RENE KALMER IS IDEAL AMBASSADOR FOR SPAR CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Rene Kalmer has been running in SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge races for more than half her life.
She has also been winning Challenge races for many years, notching up her first win at the tender age of 14. In fact, Kalmer has won more SPAR races than anyone else. She has also won the SPAR Grand Prix three times – in 2007, 2009 and 2012, and finished in the top 10 for the first 10 years of the Grand Prix’s existence.

SPAR Women’s Challenge ambassador Rene Kalmer getting ready for a SPAR race at the SPAR Women’s Challenge Pietermaritzburg last month.
Photo credit : Reg Caldecott


So Rene Kalmer is an ideal ambassador for the SPAR Challenge – a position she has held since 2016, when she was out of action because of a long-standing injury and her pregnancy.
“I am very proud to be an ambassador for the SPAR races,” said Kalmer.
“The SPAR races have been part of my life for so long and now that I am a working mom, I feel even closer to the thousands of women who take part,” she said.
“The races are so important. Many women get the running bug after taking part in a SPAR race, and women only races are always great. There is always a great atmosphere and it is specially good for the winner, who is the first person to cross the finish line.”

Kalmer said she was determined to finish in the top 10 in the Johannesburg Challenge at Marks Park on October 7.
“The Johannesburg race has always been my favourite, because of the great vibe and because I am totally committed to the charity associated with it, which is Reach for Recovery, a support group for women with breast cancer.

“The route from Marks Park is very pretty and it is quite challenging. It is relatively flat for the first five kilometres, with lots of twists and turns, and then a steep climb past the Parkhurst golf course.”
Kalmer has been giving back to the race that has been so much a part of her life by mentoring about 20 runners from Vorentoe Hoerskool in Auckland Park.
“I am really enjoying my interaction with these girls,” said Kalmer.

“I have enjoyed watching them develop and gain confidence and we have had a lot of fun together. We had so many when we went to the Pretoria Challenge that I had to call on my husband for help so that we could transport everyone. “Afterwards, we all went for a burger and everyone was able to share their experiences and I was able to bond with them. Most of them are boarders, so running helps them to get away from school for a while.”
Ends


IRVETTE WINS THIRD SPAR GRAND PRIX TITLE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) made short work of snapping up the 2016 SPAR Grand Prix with a magnificent victory in the final SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge series race in Joburg on Sunday.

SPAR Grand Prix 2016 title winner Irvette Van Zyl at the SPAR Women’s Race Joburg at the Wanderers Sporting Club on Sunday the 9th October 2016 celebrating after crossing the finish line.

Photo Credit : Reg Caldecott


Van Zyl dominated the SPAR Grand Prix throughout the year. She won the first three races, in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, where her record time earned her 10 valuable bonus points. But a foot injury prevented her from competing in the Pretoria race in August, and it appeared that the Grand Prix might not come her way after all.
“I was determined to come back and earn enough points in the final race to win the Grand Prix and make up for my horrible Olympic Marathon disappointment,” she said.
Van Zyl‘s foot injury forced her to withdraw from the Marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“I so badly wanted to do well in the Marathon to make up for my Olympic Games disappointment in London, when I had to drop out of the race before the finish because of an injury. So now I have two massive Olympic Games disappointments and I was determined to win the Grand Prix as some form of compensation for those disappointments,” said Van Zyl.
Although she could have won the Grand Prix with a place in the top five in the race, Van Zyl left nothing to chance. She surged to the front right at the start of the race and finished nearly a minute ahead of second-placed Mapaseka Makhanya and earned bonus points for a record time.
Van Zyl finished the year with a total of 100 points. She will pocket R160 000.
Second place went to last year’s winner, Lebogang Phalula, who had 79 points. She will receive R53 000. Christine Kalmer, who finished nine points behind Phalula, finished in third place and will receive R32 000. Two points behind her was Phalula’s twin sister, Diana-Lebo, who receives R27 000. Makhanya, who is returning from injury, finished in fifth place with 61 points.
The SPAR Grand Prix celebrated its 10th anniversary this year by matching promising young runners up with former Grand Prix winners, who acted as mentors to the juniors. The mentorship programme proved worthwhile, as the first three in the junior category, were all in the programme. Simonay Weitsz, who was mentored by Makhanya, was top, with 35 points. She also finished in 10th position in the open category, with 33 points. Van Zyl’s protégée, Nicole van der Merwe was second, with 21 points, and Ashleigh Simonis, who missed two of the races, was third with 19 points. Simonis has Lebogang Phalula as her mentor.
In the club competition, the Phalulas’ club, Boxer, finished first, with 365 points. KPMG were second, with 328 and Nedbank were third, with 158 points.
Grand Prix coordinator Ian Laxton thanked the elite runners for making the effort to run in as many of the races as they could.
“This competition is without doubt the premier road running competition in South Africa for women, for both the mass of social runners and walkers as well as the professional elite group,” said Laxton.
“It is clear from a glance at the leader-board that our top athletes, virtually without fail, did their best to run as many races as possible, notwithstanding big international opportunities including World Championships in Cross-Country, European track and road races and, of course, the Rio Olympics. Where our regular elite athletes did not run, generally this was because they were injured,” said Laxton.


