SPAR Women's Challenge Celebrates 30 Years in Durban

SPAR Women’s Challenge Celebrates 30 Years in Durban

The oldest race in the SPAR Women’s Challenge series, the Durban race, turns 30 this year, and the organisers predict a fast and exciting race as part of the celebrations on Sunday 23 June.

The Durban Challenge takes place two weeks after South Africa’s most famous race, the Comrades Marathon, and many of the women who did well in the Comrades Marathon cut their road-running teeth on SPAR Challenge races. Gold medallists Jenna Challenor and Charne Bosman are both former SPAR Challenge winners, while Comrades winner Gerda Steyn finished second in the Joburg race last year, after entering as part of her training for marathons.

There will once again be a very strong field for Sunday’s race at King’s Park. Namibian Helalia Johannes (Nedbank), who already won the Port Elizabeth and Cape Town races this year, both in record time, will be attempting to make it three in a row. Meanwhile, the talented Ethiopian junior Tadu Nare (Nedbank), who finished second in Port Elizabeth and third in Cape Town, will also be running on Sunday.

Among the top South Africans competing are 2017 Grand Prix winner Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts) and three-times Grand Prix winner Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank). Last year’s podium finishers, Betha Chikanga (Maxed Elite), Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) and Nolene Conrad (Murray & Roberts) are also expected to compete on Sunday.

The elite runners are expected to put up fast times. In Cape Town, the first 11 were all under the 2018 winning time, while the first seven in Port Elizabeth beat the previous year’s winning time. This trend is expected to continue in Durban.

“Durban is traditionally the fastest race of the series,” said SPAR Grand Prix coordinator Ian Laxton. “It depends on the weather, of course, but I expect a lot of runners to earn bonus points for finishing in less than last year’s winning time.” Laxton adds that he also expects top South African runners such as Molotsane and Van Zyl to make a strong push to get on the podium.

IMAGES: Reg Caldecott

Most Memorable Comrades

Most Memorable Comrades

The 2019 Comrades Marathon will be remembered for many reasons, but the two standout performances of the year were undoubtedly those of men’s winner Edward Mothibi and women’s winner Gerda Steyn. – BY SEAN FALCONER

Winning the Comrades Marathon is considered the pinnacle of achievement in South African road running, and adding that title to your name opens the door to fame, media attention, sponsorships, endorsements and more. However, the way that Edward Mothibi and Gerda Steyn won the Comrades titles in 2019 went a step further, and their performances in the Up Run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg will long live in the memory.

After an eventful men’s race that featured several changes of the lead and then an exciting breakaway group of five contenders, it eventually came down to Mothibi, who finished fourth last year in his debut Comrades, going head-to-head with three-time winner and double defending champ Bongmusa Mthembu as they hit the final ‘Big Five’ climb on Polly Shortts. With most people following the race expecting Mthembu to once again use his strength on the hills to pull clear, it looked like things would go according to script as he opened a small gap on the challenger, but instead it was Mothibi who threw in a surge of his own and made the decisive move on the notoriously steep hill.

The old adage once again proved true, that the first runner to crest the top of Polly’s with 8km to go will go on to win the race. By the top, Mothibi had pulled 20 seconds clear of Mthembu, and he then powered his way to the finish at the Scottsville Race Track in Pietermaritzburg to claim the win in 5:31:33. Mthembu finished 25 seconds adrift in 5:31:58, with World 100km record holder Nao Kazami of Japan taking third in 5:39:16 in his debut Comrades.

After the race, Mothibi said that he had dug deep into his reserves of strength to overcome Mthembu up Polly’s, but that he had actually surprised himself by winning: “I didn’t plan to win; I just wanted a gold medal! I gave it all. I just pushed harder.” For his part, a gracious Mthembu conceded that the better man on the day won, and he added, “I could see Edward had a plan… everything I did he could respond to.”

