Thousands of joggers celebrate third anniversary of Cairo Runners

Injy Deif , Friday 15 Jan 2016

Cairo's fitness-lovers were up early on Friday to celebrate the third anniversary of the founding of the running group

Cairo Runners
Cairo Runners' 3rd anniversary (Injy Deif)

Cairo Runners, the leading running community in Egypt, decided to start 2016 by celebrating their third anniversary in a run in Zamalek on Friday.

"These runs are one of the things that give me power to do my work and fulfill my duties to my family energetically," Sherifa, who works in the petroleum sector, told Ahram Online as she stood amid hundreds of runners of different ages at the gathering point at El Sawy Cultural Wheel.

"I live in Zamalek, but events that are in the outskirts of Cairo also have me up early and excited to join," she added

Sherifa was among hundreds who gathered at 7am for Cairo Runners' signature energetic warm-ups, which saw the place literally pounding with participants mimicking the exercises performed on stage at the cultural hub.

Prior to the warm-ups, Cairo Runners' Khaled Mahgoub announced on stage that in line with Cairo Runners' social responsibilities, they are partnering this time with " Inmaa" which specialises in providing children and youth with trainings and skills.

Cairo Runners

Runners then took off around Zamalel, making their way along the 4km route of Abu El-Feda, Brazil, Kamal El-Tawil, and Mohamed Mazhar streets.

Chocolate was everywhere... Route flags, signs, certificates, etc, were themed with the sweet treat, as the event is sponsored by Snickers.

At the end the event did not disappoint, with participants hailing its success and the spirit that prevailedas they treated to an extravaganza of sweet waffles and chocolate. El-Nafikha band also entertained the runners at the end with some oriental music.

Cairo Runners

In a country where jogging is yet to catch on, Cairo Runners have been forging ahead by organising group runs around the capital. The leading running community was one of the earliest pioneers in encouraging Egyptians to adopt a healthier, more energetic lifestyle, taking to the streets for early runs every Friday, and choosing different locations in the capital each time.

Cairo Runners began in 2012 as a series of runs through areas in central Cairo and surrounding suburbs. At the beginning of the initiative, the participants were around only 70, but Cairo Runners take pride in their expansion, with the number of runners increasing with the success of each event.

Their current outreach has almost hit 400,000 on Facebook while the number of their followers on Twitter is above 16,000. The average numbers of runners per week is around 3,000.

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