It seems everybody’s doing it! From little ’uns to teenagers, from mums and dads to grannies and grandpas, from the supremely fit to the folk who just want to keep in shape, road running has taken off in Gauteng in a big way.
One of Gauteng’s most popular runs, supported by more than 50 000 runners (and walkers), is the 702 Walk the Talk. It takes place every July in Johannesburg and has become a major community event.
In 2016 it takes place on Sunday, 24 July, and you can choose your distance: 5km, 8km or 15km. You can even take your tots (children over the age of two who can walk on their own), take part in a wheelchair, or bring your four-legged canine friends (on a lead).
Another of Gauteng’s most popular races with a great community spirit is the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon, known affectionately as the ‘People’s Race’. It’s not only considered to be a bucket list run for South Africans, it’s also a tour of some of the country’s key political and historical sites.
You’ll run past Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, where South Africa's Freedom Charter (the basis of the country’s Constitution) was signed in 1955, Baragwanath Hospital (one of the biggest in the world), the Hector Pieterson Memorial commemorating the famous student Soweto uprising in 1976, and Winnie-Madikizela Mandela’s house. If you’re not top of your game then go for the 10km race or 5km Fun Run.
Enjoyable runs for ladies are the Spar Women’s Challenge (www.sparladiespta.co.za) in Pretoria in September, the Totalsports Ladies’ Race (www.stillwatersports.com) in August and for the family, there’s a Park Run www.parkrun.co.za – a free, timed 5km run (or walk) every Saturday morning starting at 8:00am at several venues throughout the province.
So what’s stopping you?