This Friday, Cairo's fittest will be getting up when the rest of us are just getting home to run 21 kilometres in the country's first organised half-marathon...
You might think it crazy to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to run... run! Of all the crazy things we can think about doing at 6AM, running (unless it's from the police) is one that's never crossed our mind. Nonetheless, thousands of eager athletes across the city do it week-in-week-out for no other reason than that it's good for them. Cairo Runners have been quietly turning Cairo into a - gasp - healthy city, one organised run at a time, and now it's time to show us skeptics what they're made of. This Friday they'll be hosting Egypt's first half-marathon; 21 kilometres of blood, sweat and tears all in the name of getting fit and staying active.
With thousands already signed up, the registration process couldn't be easier. All you need to do is take 30 of your hard-earned Egyptian pounds, head to any of the following places: TBS (Zamalek, Korba, Maadi), Heliopolis Sporting Club, Waffilicious (Masakan Sheraton or Nasr City), Seven Grains (5th Settlement), Qahwa (Arkan), GoodCals (Zamalek) or BUE, AUC, GUC or AAST (click here for contact persons at universities) and fill in the registration form. You'll go home with your unique race number, and a sense of fulfillment, knowing that the money goes directly to charity (and probably a tasty snack, based on some of the outlets) - the rest is down to you.
If you're a fan of Cairo Runners on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, you'll find yourself inundated with training and diet tips to get you in to shape before the big day. The route is being finalised as we speak, but the meeting point and start line is at Almaza Gardens, El Marghany Street, Heliopolis. We have insider info that after the 21 kilometre run, there'll be plenty of entertainment - and we're not talking pointing and laughing at the sweaty heaps the runners are bound to become after taking on this challenge. No, no. We have it on good authority that some of Egypt's best musicians will be putting on a show at the finish line, and though we can't release the full information yet, we suggest you make your way down there, even if you're not running.