Retaking the city

Dilapidated buildings are a common sight at the CityRun. Photo: Nicholas Zaal.


Joburg was filled with laughter, pumping music and the sound of footsteps on tar, as 13 500 runners took part in the FNB Joburg 10K CityRun on 24 September.

Heritage Day, like many public holidays in South Africa, is usually associated with sleeping in and spending time quietly with friends and family, perhaps over a braai.

But for the second time, Joburg came out in numbers to run the city.

Running a 10km route through the inner city, including going over the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge and past Constitution Hill, some runners said the event was a fun family day outing or good for team building with their colleagues.

Others, however, reflected on Joburg’s glory in days past, and seeing its current state, committed to ‘retaking Joburg’.

“I am running to help liberate Joburg,” said runner Emma Matjila, while waving a South African flag. “We are uniting in diversity to retake the city.”

Charmaine September, running with her daughter, Caitlyn, said the pair often ran together, and a highlight for them was seeing how so many different people could unite for Joburg.

FNB Gauteng provincial head for business banking, Themba Mabizela, said, “We wanted people to explore the city and celebrate the rich heritage by running past these landmarks and consider ways to take Joburg back to its old glory.”

Also read: FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN adds new charity and raises prize money 

The run started at FNB Bank City in Simmonds Street and took runners on a 10km route around the streets of Joburg to Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown.

Dance groups Moving into Dance Mophatong, The Johannesburg Youth Ballet and The Field Band Foundation entertained all, before South African folk swing band, Rubber Duc closed the event.

The event was in aid of Johannesburg Heritage Foundation and the Johannesburg SPCA.

Thabang Mosiako was the first man to finish in 00:29:51, while Glenrose Xaba was the first woman in 00:35:39.

Also read: Joburg runs pink for Women’s Day 

Did you run the CityRun? Tell us how it went on our Facebook page.

Nicholas Zaal

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