The Discovery 702 Walk the Talk takes place on 22 July, but entries are open already and you’re advised to sign up before it’s too late.
WITH its icy tentacles wrapping themselves ever tighter around Joburg, winter is establishing itself as an unwelcome houseguest for the coming months. But one beacon of warmth that always stands out in the Joburg cold is the annual Walk the Talk, and entries have opened for all residents.
A day of funA day of funRecognised as South Africa’s biggest walk, the annual event has more than 50 000 participants in all four categories: five, eight, 15 and 30 kilometres. This year’s affair – to take place on 22 July – is expected to have the same levels of success, so people interested in participating should enter early to avoid disappointment. Only the first 50 000 entries are accepted.
“The Discovery 702 Walk the Talk – now in its 12th year – has grown from strength to strength and revolutionised the way Joburgers see fitness, fun and friendship,” says the organisers, Harford Sports Promotions. “The event, which epitomises good health and community building, has received an overwhelmingly positive response from not only Joburg residents but also local celebrities, media, provincial and national government.”
Participants can choose between a relaxed day out in the five- and 8km routes or put their competitive streaks to the test in the officially timed 15- and 30km categories. The shorter routes are an opportunity for quality time for the whole family, including furry, four-legged friends, as these include a dog walk.
“We will be providing all the support for the dogs, from veterinary care to water points especially for dogs along the route, as well as many great give-aways and prizes,” says Royal Canin, the sponsor of the dog walk. Entry for dogs is free.
All are welcome to take partAll are welcome to take partThe competitive 15- and 30km routes are timed and regulated by age restrictions and other rules. There is a cut-off time of three hours for the 15km race and five hours for the 30km race; in addition, participants need to be over 16 to take part in the 15km category and over 18 for the 30km race.
Safety is of paramount importance to organisers, and as a result there are extensive road closures in Emmarentia, Greenside, Parkview, Westcliff and Saxonwold on the day of the walk. “Permission for the event has been granted by the Joburg metro police department, and is [it] sanctioned by the Office of the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau,” says Harford Sports Promotions.
“All road closures will take place in a rolling manner. The closures will take place half an hour before the walkers start and will be opened immediately after every intersection is clear of walkers, therefore allowing the least possible time of closure for the convenience of the motorists and residents.”
A full list of affected roads and times of closure will be published on the Walk the Talk website closer to the event.
Social and environmental consciousness go right alongside safety on the list of priorities for the organisers. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is the official charity that will benefit and a portion of money from every entry – R5 – for the 5km and 8km routes will be given to the Laureus Foundation.
Walking for charityWalking for charityAdditionally, a community project in one of the three areas affected by the race – Emmarentia, Greenside and Parkview – will receive a portion of the funds, as a way for organisers to give something back to the residents and communities whose streets are invaded by hordes of people each year.
To alleviate the volume of traffic created by over 50 000 people in one area, there will be park and ride facilities from four locations:
The Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate
Rosebank Gautrain Station
Sandton Gautrain Station
University of Johannesburg Park Shuttle.
Tickets for the park and ride service are free, as it is sponsored by the Gautrain. Booking can be done online.
To promote environmental consciousness and sustainability, residents are advised to enter electronically, thereby decreasing unnecessary paper wastage. Incentive to enter online is also provided in the form of a saving of R10: manual entries cost R120 while online entries cost R110.
Walk the Talk is sponsored by Discovery and Talk Radio 702, and is hosted by the City of Johannesburg in support of active and healthy lifestyles. Participants in all four categories will begin and end their race at the Marks Park Sports Club, home of the race. Marks Park is on Judith Road in Emmarentia.
To enter the race and get more information, visit the Walk the Talk website, contact the race office on 011 017 2700 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Companies can enter Walk the Talk
Fun day for walkers
Ready, steady … walk