Other notable finishers in the men’s race included Justin Chesire coming home sixth to become the first Kenyan to win a Comrades gold medal, and Zimbabwean Marko Mambo finishing eighth and first veteran. Also, in a heartbreaking finale, Nkosikhona Mhlakwana made a late surge to overtake Gordon Lesetedi and Siya Mqambeli to go into ninth position with just a hundred metres to go, only to stumble and falter, then watch helplessly as the last gold medal eluded him. Further back in the field, 1995 winner Shaun Meiklejohn finished his 30th Comrades in 6:56:16, while the two leading Comrades medallists of all time, Barry Holland and Louis Massyn, achieved their 47th consecutive medals in 10:29:42 and 11:51:52 respectively.

Majestic Gerda
The early leader in the women’s race was 2017 Down Run winner Ann Ashworth, who was on pace to run a 6:03 and smash Elena Nurgalieva’s Up Run record of 6:09:24, but it was Gerda Steyn who took control of the race just before the 30km mark, then flew up Botha’s Hill and further extending her lead to just under two minutes over Ashworth by the halfway mark in Drummond. For the rest of the race she serenely extended her lead, never looking troubled, and reached the finish in an incredible 5:58:53, smiling, waving and even doing a jig on the line.

Steyn had won the Two Oceans Marathon for a second time just seven weeks before the Comrades, where she missed Frith van der Merwe’s course record by just 53 seconds after deciding not to push too hard and thus save her legs for the Comrades. It didn’t look like the 56km Cape ultra had any adverse effect on her Comrades performance, however, as she became the first woman ever to complete the Up Run in less than six hours. Reminiscent of Van der Merwe’s incredible winning run in 1991, when she finished 15th overall in the Comrades field, Steyn came home 17th overall, winning by a margin of nearly 19 minutes over second-placed Alexandra Morozova of Russia (6:17:40), who was also second in 2017 and third last year. Third place went to debutant Caitriona Jennings of Ireland in 6:24:12, with Ashworth taking fourth in 6:27:15.

Steyn’s performance earned her a cool R1.2 million in prize money – R500,000 for first place, and incentives of R500,000 for a new course record and R200,000 as first South African finisher. Her winning time is the fourth-fastest ever run by a woman in the Comrades (although the three faster times were all on the Down Run), and she is just the fourth woman ever to win the Two Oceans and Comrades in the same year, after Van der Merwe (1989), Elena Nurgalieva (2004 and 2012) and Caroline Wöstmann (2015). After the race, Steyn said, “It is a dream come true! Many years of hard work came together today. It’s a real blessing… it’s the biggest achievement I can ask for.”

New, improved routes designed by local cyclists for this year’s Knysna Cycle Tour

New, improved routes designed by local cyclists for this year’s Knysna Cycle Tour

This year the organisers of the Knysna Cycle Tour have announced new, improved routes for their biggest events, the 104km road race as well as the 30 and 50km Mountain Bike races.

Route Manager Andrew Finn said that there is an exciting new route for the longer road race, which is now a 104 km ride. Says Finn: “The route will take riders on a thrilling, scenic adventure through one of the most picturesque sections of the Garden Route, revealing stunning views of ocean and beach, mountains and pristine forest along the way.

“Leaving and returning to Knysna along the N2, cyclists will experience the Knysna Lagoon then, after the first big climb up Kytersnek they will turn off to Buffalo Bay with all its beautiful views of the sea en route to what is arguably the best beach and surfing spot in the Knysna area. Then, after another stretch along the N2, there will be some great climbs through natural forests and farmlands on the way up to Barrington.

“The most interesting addition to this race is a brief 2,1 km gravel pass along the Seven Passes Road between Barrington and Karatara. From Karatara, it’s fast downhill all the way back to the N2.”

The tour’s MTB routes have been designed and are being maintained by a group of keen local cyclists led by Stuart Lightley, Greg Penrith and David Correia who volunteer their time and promote the beautiful tracks available in Knysna’s backyard at every opportunity.

Lightley explains: “I was asked to contribute to a route redesign for the 30 and 50 km MTB routes and to incorporate more single track, making the routes more fun and technically challenging. The idea with both the mountain and road events is to show off some of the areas where the Knysna locals ride.

