jogging through mucky, muddy, bush with a Muck Dash of between 1 and 2km for children.

Entries are still open for all of these runs. Call Zports on (041)484-7860 for more information.

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