Spring is here, which means it is time for the women of Johannesburg to take to the roads to prepare for the SPAR Women’s 10 kilometre Challenge at the Wanderers Sporting Club on Sunday 11 October.
The 10 kilometre Challenge and the five kilometre Fun Run have become an important part of the Johannesburg’s social running calendar, with thousands of women of all ages, and from all walks of life, taking part.
While Johannesburg cannot boast sparkling sea views, the Sonja Laxton-designed course winds its way through some of the City of Gold’s most beautiful suburbs. The 10 kilometre route takes the runners along Corlett Drive and Oxford Road as far as Riviera Road in Killarney, before zig-zagging back through some of Joburg’s leafiest suburbs. The five kilometre route meanders through the plush suburbs of Illovo, Melrose, Birdhaven and Atholl-Oaklands, giving runners and walkers a chance to peek at some of the most beautiful gardens in Johannesburg.
As always, there are some wonderful prizes on offer, in addition to the substantial cash prizes for the top 10 runners. There is a lucky draw for a SPAR voucher worth R15 000, the very popular Bring-a-Buddy competition, generous offers of computers and equipment for schools with the most entries, but the most exciting of all is that one lucky runner will win a brand new Suzuki Celerio motor car. But everyone is a winner on the day, with medals and goodie bags for the first 15 000 to cross the finish line. The first 15 000 to pre-register for the race will also receive a free race t-shirt.
“Our Women’s Challenge race is very important to us,” said SPAR South Rand marketing director Martin Webber. “We love our elite runners who are vying for Grand Prix points, and making sure that our races are truly competitive, but we believe the most important part of the races are the thousands of women of Joburg who take part just for fun.Women do the bulk of shopping at our stores, and we are very happy to be able to say thank you to them by providing them with a really enjoyable day out.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and proceeds from the Joburg Challenge will go to support awareness of cancers affecting women. Many women who have conquered breast cancer take part in the race every year, proudly sporting their pink ribbons.
The Joburg Challenge will be the final leg of the national five race SPAR Grand Prix series. Already this year races have been run in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Pretoria and the fight is on for the top season ending spot which will be finalized after the race in October.
Leading the Grand Prix is Lebogang Phalula who with a solid Joburg finish should walk away with the R150 000 top prize. However with a bunch of athletes challenging for second place on the Grand Prix leaderboard, nothing is guaranteed until after the Joburg race making the Joburg SPAR Women’s Challenge a race to watch.
There are just a few weeks before the race, but there’s still plenty of time to prepare for it. So jump out of bed, put on your training shoes, and get ready to take part in Joburg’s celebration of Spring.