Bree Street Taxi Rank at 6 am
The Tyrone Harriers city runs are becoming world-famous! Runners are travelling halfway across the globe to experience a Johannesburg city route with a bunch of crazies who chose the dodge taxis and trash.
The Park Station route is a classic. Landmarks include the Constitutional Court, the concourse at Park Station, City Hall, Bank City, Ernest Oppenheimer Park, Bree Street Taxi Rank, Nelson Mandela Bridge, and Westcliff Stairs
This morning, we had several overseas runners and many local first-timers who were excited to visit the city’s darkest corners.
These are not places that the people of suburbia tend to frequent. As a group of runners dressed in bright clothing and headlamps, we attract a fair amount of attention as we storm through areas that are not usually associated with road runners.
The section through Park Station concourse is especially exciting. We explode through the side door into the bright lights and run across the slick, tiled floors to shouts and whistles from train commuters. Most of the people stare at us like we are aliens.
On the south side of Park Station, Joubert Street leads down to Ernest Oppenheimer Park, a small inner-city green square behind the historic Rissik Street Post Office. Look out for the Impala sculpture, originally part of the Leaping Impalas outside the old Anglo-American offices on Main Street.
The run moves quickly past City Hall and onto the undercover walkways surrounding FNB’s Bank City. After that, the next pitstop is Bree Street Taxi Rank. Since Bree Street is no longer, the new name should probably be Lilian Ngoyi Taxi Rank.
On the south side of Bree Steet Taxi Rank is Jabulani Market. We find our way through an obscure doorway that leads us down a market alleyway where traders are setting up their stores for the day. On occasion, we have had to find our way in the pitch dark, thanks to load shedding. Note to self, headlamp required.
The back door of the market leads into the multi-level parkade that is the taxi rank. Chaos doesn’t begin to describe the scene. Commuters and taxis everywhere. The smell of carbon monoxide hangs in the enclosed space. As we make our way down to the lower level and navigate our way around parked and moving vehicles, the shouts from taxi drivers echo aloud. It is as if we have invaded their space and their shouts are their instinctive defence. “Run Mlungu, run”. I’m sure there’s a movie title in that.
Why do we run here? The simple answer is because we can, and the experience is invigorating and far removed from running the quiet streets around Zoo Lake. In many respects, we are tourists who are passing through. Just like you might visit Times Square in New York, we visit the landmarks in Johannesburg.
Calling all courageous runners, join us for a magical mystery tour of our beautiful city. Come across to the dark side; it is fun over here.