Lockdown: Soweto runners welcome Level 4 lockdown by returning to the road

2020-05-02 20:16
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

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Soweto runners welcomed the Level 4 lockdown by doing what they do best - returning to the road.

In terms of the new regulations, people are allowed to leave home to walk, run or cycle from 06:00 to 09:00 for the first time since the lockdown took effect.

Dressed in their running kits, runners in parts of Soweto took on the chilly morning and did what they enjoyed.

They said Level 4 had afforded them the opportunity to prepare for marathons after the lockdown ended.

Professional runner Sello Khomola said it was difficult for him to train indoors.

Khomola added as a runner, he needed to do a certain number of kilometres per day.

"I can't run in my yard the way I do on the road. It was very difficult to prepare for races during Level 5. Now that we are free to run, we have an opportunity to prepare for coming races after lockdown and maintain our bodies as athletes.

"We are approaching winter season. As a person who is vulnerable to contract the coronavirus, I need to strengthen my immune system," said Khomola.

READ: Joburg residents get physical as lockdown restrictions ease

Sydney Ngobeni and Tom Baloyi said they have been patiently waiting to return to the road.

Ngobeni added he was addicted to running and soccer.

"I play for a local team and I run every evening to keep myself fit. During Level 5, we didn't want to jog because we were afraid of contravening the regulations.

"We have been training indoors with little space and now we have the opportunity to run for kilometres on the road. What is interesting is that we are not committing any offence. I want to be fit at all times. I am grateful for this opportunity from the government," said Ngobeni.

Baloyi said he had trained three times per day before the lockdown.

"I enjoy running. I run throughout the year. Level 4 is very important and came at a time when our bodies need to be ready to challenge the flu season.

"Our only challenge is that we have changed our running times. It is very cold in the morning. It is difficult for any athlete to run in cold weather. We have changed our times to adapt with the mid-morning weather," he added.

Charlotte Molekoa said she used to run 20km per day but strict lockdown regulations had put paid to that.

"I am very happy to return to running. I have been training at home which was not healthy for me. As runners and walkers, we need vitamin D.

"I have noticed that yesterday and today, the air is different than before the lockdown. I think it is because there are fewer vehicles on the road," added Molekoa. 

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