August 24, 2017  

SPAR Grand Prix set for fitting finale at the Joburg Women’s Challenge in October Johannesburg, South Africa

The SPAR Women’s Joburg Challenge has a new home.  The 10km race and the 5km Fun Run have grown so large that they have moved from the Wanderers Club in Illovo to the more spacious Marks Park in Emmarentia.  The races start at 8am on Sunday October 8.

The 10km Challenge twists and turns through the leafy suburbs of Emmarentia and Greenside, passing some beautiful homes, pretty gardens and well-known schools.  Part of the race is a steady climb past the Parkview Golf Course, which celebrated its centenary last year. The race ends back at Marks Park.

“It’s a very pretty course, going past some iconic landmarks, and along some beautiful avenues with big trees,” said race ambassador and three-times winner of the SPAR Grand Prix Rene Kalmer.

“The first five kilometres is relatively flat, but there are a lot of twists and turns.  Then there is quite a stiff climb past the Parkview Golf Course, up to the eight kilometre mark, and then there are some undulations to the finish.  I think the race will be decided in the second half, which is quite challenging.

“It is going to be absolutely lovely in October, with the jacarandas in full bloom and lots of trees providing shade.  I think the social runners are really going to enjoy it,” she said.

The 5km Fun Run also starts at Marks Park, taking the runners past the beautiful Emmarentia Dam and the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens.

 With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, it is only fitting that the designated charity associated with the race is Reach for Recovery, a voluntary support group for women with breast cancer.  The partnership goes  many   years, and the women from Reach for Recovery have become an important part of the race, wearing their distinctive pink t-shirts and spreading the word that cancer is not necessarily a death sentence.

“This is the 26th SPAR race in Johannesburg, and we are very excited that it has grown so big that we have had to move to a new venue, ” said SPAR South Rand Marketing Director Martin Webber.

“The race is one of our flagship sponsorships and we are pleased that it is the last race in the Grand Prix series, as this gives the race a competitive edge and attracts the top runners.

“But the SPAR races are not just about the top runners.  We are hoping for about 16 000 entries and the vast majority of those women will be taking part for the fun of it.  We know that many women get the running bug after taking part in a SPAR race, and we are so happy that we are making a contribution to their health and welfare,” said Webber.

Gauteng Central Athletics (CGA) James Moloi agreed that many women, young and old, took up running or walking after taking part in a 10km race or a 5km Fun Run.

“These races have produced many of our top runners, and we are also delighted that so many women are taking part.  We wish them all a happy day on October 8 and hope that many of them will continue running or walking after this race,” said Moloi.

“CGA salutes SPAR for what they do for the women of South Africa.”

Entry forms for the race are available at selected SPAR stores which you can locate on where you can also enter on line.