Friday morning, hours after you collapse into your bed after a night of drinking, a group of highly-motivated Cairenes gather to go running through the streets – not the same way you go drunkenly galavanting through Zamalek for a late night Hot Dog.
By the time your drunken dreams have turned to a mid-morning hangover, they’ve finished the last stretch and are probably off doing other super-productive things that make the rest of us feel fat and lazy.
So who are these energetic over-achievers, and why are they Hell-bent on making the rest of us look bad? They are Cairo Runners, and to be fair, their agenda probably has more to do with their own health than our indolent image.
Cairo Runners is the brain-child of Ibrahim Safwat, whose mission is to encourage the city to become more runner-friendly, by reclaiming the streets for a few hours each Friday morning. Cairo Runners’ philosophy is that fitness shouldn’t be tied to fees from sports’ clubs and gyms when our city streets offer the perfect landscape to get a good runner’s high going. And since no one, not even the robabekya man, is out congesting the roads at 7AM on a Friday, Cairo Runners have found a way to run in the streets without adding to our tiny traffic problem.
This Friday, December 7th, at 7AM, the group will be meeting at Diwan Bookstore in Zamalek, where they will begin their 4km loop of the island. Now 4km is nothing to scoff at, but it’s not exactly hardcore training either, right? Wrong! The following Friday, Cairo Runners will be running 5km through Korba. Then 6 in Maadi. In fact each week, the highly-motivated harriers will increase the distance of the run, preparing for an epic 22km half marathon for charity!