Mikaela Jonsson

Time To Rock!


The Hyundai Rock The Run is back on Sunday 1 March 2015 and it’s bigger and better than before. Modern Athlete chatted to Pascalle Gerrard, Assistant Marketing Manager at Hyundai, about the event’s appeal and what makes it a fun day out for all.

What makes the 2015 edition different?

We learnt a lot from last year’s first introduction. With the 21km and 10km, we were limiting the whole family taking part so we have introduced a 5km this year so the kids can get involved, too. It’s about everyone enjoying themselves. The route has also changed up a bit as we were limited to playing music in the suburbs last year. Now, the route goes along a more industrial part of Sandton.

What was the initial idea behind the event? Have you noticed a trend in the SA market for events that promote fitness in an alternative way?

Hyundai wants to create an iconic and unique event to Jo’burg – one that appeals to the masses. We want everyone to come out, challenge themselves and have fun. We wanted to have an event focused on our love for music, especially local musicians. As a brand, Hyundai is very innovative and we want to be involved in anything that separates us from the crowd. It’s a new way to keep active and it was very popular in 2014 because we created a whole day from it with the music element.

For your competitive runners, your site hosts expert training advice and programmes and there are great incentives for category winners – is it also about turning the event into a must-do for some of the country’s top athletes?

We actually hope to make the event a benchmark for the top runners in South Africa. We want to see the event being used by top runners to prepare for their season. Our main focus is that we are giving people a chance to run in the heart of Sandton and also experience local acts that are so diverse. And their entry fee is all part of the rest of the day’s festivities.

Speaking of, the music line-up for 2015 also brings about a variety for every type of music fan in Matthew Mole, Mango Groove and Micasa – was the music and supporting local acts the initial idea behind the planning?

All the acts appeal to a broad audience. Runners can come with family and friends. It’s a chance to keep active, the route is challenging enough in itself and then you can stay around for all the entertainment and have some food and refreshments. The artists were also very excited about getting involved in the day!

The Sports Trust and the IMPERIAL Road Safety are the event’s charities – can you explain the relationship & why it was chosen? How can competitors get involved?

Imperial Road Safety is an important relationship for us because at Hyundai our main focus is on road safety for our customer so it definitely fits well with us. A portion of the runner’s entry fee will be given to them as well as The Sports Trust which ensures that all South Africans have an opportunity to partake in sport. We’ve been involved in sport for many years, across so many fields so it was an easy decision for us.

What are your goals for this race on the SA running calendar in the future?

We want to solidify the race on the South African running calendar – one that caters for family and one for the pros. We want to make it an annual event that becomes well-known and established. As we go through, we will improve on the experience and give runners the best experience we can.