Law Firm Lodges Challenge for Spar Virtual

As the entry deadline draws near, BLC Attorneys have placed on record an official challenge to the Eastern Cape corporate world to throw its weight behind the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge on September 4.

The Gqeberha lawyers have a long association with the Women’s Challenge and director Laurika von Alleman said they would again be out in force to support the event, even in its virtual form.

Entries for the run, which will be held in six regions countrywide, have a strict deadline of August 15 and no latecomers will be accepted.

SPAR Eastern Cape are encouraging companies, schools and other organisations to join thousands of runners and walkers on the day.

“With just a few days before entries close, whatever role you play in society, we would love to have you on board,” said SPAR EC promotions and events manager Alan Stapleton.

“Whether it be on your own, with your family and friends, or challenging your staff, sports friends or colleagues, let’s use this opportunity to reunite and reignite that South African passion of togetherness.”

BLC Attorneys have embraced that call and Von Allemann said they challenged others “in the commercial space to also get involved”.

“We have been entering the challenge for at least 15 years, always running as a group and there is no reason why we shouldn’t do it in this virtual format.

“We have 17 participants at this stage and have an internal challenge on the go, but we also encourage other corporates to enter in numbers and to let us know how they do.”

Besides the camaraderie the day creates, Von Allemann said they were also aware of the significant impact the event made to society, with charity organisations benefitting from donations and sanitary pads being made available for schoolgirls around the region.

Stapleton confirmed the difference the run could make after three regional events in Tshwane, Johannesburg and the Lowveld combined last year to donate over 30 000 food parcels to survivors of gender-based violence and people living in challenging circumstances.

“This year we’re going even bigger, collaborating with six SPAR regions to create the country’s biggest virtual challenge to date,” he added.

“Our theme is #LiveLimitless as we plan to inspire women to answer the call to adventure, to aspire to their highest excitement and to live their best, limitless lives. With this theme there is an underlying universal message of coming together, supporting each other to shatter any glass ceilings, facing our fears and redefining our own limits.”

Through the #LiveLimitless theme and initiatives, he said there were several objectives:

“First is to help people less fortunate than ourselves. For every single person that enters, a pack of sanitary pads will be donated to help keep a girl in school. We also want to highlight the many great South Africans who have achieved extraordinary things and lived limitless lives, despite their circumstances, to inspire and uplift others. And we want to encourage all participants to #LiveLimitless, embrace optimism and positive perspectives and fulfil their best potential.”

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