“I’ve been riding mountain bikes and exploring the Knysna forests for almost 30 years and know the forest quite well. I enjoy the more technical type of riding, and actively help and encourage others to improve their technical skills. With this in mind, I have built tens of kilometers of single track, mostly in the Concordia Contours Trails area, to the north of Knysna, near Simola. We have selected a number of these trails for the mountain bike events.”

Says Finn: “The end result is that this year, for the first time, our 50 km and 30 km MTB events will take participants along routes created by locals. After the climb up the Simola hill, both routes will use single track sections designed and built by these local track designers and builders which will add a new dimension to both events.

“Our official route managers, Corne Botha and Pat October from Jakhals Events in Oudtshoorn will oversee safety, the marshals, and all signage on these routes amongst other things.”

The MTB races have all had exciting single track added to the first sections of the route, including a lap of the stunning Oakhill School purpose-designed track, the Life of Brian single track link to Narnia Village, the Knysna Montessori single track to the drop-off onto the Salt River farm track, and the iconic SANParks single-track Petrus Se Brand through to Harkerville.

Once back at the finish on the Knysna High School sports field there’ll be plenty of entertainment for the whole family and time for cyclists to relax with food from local food stalls, listen to some music and enjoy a beer or two.

Online entries for the Knysna Cycle Tour races close on 14 June. For more information and to enter go to the website:

Fast Pace Expected in Cape Town SPAR Women's 10km Challenge

Fast Pace Expected in Cape Town SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge

There will be a very strong field of runners in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town on Sunday.


Since the SPAR Grand Prix was opened to international as well as South African runners, a number of African runners have started competing in the SPAR 10km Challenge series, which is run at six cities around the country.

Nedbank Running Club manager Nick Bester has confirmed that Namibian runner Helalia Johannes, who won the Port Elizabeth Challenge earlier this month, will be running in Cape Town, as will Tadu Teshome Nare of Ethiopia, who came second in Port Elizabeth.

Another Nedbank runner, Irvette van Zyl, is in good form at the moment. She finished fifth, behind a group of East African runners, in the FNB OneRun 12km race in Cape Town on Sunday, in 39.22 minutes. Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts) was seventh, in 40.45 minutes.Bester said he expected Van Zyl to do well on Sunday.

“She still had the Two Oceans ultra marathon in her legs when she came fifth in Port Elizabeth. But she has recovered from that and I think she will do well.” SPAR Grand Prix coordinator Ian Laxton has predicted a fast race on Sunday. “In Port Elizabeth, the first 11 runners finished in under 35 minutes, and the first six runners all earned bonus points for running faster than the winning time last year,” said Laxton.

“If you think Port Elizabeth was fast, wait for Cape Town. The course is more sheltered than in Port Elizabeth and if the weather is good, I think we can see times around 31, 32 minutes.”

“I also think more runners will earn bonus points in Cape Town. The race has been moved from Bellville to Green Point and I think that will make a difference – it is flatter.”

Other runners who can be expected to put up a good showing are last year’s Grand Prix winner, Glenrose Xaba of Boxer, Betha Chikanga and Caroline Mhandu of Maxed Elite Zimbabwe and Jenet Mbhele of Umzimkulu Striders.

More than 20 000 runners are expected to take part in the 10km SPAR Women’s Challenge and the 5km Fun Run. The 10km Run will start at 7am and the 10km Walk 15 minutes later. The Fun Run starts at 7.40am.

Gauteng Night Run sets Sandton alight

Gauteng Night Run sets Sandton alight

The inaugural Gauteng Night Run was certainly one to be proud of for organisers and athletes alike as the Sandton streets played host to runners from far and wide.

Thursday 16 May at 19h30 saw the Gauteng Provincial Government host the 8km fun run as they kicked off Africa’s greatest sporting festival: The Arnold Classic Africa. Starting and ending at Crawford College Sandton the event was initiated in order to help citizens be involved in regular exercise and help them to lead a heathy lifestyle.

The shotgun start, fired courtesy of the Honorable Faith Mazibuko: MEC Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation saw all walks of life try their hand with the immediate uphill grind through the school before hitting the roads to make up for any early lost ground.

