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​Runners – about 10 000 of them – will take the place of cars on Joburg’s usually busy inner city streets for the inaugural Nike Run Free. Run Jozi night race.
MAJOR thoroughfares and other inner city roads will be closed to traffic on Wednesday, 21 March from about 10am until midnight for the 10km Nike Run Free. Run Jozi night race.

Thousands of runners will take to the streets of Joburg in the Run Free. Run Jozi raceThousands of runners will take to the streets of Joburg in the Run Free. Run Jozi raceFor safety and security, the City has given permission for stringent road closures and for metro police officials to man random intersections and water points along the race route. Although road closures may cause some traffic and inconvenience, organisers urge people to be compliant and patient.

Roads in the inner city that will be affected include Commissioner, Mooi, Harrison, Market, Bertrams, Jeppe, Simmons, Bree, Rissik, Smit, Wolmarans and Sauer, and Saratoga Avenue.

Kotze Street in Hillbrow will be closed from the corner of Claim, affecting Klein, Twist, Hospital and Edith Carvel streets; Jorissen Street in Braamfontein will be closed to traffic from the intersection of Jan Smuts Avenue and Bertha Street, on Nelson Mandela Bridge.

A detailed route map is available online, which will help people identify alternative roads to get to their destinations.

Seruscka Naidoo, the communications manager of Nike South Africa, has warned motorists and pedestrians travelling in Joburg to take note of the road restrictions and to plan their routes accordingly. “There will be road closures in and around the race route. Please take care to observe these closures.”

Route map
She says motorists should familiarise themselves with the route map to get a proper indication of road closures.

The race starts at 7pm in stylish Braamfontein, at the foot of Nelson Mandela Bridge, and finishes at Mary Fitzgerald Square in trendy Newtown. It has a total prize purse of R40 000 to be shared among the first eight runners to make it home. About 10 000 runners have confirmed they will compete.

The run is endorsed by the City and is aligned with its objective to promote a culture of healthier lifestyles and social cohesion. It is designed to promote a liveable city by 2040, free of crime and grime, where people can walk and run freely at whatever time of day.

Commissioner Street will be closed to traffic Commissioner Street will be closed to traffic Naidoo says the Nike Run Free. Run Jozi race will be a fun-filled, inspiring event starting from the early afternoon and finishing in the late evening. “The 10 000 runners will experience a truly unique race featuring entertainment, music, stunning views and, of course, be able to connect with and inspire each other,” she says.

She says the inaugural Nike Run Free. Run Jozi race will give runners and sportsmen in general the opportunity to take back their streets and enjoy what “their beautiful inner city of Jozi has to offer”.

Start to finish
The night race will meander through inner city streets, showcasing some of Joburg’s heritage sites and landmarks. Major attractions on the route will include Constitution Hill.

The starting point is on Jorissen Street. The route will cross Nelson Mandela Bridge, on to Ntemi Piliso Street, left into President Street, right into Sauer Street and then left into Market Street. It will head east into Bertrams around Coca-Cola Park along Bezuidenhout Street.

At the intersection of Bezuidenhout and Bertrams Road, the route will curve to the left into Saratoga Avenue and proceed straight until the corner of Claim Street in the heart of Hillbrow. Runners will then go uphill, turning left into Kotze, which bypasses Constitution Hill, leading back into Braamfontein past the Metro Centre.

The route will head downhill back into the inner city on Rissik Street, turning right into Jeppe for a smooth finish at the Mary Fitzgerald Square.

Naidoo says the route was chosen for its aesthetic appeal and rich tapestry of historical heritage and significant landmarks. “Starting on Nelson Mandela Bridge, [the route] traverses through the inner heart of Jozi. The route gives runners the opportunity to run where they have never run before,” she explains.

“The landmarks will really come to life in this race and speak to the heritage of the city,” she says, advising runners to take back the streets one kilometre at a time. “Connect with your fellow runners and be inspired by how the city is the playground.”

The 10km Nike Run Free. Run Jozi night race has been designed to counteract myths about the inner city streets being crime and grime ridden.

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