STORMING VAN ZYL WINS SPAR 10KM CHALLENGE AND GRAND PRIX

Johannesburg, South Africa - A determined Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) led from start to finish in the Joburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Sporting Club to win in 34.58 minutes. At the same time she made sure of winning the 2016 SPAR Grand Prix for the third time.

The top three finishers in the 2016 SPAR Women’s Joburg 10km Challenge held on Sunday 9 October from left 3rd position Rutendo Nyahhora (Nedbank) 35:00, winner Irvette Van Zyl (Nedbank) 34:58 and 2nd position Mapaseka Makhanya (Olifantsfontein) 35:46

Irvette Van Zyl (Nedbank) crosses the finish line of the 2016 SPAR Women’s Joburg Challenge, winning the 10km race in 34:58. In winning the race on Sunday at The Wanderers Sporting Club, Van Zyl captured the 2016 SPAR Grand Prix title.

Picture credit: Reg Caldecott


Mapaseka Makhanya (Olifantsfontein) came from nowhere to claim second place in 35.46 minutes, ahead of Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank), who finished in 36 minutes.
Van Zyl, who had to withdraw from the Olympic Marathon in Rio in August because of a stress fracture in her foot, set the pace from the start and opened up a 40 second gap before the first kilometer mark. Van Zyl won the first three races, in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, but was unable to run in Pretoria because of her injury.
“I knew what I had to do to win the Grand Prix. I got into the lead on the first uphill and decided that I was going to run my own race. If the others wanted to catch me, it was up to them,” said an elated Van Zyl.
“I’m so happy to have won and I am so glad it’s over – I have had nightmares about this race for about four weeks.
“I really wanted to win, to make up for my Olympic Games disappointment. I had planned to use the Olympic Games to compensate for my previous Olympic disappointment, when I had to drop out of the race in London, so I really need something good to happen.
“I think possibly I went out too fast and I forgot about one or two hills, so I struggled a bit in the last two kilometer’s, but I kept thinking about my little boy and my husband LJ, and was so happy when I got to the finish line and they were waiting for me,” she said.
With Van Zyl in command throughout the race, the real battle was for second place. Nyahora and last year’s winner Lebogang Phalula ran together for the first seven kilometers, with the lead changing hands frequently, before Makhanya surged ahead to claim second spot.
“I have been battling with injury for some time, and it was good to be running pain free,” said Makhanya.
“I am very strong mentally and I am very patient, and I used my patience today to surge at the right time. This 10km race is part of my training for the Shanghai Marathon at the end of October, and I am feeling very good,” she said.
“I was strong on the hills and that is what helped me.”
Nyahora said she was very happy to be on the podium and delighted to see her teammate Irvette van Zyl back in form.
“The SPAR race is always very important to me,” said Nyahora.
“Lebogang and I were challenging each other, but I think what helped me was that I was stronger on the hills. I am grateful to her, because she helped me push myself because I was determined I was going to beat her.”
Phalula, who ran her first marathon three weeks ago, dropped off the pace about midway through the race, and finished in sixth position, behind Glenrose Xaba and the Botswana runner, Onneile Dintwe. Phalula’s twin sister, Diana-Lebo, finished eighth.
A record entry of 14 562 women took part in Sunday’s race.


STILL TIME TO ENTER THE SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLNGE

Johannesburg South Africa - Time is running out – it’s just days before the SPAR Women’s Challenge, Joburg’s most beautiful road race at the Wanderers Club in Illovo on Sunday – but if you haven’t entered yet, don’t despair.