Mr Ivor Hoff, Chief Director: Sport & Recreation – Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture & Recreation was delighted with the race; “It was wonderful to see so many people celebrate life and enjoy the Sandton streets, sky-scrapers and fresh Autumn evening. Our objective was to offer an event and route that would challenge the serious athlete yet welcome the fun runner as we endeavour to promote healthy living, great friendships and celebrating our cities. Thank you and congratulations to everyone who took part this evening: See you at the 2020 start line.”

Event organiser Danny Blumberg of DB Events said the event ran smoothly and that the event will continue to flourish in future years; “From the talk on the finish line the runners thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. They were welcomed home by friends and families; music; fresh food and flashing lights. We cannot wait to host this fantastic initiative again next year: well done to all involved!”

1. Charles Tjiane (Maxed Elite): 28:21
2. Madala Moshiane: 28:37
3. Honest Alfas (Old Mutual Athletics Club): 29:49

1. Mapaseka Makhanya : 36:18
2. Mlumi Tsolekile (Old Mutual Athletics Club): 39:52
3. Roxanne Zone (FFA): 41:33

2019 Soweto Marathon in association with Old Mutual: Entries open tomorrow!

The 26th edition of the Soweto Marathon will officially open their entries tomorrow, Wednesday 1 May 2019. Proudly in association with Old Mutual, the over-subscribed race has increased their entry capacity to a most impressive 40 000 runners come Sunday 3 November 2019.

“Every year we find ourselves dealing with disappointed runners as we sell out, which is why we’ve increased our capacity, opened entries early and promise to raise the standard higher than ever,” says Soweto Marathon Chairman Sello Khunou. “The popular route’s remain unchanged as the Soweto Marathon Trust will once again host runners in the 42km, 21km and 10km distances. This year we call on everyone to Lace Up: Conquer your hard.”

To participate in the people’s race, a movement greater than yourself, enter at before entries sell out.

Race Director Danny Blumberg encourages athletes to enter early come 1 May 2019; “Entries close on 31 July 2019 if not before should we sell out. This iconic event is an absolute must for every South African as with an unchanged route to 2018, we will once again honour Soweto’s rich history with the marathon athlete’s passing eight significant heritage sites.

Soweto Marathon Trust (SMT) would like to thank Old Mutual, the Gauteng Provincial Government, City of Joburg, among others, for their contributions and participation.

Event details:

Date:                Sunday 3 November 2019

Venue:              Start & Finish: Stadium Avenue, FNB Stadium, Nasrec, JHB.

Start times:       The standard marathon (42.2 km): 06:00; The half marathon (21.1 km): 06:30; 10 km run: 07:00.


The route honours Soweto’s rich history and runners pass eight significant heritage sites on the marathon route, namely the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Walter Sisulu Square, the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Credo Mutwa Cultural Village, Morris Isaacson High School & June 16 Memorial Acre, Vilakazi Street and the Hector Pieterson Memorial.  The organisers and sponsors of the race, Soweto Marathon Trust and Old Mutual respectively, once again promise runners and all participants a fantastic, fun-filled experience.

Energy-saving Rocks!

It’s not often I liken a running shoe to a rocking chair, but that’s such a great way to explain the new Asics MetaRide, which is designed to help you run longer by helping you save energy. – BY SEAN FALCONER

I’ve said this before, and I will likely say it many times yet in my career as a running journo, but when a shoe brand sends me a new model to review accompanied by a media release that starts with something along the lines of “Brand X is redefining running,” I tend to be a bit sceptical. That’s because I’ve been receiving releases like that for nearly 20 years now… and no doubt will continue to receive them until I retire.

That said, I was rather intrigued by the latest arrival from Asics, which read, “Asics today turned the world of running on its head as it revealed a completely new concept in run efficiency, Metaride. One of Asics’ most important innovations in seven decades, and as part of Asics’ ambition to help all runners to win the long run, the shoe was designed with one purpose in mind, to make running longer distances easier.”

