For most Cairenes, April 15 bears no significance – it will be another Friday to wake up late, have a relaxed breakfast and actually read the newspaper. But for as many as 7,000 early birds, this Friday marks one of the most important events in Egypt’s running community: Cairo Runners’ half marathon.
Cairo’s first running initiative has been cooking up its annual half marathon, due to take place at the Maadi Technology Park. Excited runners have been registering for the event through the Cairo Runners website and picking up their tickets and running kits at Reebok stores around the city in the weeks leading up to the half marathon.
Participants can opt to run 1, 7, or 21 kilometers, all while enjoying a live performance by Egyptian band Cairokee, and other fun forms of entertainment.
And the best part? While the first three winners will receive monetary prizes, everyone will walk away a winner, with a medal to prove their accomplishments, including running at 6:30 am.
As a bonus, the dynamic event promises to help participants do more than check off their weekend cardio requirements. By joining Cairo Runners’ half marathon this Friday, runners will also give back to their community: 50 percent of the half marathon’s proceeds have been earmarked for charity, specifically helping to bring light to poor villages across the country.
Launched in 2012 with the aim of “discovering and promoting tourism through running Egypt’s iconic destinations,” Cairo Runners has grown from drawing a mere 70 participants in its first-ever run to a projected 7,000 for this year’s half-marathon. Since its establishment four years ago, an array of fitness initiatives have cropped up in Egypt, following Cairo Runners’ lead.
“Since the inception of Cairo Runners, we’ve seen lots of health-conscious initiatives on the rise, and we’ve received lots of successful transformation stories by our very own weekly dedicated runners,” co-founders Ibrahim Safwat and Aya Safwat told Egyptian Streets.
Cairo Runners’ weekly runs, taking place at an array of sites that prove to be aesthetically pleasing enough to make for enviable social media posts, have helped to encourage Cairenes of varying fitness levels to run in a safer environment than if they were to run solo.
Although the Cairo Runners community has grown to reach an impressive size over the past four years, the brains behind the initiative continue to eye bigger goals.
“We’ve come a long way, from around 70 runners showing up in our first run, all the way up to 6,000 at our last half marathon,” they told Egyptian Streets. “Our target is to organize a full-fledged marathon in Egypt.”
Until that dream is realized, you can join Cairo Runners and thousands of other health-conscious Cairenes this Friday at Maadi Technology Park, where the half marathon will kick off at 6:30 am, by registering through the Cairo Runners website.