(From left) SPAR Women’s Race Joburg patron Mel du Bois, Kass Naidoo, SPAR South Rands Marketing Director Martin Webb,SPAR Women’s Race Joburg patron Rene Kalmer,Lebo Phalula,Ruthendo Nyahora and Kristine Kalmer all dropping a pair for charity at the official Media launch of the SPAR Women’s Challenge Joburg 2016 held at the Southern Sun in Hyde Park in Johannesburg.

Photo Credit : Reg Caldecott


Late entries will be accepted at registration at the Wanderers from Thursday to Saturday 09h00 to 16h00.
Join more than 12 000 women who will be having a fabulous day on Sunday, weaving their way through the leafy suburbs of Illovo, Melrose and Killarney.
The dynamic girl group, Blackbyrd, will provide entertainment after the race. The SAMA-award winning Cape Town group will keep your fingers snapping and your toes tapping with their unique blend of pop and country music, singing songs of love and heartbreak. Most of their songs are written by lead singer Tarryn Lamb.
Their hits include “All for Me,” “I feel good today” and “From the bottom of my heart.”
The SPAR women’s Challenge offers a wonderful outing for the family, with a Kiddies Corner, where mothers can leave their youngsters in safe hands while taking part in the race.
Prizes galore are on offer, including a brand new Suzuki Montana motorcar and a week for four at the luxury Crystal Springs resort in Mpumalanga. Other prizes include SPAR vouchers worth R15 000.
You can help others at the same time. Proceeds from the race go to Reach for Recovery, a non-profit support group for women with breast cancer.
A new initiative at the SPAR race is the Drop off a Pair and Show you Care campaign. Many disadvantaged children cannot afford shoes and have to run barefoot. People taking part in the Challenge or the 5km Fun Run can drop off an old pair of shoes when they collect their race numbers. The style and size don’t’ matter, but it is important that the shoes are in good condition.
If you drop off a pair of shoes, you stand a chance of winning one of five pairs of New Balance running shoes, one of five R1000 SPAR vouchers or one of five hair vouchers from TANAZ in Sandton.
So what’s stopping you from taking part? If you are daunted by the prospect of running 10kms, remember that walkers are welcome. There is also a 5km Fun Run, where you can meet and greet thousands of women from the City of Gold.
So put on those shoes and get to the Wanderers Club on Sunday for a day of fun in the sun.


LEBOGANG PHALULA WINS JOHANNESBURG RACE TO CLINCH GRAND PRIX TITLE

Johannesburg, South Africa- A year ago, Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) announced her intention to win the 2015 SPAR Grand Prix title.
On Sunday, she accomplished this when she won the Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Club in 35.08 minutes, to add to her victory in Durban, and her podium finishes in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.

The top 3 finishers of the SPAR Women’s 10km Joburg challenge pictured from left Rutendo Nyahora (2nd: 35:49), Lebogang Phalula (1st 35:08) and Diana-Lebo Phalula (3rd 36:22) the race run at the Wanderers Sporting Club on Sunday was the final of five SPAR Challenge races making up the 2015 SPAR Grand Prix.

Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott


Phalula and Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) broke away from the pack almost immediately, and continued to draw away from the rest of the field as the race went on. At four kilometres, Phalula passed Nyahora and went into the lead. Nyahora finished second in 35.49 minutes.

Phalula’s twin sister and defending Grand Prix titleholder, Diana-Lebo, (Boxer) was third, in 36.22 minutes, five seconds ahead of Keneilwe Sesing (Randmark).
“I was very focused for this race,” said Lebogang Phalula.

“I knew the others would push me but I just wanted to go for it. I was running with Rutendo at the beginning, but decided to push ahead from four kilometres.
“They have changed the route and I really liked the route today, so I was comfortable throughout the race.”

Lebogang said she was very grateful to the sponsors for the Challenge races, which provided a great motivation for road runners.
“I also want to thank my sister, because she pushed me to get up and train, when I just wanted to stay in bed.”
Zimbabwean Nyahora said she was very happy with her performance.

“I have had a very good year, and I am very proud that I finished in the top three in all the SPAR races this year.”
Diana-Lebo, who was the first South African home in the Cape Town marathon three weeks ago, said her main ambition today had been to achieve a podium finish.
The Phalula sisters said their focus for the next year would be doing well in the 2016 Challenge series, but they have also set their sights on qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Lebogang is aiming to qualify for the 1500m, while Diana-Lebo said she still had to sit down with her coaching team and decide whether to focus on track running or try to qualify for the marathon.

