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Reflecting on the first Johannesburg City Marathon

From seasoned athletes aiming to break personal records to first-time runners seeking to conquer new challenges, the marathon attracted a diverse range of individuals, each with their own story and motivation.

The streets of Johannesburg pulsated with energy when almost 3 000 runners took to the roads for the first Johannesburg City Marathon on March 24.

This iconic event, now entrenched in the city’s cultural tapestry, showcased the spirit of athleticism and the community’s resilience and unity.

With a backdrop of skyscrapers and urban landscapes, the marathon gave participants and spectators a unique perspective on the city.

From seasoned athletes aiming to break personal records to first-time runners seeking to conquer new challenges, the marathon attracted a diverse range of individuals, each with their own story and motivation.

An electric Mercedes Benz leads the way.

One of the most striking aspects of the Johannesburg City Marathon is its ability to bring together people from all walks of life. Regardless of age, background, or ability, participants embraced the shared experience of pushing physical boundaries and celebrating the human spirit. From elite runners representing their countries to local enthusiasts running for charitable causes, the marathon was a melting pot of cultures, aspirations, and dreams.

As the sun rose over the city skyline, the starting line buzzed with anticipation and excitement. The air was filled with a sense of camaraderie when runners exchanged words of encouragement and shared nervous smiles. For many, the marathon was not just a race but a journey, a testament to dedication, perseverance, and the pursuit of excellence.

The course offered a panoramic tour of Johannesburg’s most iconic landmarks, from the historic streets of Newtown to the lush greenery of the city’s parks. Runners traversed the normally bustling M1, cheered on by spectators who lined the streets.

The medals of the day.

For some, the marathon was a test of endurance, a gruelling battle against fatigue and self-doubt. For others, it was a celebration of personal triumphs, a chance to revel in the joy of crossing the finish line.

Yet, amid the sweat and struggles, there was a sense of pride because they were the first runners to experience running from Kibler Park on the R82 to the Jan Smuts offramp, a shared understanding that, in the end, it was not just about the destination but the journey.

Mercedes Benz The Glen sponsored The Johannesburg City Marathon with three electric vehicles to be the lead vehicles in the three distances – 42.2km, 21.1km and 10km.

As the last runner crossed the finish line, the streets erupted into cheers and applause. Exhausted but exhilarated, participants embraced one another, sharing stories of triumphs and challenges overcome. In that moment, the city was not just a collection of buildings and roads but a living, breathing entity, a testament to the resilience and spirit of its people.

Female open winners. Front: Poppy Modingoane (Hollywood Bets) and Elaine Murphy (Johannesburg Harriers Athletics Club treasurer). Back: Mkateko Mboweni-de Klerk (JHAC chairperson), Jorge Peixoto (JP Engineering), Elize Kruger (second position), Rene Kalmer (first position), Jeannie Henderson (third position), Melissa Peters (Mercedes Benz representative) and Nathalie Roelf (JHAC secretary).

Hollywood Bets and Balwin Properties put together a beautiful finish venue.

To the Johannesburg Harriers Athletics Club, The Johannesburg City Marathon is more than just a race; it symbolises celebration (the club celebrated its 120th birthday in January), hope, unity, and community. As the sun sets on another successful event, the spirit of the marathon continues to reverberate throughout the city, inspiring us to push beyond our limits and reach for new heights.

The club thanks its sponsors, namely Balwin Properties, Hollywood Bets, Mercedes Benz and JP Engineering.

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