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​​Let animals watch as you shed extra kilos

 
Hundreds of runners, health conscious and fitness enthusiasts are again expected – with their families in tow – to take part in either the 5km or 10km fun run or walk on the premises of the Johannesburg Zoo on Sunday as part of the Zoo Trotters experience.
The event, organised by Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo, is held every second Sunday of the month.

It has grown phenomenally over the past 10 years, having started with only 20 participants.

The fun walk and run are in line with the City’s Healthy Lifestyle Programme, which encourages residents and City employees to regularly take part in physical activity to keep lifestyle diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure as well as heart ailments at bay and to help improve the city’s life expectancy.

The programme was launched by Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau in May 2013.

According to Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo Media and Liaison Officer Noeleen Mattera, everyone is welcome to run or walk “in a peaceful and safe environment while enjoying watching lions, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, rhinos and cheetahs”.

Mattera said the Trot is open to both young and old. “Even parents pushing prams are welcome.”

Registration opens at 7am and the Trot starts at 7.30am. Entrance fee is R45 per person. The money is donated to the zoo to enable it to sustain itself.

Mattera said direction markers would be placed along the route, “designed in such a way that you can experience wild life while you keep fit”.

“This is a great opportunity to watch lions, black rhinos, cheetahs, buffaloes, elephants and giraffes while you run in a safe environment. This is more of a family affair than a race and we have marshals and zoo staff to help everyone who takes part in the event to stay on course,” she said.

Mattera said for every three consecutive trots completed, participants will receive a special Zoo Trot medal featuring one of the Big Five.

After the event, Zoo Trotters will be free to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast at the zoo’s Café Fino or have a picnic on the lawns.