A few weeks ago I get a MMS from Nike Running with a picture that said ‘Move Jozi’ and ‘The movement begins 22 August, save the date’. Cool, I thought it might be the ‘We Run Jozi’ 10 km race which I attended last year, so I signed up not know what was going to happen. Then two days ago I got a SMS saying ‘you’ve been chosen to #MoveJozi’. Move Jozi turned out to be a 5km time trial in Braamfontein.
Pretty cool because I would normally avoid walking or running in this area at night. I arrived at 18:00, where a portion of Juta road was closed off for the start of the run. There was a DJ, lights and a projector displaying all the Nike Running marketing tags. I signed up, giving my name and received an armband that flashed every time it was moved. Check it out below. Each armband had a different colour and this was used to divide everyone into four separate routes finishing in the same place. It wasn’t very clear that there were different routes and which one was for the faster or slower runners. I swapped an armband with someone else because one of their friends was in another group. The Nike+ running app was promoted with free WIFI to install it and sign up.
The run only started at 19:00 after a random warm up session which seemed a little more strenuous than the run, funny! They also announced that more of these runs will be happening all over Johannesburg. Apart from marketing aspect, Nike Running is trying to make the inner city a less scary place for people like me that usually avoid it at all costs.
The run was really enjoyable experience taking in all the smells, interesting shops and dodging the Thursday night traffic in Braamfontein. I didn’t realize that there are a couple hills in this area, which reminded me that I haven’t been doing much running lately. Finishing the race everyone got a drink and a hotdog for free which was a nice touch. They also had a large display with a leaderboard of runners. By sharing your run through the application you showed up on the leaderboard.
The We Run Jozi 10 km race was also announced and because we pitched up we will get first dibs on the entries.
Nike Running has a goal of 375 000 km to reach in Johannesburg before the route for the We Run Jozi Race will be revealed. These time trials and any other run using the Nike+ Running application (sharing #MOVEJOZI) will be one of the methods to add to the total. I screwed up by arriving with 15% battery so decided to skip using the Nike+ app.
This is a great initiative by Nike Running, I’ll be looking out for the next one. I enjoyed running through an area at night that I would normally avoid. Keep your eye on http://www.movejozi.co.za to sign up for the next run. Somewhere else inside or near Johannesburg CBD.