My first thought was, I hope this new shoe lives up to the claims of the media release, because I’ve heard this kind of thing before… but when I looked inside the shoe box, I could immediately see what the people at Asics mean. The new Metaride model is certainly eye-catching – and I’m not just talking about the black, red and gold colourway, although I would like to mention here that these shoes hit the spot with me in terms of looks! No, it was the clearly rounded, built up outer sole that immediately caught my eye, and I knew I was indeed looking at something different here.

Saving Energy
Asics says this new technology has been two years in the making at its Institute of Sport Science in Japan, and they believe they have found a way to minimise ankle movement and thus save you 19% of energy expenditure when running. For those not so good with the maths, that’s one-fifth of your energy expenditure, which would really make a difference when running longer distances, as we are rather fond of doing here in South Africa.

It boils down to the science behind shifting your body weight forward, from landing to toe-off, and that’s where the curved GuideSole comes into play. Basically, it’s designed to rock you up onto your forefoot easier and quicker, using less energy to do so. Think of a rocking chair, with its curved rockers. This shoe mimics that… although the Japanese designers say it was actually inspired by a rolling wheel, but i prefer my rocking chair analogy.

The shoe’s midsole is built out of three layers to create this ‘rocker’ sole. The one level of midsole rubber is FlyteFoam Lyte, for cushioning and structure, while the other layer is made from FlyteFoam Propel, which gives you extra rebound in the toe-off phase. This combination has already featured in other recent Asics models, such as the Kayano and Cumulus. Thirdly, there is a visible Rearfoot Gel insert to add extra cushioning when your foot strikes the ground. That gives the shoe the traditional squishy landing that so many runners love about Asics models.

Stacked Midsole
The midsole has a 30mm stack height, and a zero drop from heel to toe. Whereas most running shoes have a higher stack in the heel and drop a few millimetres down to the forefoot, this shoe does not drop. Instead, it has a prominent upward curve in the forefoot that simulates a drop as you pivot forwards, but without putting you in an unnatural toes-down position in the first place.

The midsole feels most substantial behind the ball of your foot – you notice it when you first put them on, but you soon get used to it. The whole point here is to place your centre of gravity towards the back of the shoe, thus helping your foot swing through each stride quickly and easily. This is because instead of pushing you on to the forefoot instantly, as most running shoes try to do, this design makes you sit on your haunches a split second longer, then slingshots you forwards instead of dropping you forwards. That’s about the best way to describe the concept.

The shoe is thus rather firm – much more so than normal running shoes – and you will not be able to bend it with your hands, as you often see runners doing when looking at a new shoe. This goes against many of the design trends of recent years, with most shoes featuring more or deeper flex grooves in the forefoot to increase flexibility and allow a more natural toe-off, with the foot given freedom to flex more. In contrast, this shoe provides a more rigid rocker motion to help rock you forwards, instead of making your muscles do all of that work alone.

Putting it to the Test
I took the MetaRide for a few runs at different paces, both slow and fast, and I definitely noticed the rocker kicking in as I transitioned forwards on to my toes. I rather enjoyed the ‘helping hand’ I was getting, but I did find that the rigidity of the shoes took some getting used to, given that most of the other models I have run in for the past few years have tended to have super-flexing forefeet. As a result, when I tried to go faster in the shoes, in a time trial type of run, then I really noticed – and appreciated – the rocker motion, and to be honest, I preferred them at speed versus the long, slow stuff, purely because I am used to super-flexing lightweight models. That’s a personal preference, not an indication of the merits of this shoe.

I am therefore of the opinion that you need to put some serious mileage in with these shoes to really feel the effect of the energy-saving rocker motion, when your feet and leg muscles are tired. As I am not running those kinds of distances at the moment, I cannot tell you if the shoe delivers on that promise, but the good folks at Asics report that their wear-testers have indeed reported this to be the case.

These shoes are admittedly pricey at R3500 a pair, but if they can save you 20% of your energy expenditure over the long run, I’d say they’re worth the investment. I mean, just imagine getting to the last third of Comrades or Two Oceans, and having 20% more energy than usual. Now that would be something!

