Over 30,000 people from all over KwaZulu-Natal enjoyed a morning of fun and exercise along Durban’s gorgeous promenade this morning, taking part in the Discovery East Coast Radio (ECR) Big Walk.
From the moment they left the start at uShaka Marine World to the time they crossed the finish line at People’s Park, Moses Mabhida Stadium, the atmosphere was nothing short of festive.
A choice of 5, 10, 15 and 20km routes were available and kids were entertained by face-painters, jugglers and stilt-walkers.
A surprise performance by one of the country’s top music acts – Mi Casa – rounded off the morning of exercise and excitement.
Much-loved TV actor, Thato Molamu, who will soon have his own show on ECR, also surprised fans at the finish, taking #HealthySelfies.
ECR General Manager Boni Mchunu attributed the day’s success to the perfect combination of “great weather, wonderful people and an electric atmosphere” and the fact that the event “brings together people to celebrate the unique lifestyle we are privileged to enjoy here in KZN”.
Sixty-one percent of this year’s walkers were women. The 5km distance was the most popular distance, attracting 13,900 participants. Two hundred entrants were over the age of 70 with the oldest participant being 85-years old!
Dinesh Govender, Chief Marketing Officer at Discovery says: “Walking is an inexpensive and accessible way to exercise and fits into nearly every busy lifestyle. Studies show that when you enjoy the exercise you do, you benefit from it more.”
First Lady, Thobeka Zuma, and the MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ntombikayise Sibhida-Saphetha, were among the special guests who started each of the four distances. Sharkie and Sharks player Francois Kleinhans also stirred up the crowds at the start.
The event has come a long way since it first began 12 years ago and is now the biggest, outdoor, participative event in KwaZulu-Natal.
All photos by Abhi Indrarajan.