The vibrant streets of the Johannesburg inner-city witnessed a surge of activity as thousands of enthusiastic runners and walkers participated in the 10km Absa Run Your City Race at Mary Fitzgerald square in Newtown.
Participants of all ages, including mothers pushing strollers, embraced the sunny weather on Sunday, 24 September – Heritage Day – creating a striking sea of red outfits that adorned the inner-city streets.
The event commenced with a starting gun fired by the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Community Development, Cllr Lubabalo Magwentshu, who not only inaugurated the race but also displayed remarkable prowess by completing it in an impressive time of 1 hour, 21 minutes, and 54 seconds.
The Absa Run Your City Race is an annual celebration of the City’s iconic landmarks, guiding participants through the vibrant streets of Johannesburg.
The course led runners from Mary Fitzgerald square, past the renowned Market Theatre and Braamfontein, across the iconic Mandela Bridge, and along the M1 south carriageway, eventually looping back through the CBD via Marshalltown and concluding in Newtown, where it started.
Cllr Magwentshu commended the event’s organisers for arranging such a remarkable gathering.“The race drew an impressive crowd, with nearly 11,500 participants, demonstrating the City’s ability to host noteworthy events,” he said.
Along the route, participants were treated to a diverse range of activities, including traditional dancers, aerobics, music, and more. Some runners formed impromptu groups and serenaded the audience with beautiful melodies as they trotted along the highway.
Spectators and residents also showed their support by lining the streets, cheering on the dedicated participants.In the competitive aspect of the race, Lesotho’s Namakoe Nkhasi and Ethiopia’s Debash Desta emerged victorious in the 10km race. Notably, they both set new course records, completing the race in 29 minutes and 7 seconds and 33 minutes and 3 seconds, respectively.
“Joburg is the epicentre of activity, and this event, occurring over a long weekend, brought people together. We eagerly anticipate partnering with Absa again next year,” MMC Magwentshu added.
Nomlilo Rapulai, a first-time participant, expressed her satisfaction with the event.
“Due to fitness concerns, I alternated between running and walking throughout. However, I completed the race in under two hours, which fills me with pride. It was a wonderful experience, and I look forward to returning next year,” Rapulai said.
The 10km Absa Run Your City Race aligns with the municipality’s ongoing efforts to rejuvenate the inner-city, providing a platform to showcase the progress being made in reclaiming its former glory.