GET IT HERE: The new Asics MetaRide sells at a recommended retail price of R3500, and is available in limited quantities from ASICS retail and online stores and specialist run outlets from 28th February. Stockists: ASICS Canal Walk & Mall of Africa, Sportsmans Warehouse, The Athletes Foot, RUN, Run-Away-Sport, The Sweat Shop, TotalSports and Brian Bands Sports.

Call Yourself a Marathoner?

The marathon is a challenge, a huge physical hurdle to get over, no matter who you are or what your level of running ability, but it seems not everybody gets that… Some ‘experts’ think you need to run fast times if you want to call yourself a marathoner. I think they’re missing the point. – BY WESLEY GABRIELS

As I enter the week leading up to my Comrades Marathon qualifier, I have had to listen to yet another version of a babbling buffoon’s rendition of the “mediocrity of the modern marathon runner,” written and composed by a critically acclaimed author of ‘’you shouldn’t get a medal for just finishing.’’ It’s okay… I don’t expect you to get it. After all, the beauty of marathon running lies in the triumph of the human spirit. As a species, there is an inherent beauty in our failings… but you may have missed that.

Cases in Point
Winelands Marathon 2015… a young man finished his first marathon in a time of 4:38. Nothing remarkable there, right, except that he had only started running six weeks earlier, just two weeks after fighting for his life in a hospital bed. He would go on to do the Two Oceans and Comrades ultra-marathons six months later.

Comrades Marathon 2016… a young lady found herself in trouble and unable to continue when a fellow runner pulled up alongside to support her and help her get to the finish. As they approached the finish line with seconds to go before cut-off, he noticed another runner unable to get to the finish line, so he told her to continue without him, so that he could go help the runner behind them. That gentleman sacrificed his race to help two complete strangers, and when the gun sounded for the final cut-off, he and his fallen comrade were mere metres short of the finish line.

Getting back to the acclaimed author, by your standards that helpful runner had achieved nothing, but to two complete strangers he was the proverbial angel… and they would all return the following year to finish the race together. Again, probably not that remarkable to you, is it?

I could also mention Peter Taylor, who runs all his marathons and ultras barefoot in order to raise funds for guide dogs, or amputee Xolani Luvuno, who completed last year’s 91km Comrades Marathon on crutches and in a time that made it look like I was standing still… but that won’t matter to you, because if you don’t get it by now, then you never will.

A Very Select Club
There is no such thing as a mediocre marathon runner. Marathon running is a discipline that only 1% of the world’s population is capable of doing, and it requires an unnatural skill-set. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter whether you run it in three hours or seven hours, at some point your body will tell you that you can’t take another step… but you will your very soul to keep putting one foot in front of the other until it’s done, and somehow you keep moving forward!

The marathon distance is such an enigma that the only thing guaranteed is the pain, so we train ourselves to not only be comfortable with the discomfort, but the pain actually fuels us. We go willingly into the darkness to face the monster, and then we take its damn soul!

In a country desperate to conquer racial and economic divides, marathon race day erases these lines effortlessly at the sound of the starter’s gun, albeit just for a few hours, but that mutual struggle of the marathon distance puts us all on truly equal footing.

The Real Deal
I can only pray that you are one day lucky enough to experience what it’s like to experience a marathon the way we do, mr acclaimed author, and I can only hope that the experience teaches you a touch of humility, as it has done for the rest of us. It may even change your life.

I am privileged to be able to call myself a marathon runner, and I have the world of respect for anyone who attempts it, no matter what their finishing time is, or even if they miss the final cut-off. I have been lucky enough to have been part of both the front and back of the pack on marathon day, so I’ve seen both worlds, but as the saying goes, a marathon is like a mullet hairstyle… the party is in the back!

About the Author
Wesley is a Cape Town-based ultra-marathon runner and member of Celtic Harriers, who also plays and coaches cricket.

IMAGES: Chanel Webber Adonis, Moegsien Ebrahim, Jetline Action Photo & courtesy Two Oceans Marathon

It’s so Easy to WIN a Trip to the Great Wall of China Marathon!

