Neon Run – combining exercise with entertainment
04 August 2016
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Brad Brown: Welcome onto this edition of Old Mutual Live, great things start here, great things start now. I love interesting, different runs and something that’s on the calendar in the middle of May is a run that you may or may not have heard about, but the people who do it absolutely love it. It’s called the Neon Run and we’re joined now by one of the founders and co-organisers of the Neon Run, Alex Torrao. Alex, welcome onto Old Mutual Live today, thanks for taking the time to chat to us.
Alex Torrao: It’s really a pleasure to talk with you guys.
BB: Alex, the Neon Run, let’s take a step back, for people who have never heard of the Neon Run. In a nutshell, how do you explain it to someone? If someone says to you, Alex, this thing sounds weird, what is it?
The idea behind the Neon Run
AT: The Neon Run is a run for partygoers and it’s a party for sports enthusiasts, so that’s basically what it is. It’s a 5km run ending at a music festival. You can run, skip, hop, jump, walk, bring your pram, bring your bed on wheels, anything you want, that’s what the Neon Run is about.
It’s an experience that takes you through music, light, auditory items, but also it’s an experience that is unique in the country and it involves everyone at every age. You don’t win, you can’t win, you can’t lose, it’s just a lovely experience.
BB: My type of run. Talk to me about how it came about, where was the seed first planted and how long has it been going?
AT: The Neon Run is now going into year three. The seed first started, when we first started doing events, we started doing the colour/powder festivals. We had a run that was similar to the Colour Run, just with a South African vibe to it. We always had a concert, or like an entertainment side to it.
What we thought, there were too many colour/powder festivals in the country and colour/powder events. So we decided, let’s change this completely and turn day into night, turn the powder into something glowing. Let’s use this to attract people to go out at night again and to do something that is really different and really amazing. That’s how the Neon Run was born, it stemmed from Colour Run really.
BB: If you haven’t seen the photos of it, I urge you to get to the website, neonrun.co.za, it’s phenomenal, just the look of it, it looks amazing. You’ve got one coming up in the middle of May at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, in that area. I know it’s almost sold it at the time of this recording, but there are still a few spots available. If people do decide to come through, what can they expect at this one, do you try and change things up every year?
What to expect from the Neon Run
AT: Yes, exactly, so every year, obviously the event does cost a lot of money, cause we do put a big show. The festival, the lights, the lasers, the smoke, the flame throwing, all of that stuff. So basically what we try and do every year is to try and top it and match it to a new standard.
So people can expect something amazing every single year. We don’t want this run to be done for one year only and then it’s gone, like a lot of other runs out there. We want this brand to live on and it’s lived on so far. That’s why we invest a lot of money into it and we invest a lot of effort into the production and the whole experience.
What’s happening coming up in the next few weeks is on the 14th of May at Wanderers Stadium, that’s the start of the event. So then you will run around Illovo in Jo’burg and you end up back at Wanderers Stadium where the festival will take place with a couple of South African top artists as well.
It’s a really cool experience, really cool vibes. We’ve got food vendors, there’s bars, there’s absolutely everything that you would find at a festival, and it’s absolutely everything that you would find at a sports event as well, that’s basically it.
BB: At the moment, Jo’burg the only one or you’ve taken it around the country for people who are listening to this around South Africa, what’s the deal?
AT: Last year we did a national tour. This year we’re only going to do Jo’burg. We couldn’t find a sponsor that was big enough to take over quite a portion of our cost to take it around the country. But that being said, I think we’re planning for next year to take it around the country again. So that would include Bloem, PE, Durban, Cape Town and Jo’burg. This year essentially only Jo’burg, we’re doing a bigger, better show, but ja, hopefully next year we can take it around the country.
An event for absolutely everyone
BB: It sounds absolutely amazing. You mentioned anything goes, you can run it, you can run it backwards, you can do it on handstands if need be, you can push a bed. A whole family thing, you can bring the kids as well. Is that the idea, is to bring everyone out and make it a fun night out?
AT: Exactly, it works anywhere, it works for schools, it works for families, it works for enemies, it works for groups of friends, it works for companies, it works for everybody. We’ve had a massive uptake on our tickets from corporates because everyone is like, we’re sick of our corporate days. We do the normal lunches or whatever, let’s go do the Neon Run or like a Warrior Race or whatever it is.
People are taking social fitness now and going out there and doing stuff that is really different, really amazing, still affordable. Like our tickets only sell for R215 a person, kids from 5-11 years old are R90, kids five years and below are free.
BB: Cool, so great family affair, take everyone out there. If you want to find out more about it, the website once again, neonrun.co.za, we’ll pop the link to the show notes as well. Alex, if there’s anything else, I don’t know if we’ve missed anything, I think we’ve pretty much covered all bases. But those tickets are selling quickly and I’m sure you want to urge people to get in there as soon as possible so they don’t miss out.
AT: Exactly, basically this year we’re aiming for 15 000 people at Wanderers, we’re sitting on about 7 000 tickets sold already, so halfway there. People just need to buy more tickets if they really want to go. Our line-up is also very good, we’ve got Rubber Duck, Kyle Watson, Dean Fuel Good Luck, Timo ODV and a lot more. There’s a lot of things that happen at Neon Run. I can only ask you to come, that’s it.
BB: It sounds brilliant, go check out the website, get your tickets and hopefully we’ll see you at the Wanderers in the middle of May.
AT: One thing, we’re giving away, in terms of Neon Run, we’re the only race that’s attached to Discovery Vitality and you get 500 Vitality points by partaking in the Neon Run.
BB: Fantastic, there you go, thank you very much, sounds brilliant. Alex, thank you so much for your time, much appreciated and best of luck in the final run in to the race.
AT: Thank you very much, appreciate it, take care, have a good morning Brad.