The countdown to Cairo Runners' Half Marathon has begun. Scheduled for 28 February in New Cairo, the event is expected to draw more attention and attract a bigger number of participants than ever before.
Describing their vision as building stepping stones for a running community in Egypt, Cairo Runners are among the earliest pioneers to have promoted the growing trend of fitness and sporting events, seeking to encourage the nation to lead a healthier lifestyle and have fun at the same time.
Photo: Cairo Runners/Maadi 2012
The first events were a series of mini marathons departing early on Friday mornings, away from pollution and before traffic hazards loomed, from a different Cairene district every week. With a mere 70 followers at its onset, Cairo Runners take pride in their steady expansion with every successful event to now reach 160k Likes on their official Facebook page and +10000 followers on Twitter.
Photo: Cairo Runners/Giza January 2013
Participants are now getting ready for the upcoming half marathon, which will include three types of races providing alternatives to suit various preferences:
The 21 KM half marathon
The 7 KM half race
The 1 KM family run
Ahram Online spoke to Mohamed Seif, Cairo Runners media coordinator and one of the organisers, whose voice brimmed with enthusiasm at the approaching date. "The last season attracted over 2300 runners in the last run. This half marathon will certainly exceed this number, due to the extension of vacations and the increasing appeal of the events," he commented.
Stressing that no amount of reading or hearing about such events compares to the wonderful spirit experienced first-hand upon actual participation, Seif mentioned that sports celebrities will also be present to inspire and cheer the runners on.
Khaled Mahgoub, another Cairo Runners organiser, told Ahram Online that, in cooperation with the district security forces, a lane specifically dedicated for the event and additional safety measures have been accounted for.
Registration fees are LE50 to cover logistical cost, with half of the revenues going to charity, namely the Alashanek Ya Baladi association for sustainable development.
Photo: Cairo Runners/Heliopolis Feb 2013
Seif explained that the same registration procedures used in marathons worldwide have been adopted. They consist of three simple steps:
1. Paying the fees at one of the registration locations and receiving a registration card
2. Filling the online form on the official website: www.cairorunners.com
3. Visiting a registration location again to exchange the card with a race number.
Registration locations from whence to obtain registration cards and then exchange them for running numbers are as follows:
Balance Gym & Wafflicious, Sheraton buildings
Hers Gym, Abdel-Moneim Hafez St
Al-Maqqar, 20 Mahmoud Fouad St
Smash Tennis Academy, Airport Road
Balance Gym & Hers Gym
Wafflicious, in front of International Garden
Lettuceat, 15A Mansour Mohamed St
Sheikh Zayed City
Photo: Cairo Runners/Nile Run