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There are fewer than 5 000 places left in this year’s Discovery 702 Walk the Talk, and people are encouraged to hurry their entries in before they lose out.
WINTER has got Joburg firmly in its icy grip, but that is no reason to barricade yourself indoors with litres of hot chocolate and piles of blankets.

 

Walking for fun - and charityWalking for fun - and charityRather join 50 000 other Joburg residents and their four-legged friends as they “walk the talk” through the city’s suburban streets on 24 July.
 

There are under 5 000 entries left, so if you would like to participate, you will need to act fast to bag one of those spots. “We anticipate they will all be snapped up by the end of the week,” said Pippa Rowles, the public relations and communications co-ordinator at Primedia Broadcasting.

You can challenge your friends and family to join the festivities too. “This is simply a quick and easy way for those who have entered the walk to send out an email to multiple friends or colleagues to challenge them to enter too,” Rowles said.

The race consists of four options: 5km and 8km walks for those out on a fun day, as well as 15km and 30kms for those participating competitively. Anyone can take part in the two shorter walks, but the longer legs have age restrictions and cut-off times.

For the 15km race, anybody over the age of 16 can enter and the cut-off time is three hours; while the 30km race is open to people over the age of 18. They will have five hours to finish. International athletes will also need to provide a clearance letter from their country of origin should they qualify for prizes.

This year, there is an emphasis on encouraging contestants to use the park and ride facilities. “The Gautrain buses will be shuttling walkers from four points across the city – Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, Bezuidenhout Valley Park, Nasrec Expo Centre and the Sandton Gautrain Station,” she said.

 

the walk takes people through the leafy suburbs of northern JoburgThe walk takes people through the leafy suburbs of northern Joburg“Tickets for the park and ride cost R30 per person for a return trip and need to be pre-booked via the website.”
 

Man’s best friends will also get a chance to stretch their legs as there is a dedicated dog walk on the day. “The dog walk has been very popular in the past, and we expect about 2 000 dogs to enter the walk. We are nearly halfway to this number and entries for the dog walk only opened on 1 June,” Rowles said.

There are rules for your dog to be eligible to walk, though. “If your dog is small to medium in size, it must be older than one year and younger than 10 years,” states the Walk the Talk website. “If your dog is large to giant in size, it must be older than one-and-a-half years and younger than seven years old.”

Your canine companion needs to be medically fit and needs to be socialised with other dogs and people; organisers recommend that only dogs that have been spayed or neutered should participate.

There will be doggie water points along the routes, with three along the 5km course and five on the 8km route. Details are being finalised and participants are urged to keep checking the website for finalised information.

But concerns about unpredictable weather should not discourage people from entering. “There is a committee that consists of representatives from all the emergency services, police, traffic control and the event organisers, who assess any risk leading up to the event and on the day,” she said.

 

Everyone is welcomeEveryone is welcome“As long as it is deemed safe to continue with the event, we will.”
 

Given the sheer size of the walk, there will be road closures, as always. To view which roads will be closed and for how long, you can visit the Walk the Talk website.

The event will kick off at 6.30am with the 30km race. The 15km race will start an hour later; the 8km walk will begin at 9am and the 5km walk at 11am. For the sixth year, Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia is serving as the starting and finishing point of the event.

Walk the Talk is sponsored by Discovery and Talk Radio 702 and is hosted by the City of Johannesburg. All participants who finish the race will receive medals, and those who entered before 31 May stand a chance of winning a R25 000 Pick n Pay voucher.

“Walk the Talk provides the residents of Johannesburg with a fun-filled day in the warm winter sun,” said Chevaughn Jacoby, the head of multimedia and communications in the race office. “The overall ambience and spirit on the day is most enjoyable and participants love this event as they get to socialise, be active and get entertained all in one experience.”

For more information, how to enter and challenge friends, phone 011 270 2702 or go to the website.

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