(Wakey, wakey) this is South Africa anything and everything is possible. Smell the coffee?
Well, Nike SA has introduced what is called the Nike Run Free. Run Jozi 10km night race in the area of Johannesburg on the Human Rights Day March 21, as part of honouring the significance the day it has to the South Africans.
The importance of hosting the first night race in South Africa is 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.
Aha, don’t say I told you so!
Close to 10 000 runners –including yours truly- will hit Jozi streets such and snake our way through historical landmarks such as 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.
According to the organizers, this is also part of encouraging runners’ to take back the streets and the city and do away with crime.
It begins from the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge at 7pm and end up at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, which will also host a celebratory chill zone with music and entertainment for the runners.
“The Nike Run Free.Run Jozi 10 kilometer race amplifies the sport experience for young and established runners by encouraging them to connect, motivate and inspire one another,” said Anwar Jappie, Brand Director, Nike South Africa.
Asked why on such an important day for South African’s, he said: ”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.”
As the leading sports brand globally, Nike understands some of the frustrations runners experience which include being restricted to specific training zones and indoor training, “he conceded.
The finish line will welcome runners at over 150,000 runners from 15 cities across continents who have already imprinted their footprints in the streets of their respective cities during the latter part of 2011. So, Jozi this will be your turn to follow suite.
The night race is in partnership with the Philips Light SA and City of Johannesburg, who through MMC for Community Development, Cllr Chri s Vondo said, the hosting of the Nike Run Free.Run Jozi race in partnership with the City, was further testimony that the City was growing its reputation as a premier sporting destination and increasingly becoming part of the global sporting community.
“When we say the City is a world class African city, this finds meaning in the hosting of major international events, including the Nike Run Free.Run Jozi race which has international status.
It’s such an incredible significance that the race will take place on the Human Rights Day. This day is not significant only to South Africans, but also to the international community as it has been declared by the United Nations as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
We hope this race would serve as a tool to tackle discrimination as the sport is known to unite people from all walks of life,” he says.
According to unsubstantiated reports, celebrities and, of course sporting figures will grace what would be the chilly night race.
In the event yours truly fails to make the finishing line owing to unbearable pains and exhaustion- that’s if there’s a truth in that line, you’ll know where to find me…
The race has been divided into two categories, namely Student and Open.
Due to overwhelming response, the online registration www.runjozi.com has now closed. Me thought running in the night would despair the lot but how wrong I was proven.
Race specific updates will also be available on social networking site Facebook: www.facebook.com/nikerunningzaSo, tsotsi- your time is up. Security has been beefed up for any eventualities!