gauteng-comes-alive-birchwood-marathon-hotel-or-tambo We are delighted to announce that the online entries for this year’s Birchwood Cross the Line Half Marathon on Sunday, 26 March have officially closed a month before the race! In its 7th year and in partnership with the City of Ekurhuleni, No Finance Cars, the Mangwanani Boutique Spa and Garbie, the response to the race has been overwhelming and has grown to accommodate 4 000 entrants!

Since the Birchwood Cross the Line Half Marathon’s inception in 2011, thousands of runners, families and businesses have participated in our 5km, 10km or 21.1 km races, with many making it an annual family tradition. There has also been a trend for corporate or business groups to represent their company in the race and, in turn, using it as a teambuilding exercise. The camaraderie, support and cheer from these participants and supporters alike have made race day full of fun, entertainment and a strong sense of community.

We have pulled out all the stops for this year’s participants! With the help of leading triathlon and running coach, Norrie Williamson, we have mapped out the route gradients for each race and have created pacing charts for you to get a handle on your training and your progress on race day. Print out our wrist band Pacing Chart and use it to improve your personal best or beat our record.

Norrie Williamson is an IAAF-accredited coach and course measurer, and has measured three Olympic Marathons. As a former athlete, he has represented Great Britain, Scotland and South Africa, and has completed more than 150 ultra-marathons and 20 Comrades Marathons. He has been played an integral part in helping us tailor this year’s race with your needs in mind.

Thanks to ChampionChip, whether you want to improve on your time from last year, beat your personal best or break our record, we will make sure that your time is accurate from start to finish by recording times using a chip secured to your shoelaces. We also want to challenge our top runners to break our course record! Show us your athleticism by beating our record times and we will double your prize money for being a champion!

Together with our sponsors, we like to reward participants for their efforts to be fit and healthy. Courtesy of No Finance Cars, all participants stand a chance to drive a brand new Kia Picanto for a year simply just by taking part! After crossing our finish line, you deserve some me-time. Fortunately, the Mangwanani Boutique Spa is situated on our grounds and will be offering half price on special packages and more to participants on the day. And for your race comfort, we have a dedicated secure tog-bag area, a post-race massage zone, and clean toilets for the race.

As part of the #runclean campaign, we have partnered with Garbie to ensure that there is no litter left behind after the race. The campaign began in 2015, an initiative by Modern Athlete magazine, is aimed at creating awareness around littering during road events and went viral on social media shortly after. Garbie have sponsored the necessary refuse bags, rubbish and clean-up bins to help keep our race in line with the #runclean campaign. They will also be providing all participants with free refuse bags for their home to emphasise a litter-free environment.

Our sub-sponsors, Sportsman’s Warehouse, SAfm, Jointeze, Inkezo Industrial Mining Service, Global Meat Packers (Pty) Ltd., Futurelife and Kid-O Sparkling have also contributed generously to making sure that all participants receive an extra special goodie bag. A special thank you to all our sponsors for making this year’s race the best yet! If you would like to find out more about any of our sponsors products or services, they will be there to answer all your questions on race day.

If you want to experience the benefits of exercise in the workplace, we want to encourage you to get your healthy-self in action! Cheer our participants across that finish line and it may be just what you need to get inspired to start walking or running a few kilometres, ready for next year’s races. Make sure you keep a look out for the 2018 Birchwood Half Marathon by following our Facebook page to be sure you don’t miss out next time.

We believe in using the race for good and were amazed by the participation of online entrants in donating to the Ukajede Foundation, 8 crèches in Johannesburg East that are close to our hearts. We will be matching all the proceeds raised and look forward to presenting it to these children on the day. Alternatively, you can help by bringing non-perishable food items or other items that you feel will help these children and place them in the donation box on race day.

Experience Ekurhuleni at its best by bringing your friends and family along to cheer you on or join you in supporting our participants! We have included a children’s play area, food and refreshments, and live music on the manicured lawns of the hotel to ensure that it is a fun day out for all.

Participants – make sure you have everything you need for your race by collecting your Race Pack on 24 and 25 March from 10am to 3pm at our main reception. If you can’t make it on those days, you can collect on race day between 5am and 6:30am at the garden area. Don’t leave it too late or else you may be late for the start of you race!

Start times for the 21.1km and 10km is 6:30am and 7:30am for the 5km race. Visit the Birchwood Marathon website for more information about the route, route gradients, pacing charts and race day information.

We are looking forward to joining your supporters and cheering you over that finish line!

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