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Witsies rediscover campus during fun run

- Wits University

The Lenn Smith Fun Run/Walk cultivates camaraderie and reconnects scores of Witsies to the beautiful Wits landscape.

Witsies at the 2023 Lenn Smith Fun Race/Walk

Open to all Wits staff and postgraduate students, this much-loved event took place on Friday, 8 September during the annual Staff Fun Day following a week of staff wellness activities.

The race started outside Olives and Plates on West Campus where participants set off on the Wits 5km Parkrun course. This is not an easy course as it goes up the steep hills on the West Campus, heads towards Sturrock Park the home of Wits Sport Administration before meandering around the serene Gavin Reilly Greens where the famous Wits Champion Tree proudly stands. Thereafter the route goes up towards the School of Law, past the Counselling and Careers Development Unit before runners and strollers get relief on the downhill by the Wits Plus Centre for Part-Time Studies and residences, before reaching the finish line.

The atmosphere was filled with energy as Witsies moved around campus supported by colleagues cheering from the sidelines.

“This event is for both runners and walkers and has always had participation as its focus. This is the spirit in which the event has been hosted since 1986,” says Neil Coville, Professor Emeritus in the School of Chemistry and a member of the organising committee.

East meets West Campus as Sikhumbuzo Maisela and Motsheoa Ntje tackle the course together

The spirit of camaraderie was evident as lecturer Sikhumbuzo Maisela from the School of Business Sciences at West Campus and Motsheoa Ntje, a general worker from East Campus, tackled the course hand-in-hand.

Typically, 80% of the participants are walkers while the serious runners compete for personal and Departmental team prizes. Founder of this historic event and retired staff member, Lenn Smith who will be 100-years in October, was present to hand prizes to top finishers. Read more about the history of this social event.

After sweating it out around campus participants proceeded to join in the festivities of the Staff Fun Day where hundreds had gathered for a day of fun which included a range of physical activities, dance competitions, indigenous games with lots of spot prizes on offer.

View the top 100 finishers for 2023 and past winner.

 2023 Top 3 and Top Team Results





Neil Stacey

Chemical and Metallurgy


Nkhetheni Ratshihule



Willy Chabalala

Chemical and Metallurgy


CHMT Men’s team: Neil Stacey, Willy Chabalala and David Nkhoesa





Hlogi Mphahlele



Memory Zimuwandeyi



Sarah Wright



Chemistry Women’s Team:

Hlogi Mphahlele, Memory Zimuwandeyi and Sarah Wright