Is running the Great Wall Marathon on your bucket list? Well we have good news for you, Huawei is running a stunning competition for a trip for two to the Great Wall Marathon in China on 18 May.

This wonderful prize is sponsored by Huawei Technologies South Africa, to celebrate its devices being Discovery Vitality approved. It’s a tough marathon, make no mistake, but just being able to take in all that history, and those views, will make every step worth it! 

The winners will receive:

• Roundtrip flights for two – Including airport taxes.

• Transfers from airport/hotel/airport.

• Travel Insurance.

• VISA assistance and payment for VISA’s.

• Sightseeing in Beijing and surrounds.

• Evening Celebration Party after the race.

• Lunches and dinners not specified above.

Now the important part, how do you enter? It's simple, CLICK THIS LINK!

 But if you still need help we have you covered, check out our infographic below which shows you step by step how to enter! If you own a Huawei Device or are a Discovery Vitality member you earn yourself a bonus entry! 

WIN a Trip to the Great Wall of China Marathon!

Ni hao! That's hello in Mandarin, which you will need to know if you win Huawei’s stunning competition for a trip for two to the Great Wall Marathon in China on 18 May.

This wonderful prize is sponsored by Huawei Technologies South Africa, to celebrate its devices being Discovery Vitality approved. It’s a tough marathon, make no mistake, but just being able to take in all that history, and those views, will make every step worth it!

The winners will receive:
• Roundtrip flights for two – Including airport taxes.
• Transfers from airport/hotel/airport.
• Travel Insurance.
• VISA assistance and payment for VISA’s.
• Sightseeing in Beijing and surrounds.
• Evening Celebration Party after the race.
• Lunches and dinners not specified above.


The estimated value of this competition is R180,000! There will be one winner chosen at random, and the winner will get to select a running buddy of their choice to compete and go on the trip with them. The winners will be announced on social media on 8 April 2019 and a ceremony for the prize handover will be held on a date agreed by all parties.

Trip itinerary:
• 15 May 2019: Explore Beijing – Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and more.
• 16 May 2019: Great Wall Marathon Route Inspection.
• 17 May 2019: Cloisonné Factory and Ming Tombs.
• 18 May 2019: Race day.
• 19 May 2019: Beijing excursion option and Evening Celebration Party.
• 20 May 2019: Farewell Beijing.


The T’s and C’s: Steps to participate and judging criteria
1. Entry into the competition is open to all South African residents above the age of 18 years and with a valid South African passport.
2. The organisers of the competition reserve the right to substitute the prizes for an alternative prize of equal or greater value should the prizes promoted not be available due to unforeseen circumstances.
3. The prizes are not exchangeable for cash, and will not be transferable or negotiable.
4. To enter, You must complete one of the following race distances in these qualifying times:
• 21.1km 2h 24m 59sec
• 42.2km 4h 49m 59sec
• 56km 6h 45m 59sec
5. Runners need to enter the competition via the website using the link
6. All entrants’ details need to be uploaded in order to qualify for entry. Details required: Name, surname, contact cellphone number, email address, vitality number, Huawei wearable device serial number and screen shot of the race that was successfully completed.
7. If you successfully complete a race according to requirements (qualifying time) you will be awarded one entry to the Great Wall Marathon competition.
8. If you successfully complete a race according to requirements and are a Discovery Vitality member you will be awarded an additional entry to the Great Wall Marathon competition.
9. If you successful complete a race according to requirements, are a Discovery Vitality member and own a Huawei wearable device you will be awarded another entry to the Great Wall Marathon competition.
10. Winners will be chosen via random draw on 5 April 2019
11. Within 3 (three) days from the date of the random draw, the Competition Winner will be contacted by Huawei via email or cellphone. The Competition Winner will then be requested to provide information to verify that he/she is a qualifying person for the prize. Should Huawei be unable to contact the Competition Winner within five business days, or should the Competition Winner refuse to provide the personal information, or should the Competition Winner not be a qualifying person, then Huawei will select another winner and restart the process.