Winter is in view, which means it’s time for the annual Discovery 702 Walk the Talk. Corporate entries have opened. Entries for individuals are to open next month.
HEALTH-CONSCIOUS companies can be among the first to enter this year’s Discovery 702 Walk the Talk, as corporate entries are open; eager Joburg residents will be able to enter from 9 April.
Companies can registerCompanies can registerThis year’s walk, which is in its 12th year, is on 22 July, and places are expected to be snapped up fast so all companies and Joburgers are urged to get their entries in as soon as possible.
Walk the Talk is Joburg’s annual winter walkathon through the streets of the city’s tree-lined northern suburbs, but it is no ordinary stroll. It is the largest mass participation event in southern Africa and attracts over 50 000 people. In 2011 there was a bumper turnout of 55 600 participants in all four categories: 5km, 8km, 15km and 30km.
The 5km and 8km routes are fun walks, while the 15km and 30km categories are competitive. The shorter routes are open to all residents, but the competitive ones are regulated by age restrictions and cut-off times. To qualify for the 15km event, participants need to be over the age of 16 and there is a cut-off time of three hours; to take part in the 30km race, entrants need to be over 18 and complete the route in five hours or less.
“Commemorative medals will be awarded to all finishers in all the distances that finish within the specified time,” say the organisers, Harford Sports Promotions.
As added incentive to participate, people are allowed to take their dogs along on the 5km and 8km routes. This has proved to be popular and there are usually about 2 000 dogs walking with their owners.
The race places heavy emphasis on being environmentally friendly and on social responsibility. In line with promoting sustainability and discouraging unnecessary waste, people are encouraged to enter electronically, online. “This year we want to continue to make the Discovery 702 Walk the Talk as environmentally friendly as possible,” organisers say.
“In addition to reducing paper waste, you will also save R10 on your entry fee, as entering online is cheaper than entering with a manual entry form.” Manual entries cost R120 while online entries cost R110.
Social responsibility is also a top priority, and money from the event is donated to charity. “The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is the official charity that will benefit from the Discovery 702 Walk the Talk,” says Harford Sports Promotions. A portion of money from every entry – R5 for the 5km and 8km routes – will be given to the foundation.
This will not be the only charity to benefit, though. The walk is a platform for numerous other charities to use to raise funds; celebrities also play their part by participating for good causes and walk to raise funds and awareness for their chosen charities. For instance, in 2011, sports greats such as Shaun Pollock, Baby Jake Matlala and Lucas Radebe all donned their takkies on behalf of the Laureus Foundation, and Miss South Africa, Bokang Montjane, participated to help MaAfrika Tikkun, a charity that aims to build communities so that they can help themselves.
As well as charity, a portion of funds is given to a community project in one of the three areas affected by the walk: Emmarentia, Greenside or Parkview. “This is seen to be a great way for Walk the Talk to give back to the residents and community.”
Last year, the organisers received three proposals and selected the Emmarentia one to build a bridge in the Botanical Gardens; the bridge is being built.
Walk the Talk is sponsored by Discovery and Talk Radio 702, and is hosted by the City of Johannesburg as part of its mandate of supporting an active, healthy lifestyle. Marks Park Sports Club in Judith Road in Emmarentia has served as the walk’s home for the past seven years and is where the event starts and finishes.
For more information, visit the Walk the Talk website or contact the race office on 011 017 2700 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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