When: 21st March 2012
Where: Nelson Mandela Bridge
The iconic marathons of the current era have been built up over many years. Berlin, London, Boston, New York and Chicago attract many thousands of serious marathoners. A few will challenge world records, many their PB’s and some as first timers who are taking on the 42.2km challenge as a life goal.
As the giant platform for the serious runners continues to enjoy success all over the world though, there is a new generation of runners that have emerged. With no antagonism towards its older, bigger brother; but with a concerted effort to break the shackles of the traditional marathon, a whole different vibe of running events have emerged and Nike is at the forefront of the fun-running-in-the-city movement.
On March the 21st, South Africa will host the inaugural African participation as part of the Nike We Run City 10K world series tour which is galvanizing multiple international cities including Buenos Aires (Argentina), Mexico City (Mexico), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), with a unique run experience combining running and music. Over 150,000 runners from 15 cities across continents have already imprinted their footprints in the streets of their respective cities during the latter part of 2011.
RunJozi will take part in downtown Johannesburg, as Nike urges runners to ‘take back the streets’. Unfortunately this area – and many areas in South Africa – can be dangerous to run in due to traffic and bad elements that prevail.
“A Liveable City is a place where inhabitants are free to roam the streets and even organize a night race on the streets of Joburg without any fear. The City is literally giving back the streets to our runners for a day, enabling them to run where they do not feel safe, run to be free, and to make history.” – City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Community Development, Cllr Chris Vondo
The aggressive and direct attitude of Nike is to leave complacency on the couch with it’s feet up, grab a pair of shoes and head to the Nelson Mandela Bridge on a significant day in South Africas history: “We singled out Human Rights Day as race day because of the significance the day holds and, more importantly, enabling our runners to celebrate their heritage, freedom and the right to take back the streets for the night.” – said Anwar Jappie, Brand Director, Nike South Africa.
The aim is to sign up 10 000 runners by race day. Each entrant will collect their extremely bright yellow race day shirt with unique race number pre-printed . Runners must all run in the bright top, which really does add the spectacle and camaraderie on the night.
RunLondon has been onto this winning formula for some time now; each race is sold out in a very short period. RunJozi is set to be a huge success. With the backing of the City of Joburg and the fantastic energy of the cities inhabitants, the run is sure to be a favourite for many.
The Route: Some of the prominent landmarks befitting the significance of the Day include City Hall, Luthuli House, Constitutional Hill and Jeppe Police Station. Other iconic landmarks include Johannesburg Stadium, Ponte Tower and popular streets like Bree and Market Streets. As the runners take back the streets, the city skyline will peak through a number of high rise buildings, making for a breath-taking photo moment.
The finish line will welcome runners at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, which will also host a celebratory chill zone with music and entertainment for the runners.
Having experienced a few of these races in other countries, it’s about time South Africa entered the mix. In true style, the local event will add it’s own unique flavor and Jozi is the perfect city to make a big impact. We can’t wait to experience it and hear your views.
The race will be divided into two categories, namely Student and Open.
The registration fee is pegged at R50.00 (including VAT) per student with a valid student card, while the fee for Open runners is R70.00 (including VAT) per person.
The online registration opens on January 31st, through the official race website www.runjozi.com