Just over a week ago, I had the pleasure of experiencing the third instalment of the Discovery 947 Rhythm Run at Kyalami racetrack for the first time and what a fun vibe it was.
It’s events like these that are catered to a much wider variety of the population, which is really fantastic. From the speedsters to the casual athletes to the non-athletes that simply want an event to enjoy with friends and simply socialise, this event receives a high score for being inclusive and entertaining attendees.
The event was broken into three segments. The first segment was a race for the speedsters, literally. It was so fast, it ended as quickly as it started. The race distances were 4.7km and 9km so runners had the option of running one or two laps of the track. In true speedster style, the winners of the double lap breezed through it in just under 25 minutes.
The second segment was the main race for us casual and non-athletes. A good 8 000 attendees lined up on the racetrack, donning the bright orange race tops, just before 5.30pm.
My Pop Up Gym co-founder Khethiwe Mlangeni and I warmed up the 8 000-strong crowd with some basic aerobic exercises five minutes before the start gun went off to mark the beginning of the event. We also had the option of one or two laps around the track like the speedsters.
We had an absolute blast, chatting and laughing, taking pictures and videos as we slowly made our way around the race track.
What took many entrants by surprise was how hilly the racetrack is. We periodically joked at how the chatting and laughing would completely stop when we tackled each hill. I opted for the double lap event which meant I found myself lapping many who had simply decided to walk from the start.
What was great to see was how runners and walkers alike would encourage each other to keep going or simply greet each other along the way – something not often experienced at the many other races that I have run.
Having started just before sunset, it was beautiful to watch the sun go down as we made our way around the track. The other beautiful sight was when I stopped to look behind me during the race and see how the runners had literally “painted” the race track orange.
The run was challenging but fun and this fun continued and culminated into the third segment which was a party in the pits. In true 947 entertainment style, an array of their in-house DJs and personality were in attendance and they – alongside Sketchy Bongo, DJ Maphorisa and DJ Kent – took to the stage to entertain the crowd.
Overall, the Rhythm Run was an exceptional experience for the many attendees who had never been on the actual tarmac of the race track. It’s not often that racetracks have running races so kudos to Kyalami, Discovery and 947 for being so innovative.
If you missed out on this fun experience, make sure to put it in your diary for next year.
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and cofounder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego. zulu Twitter: @letshegom. Facebook: Letshego Zulu