Former Grand Prix winner Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank), who gave birth by caesarean section five weeks ago, surprised everyone, including herself, by finishing in 11th place.
“I only started running again this week, so I am very proud of myself,” she said.

“But next year, I am going to be going all out to start winning the Challenge races again, and I also want to qualify for the Olympic Games in the 1000m,” she said.
There was a record entry of 13,358 runners for the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run.


THE WAITING IS OVER

SPAR Women’s Joburg Challenge promises to be fun-filled winner
Johannesburg, South Africa- The waiting is over, and it’s all systems go for the 2015 SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run at the Wanderers Club on Sunday.

Lyle Anthony

Picture credits: Quartier Entertainment


We want you to really enjoy your day, so our advice is to get there early.
With 15 000 people taking part, parking will be at a premium. Secure paid parking will be available at Fairways Primary School in Irene Road, the Wanderers Rugby Club field adjacent to the Wanderers Stadium, the Wanderers Golf Course in Rudd Road, St Vincent’s School for the Deaf in Jellicoe Avenue and at 35 Kernick Road. Please note that NO parking is allowed at the James and Ethel Gray Park in Atholl Oaklands or at the RH Henderson Park in Birdhaven.
There will be road closures around the Wanderers with Corlett Drive from Rudd Road to Atholl Oaklands closed between 6am and 8.30. Various sections of Oxford Road, Riviera Road, River Street, Fifth Avenue, North Street and Venus Street will be closed from 5am to 11am.
Arnold Geerdts will once again be the MC at the start of the race. Arnie has done it for a number of years and knows exactly how to get people going as they wait for the start.
Very hot weather has been forecast for Sunday, so make sure your clothes are cool and comfortable, that you use plenty of sunblock and keep well hydrated by visiting the water points along the way.
There is plenty going on around the race to keep you entertained and happy throughout the morning. There is a free kiddies area, with jumping castles, colouring-in, an obstacle course, and SPAR characters. Although there are child minders, SPAR does not take responsibility for your children.
Entertainment will be provided by Coca Cola Popstar winner Lyle Anthony. The talented 25-year-old is always a popular draw, with his soft tones and massive range, and he is likely to be a hit with the thousands of women waiting for the prize giving at 10 o’clock.
There will be lucky draws for massive prizes, including a Nissan Micra and generous SPAR Vouchers, but remember, you have to be there to win one of these prizes. You won’t need to go hungry while you wait – food and drink vendors around the cricket field will see to that.
The designated charity for the race is Reach for Recovery, a support group for women with breast cancer. Reach for Recovery will have a stall at the venue, so show them your support by buying something there.
For the first time, participants will be able to recognise a friend or family member who has been affected by cancer by placing a message on one of the two Trees of Hope at the finish. The messages will later be posted on the race’s Facebook page.
So if you want to enjoy your day on Sunday, get there early, dress comfortably, drink lots of water and use lots of sunblock, but most of all – have fun!
You can still enter the race on Sunday by going to enter at the Wanderers Sporting Club on Saturday 10 October from 10h00 to 16h00 or at the crack of dawn on race day before 07h00.


NOT TOO LATE TO ENTER THE SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLENGE ON SUNDAY

Johannesburg, South Africa- Did you forget to enter the SPAR Women’s 10km race at the Wanderers Club on Sunday?
Have no fear – while pre-entries closed last week, you can still enter the 10km Challenge or the 5km Fun Run. Entries will be accepted at registration at the Wanderers on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and before the race on Sunday morning.

The is still time to enter Joburg’s most beautiful road race the SPAR Women’s Challenge. The challenge to be held on Sunday morning 11 October at The Wanderers Sporting Club will comprise of a 10km race and 5km fun run to enter. Collect your entry forms from your local SPAR Store and drop it off at the Wanderers Stadium between 10h00am and 16h00pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday 8 to 10 October 2015. Entry forms will also be available at the Wanderers. Pictured from left to right Featherbrooke KWIKSPAR are cashiers Lesego Moliki, Ofentse Mogale With Gerhard Naude (Store Manager).

Picture credits: BLD Communications.


The registration facilities will be open from 10am to 4pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 6 to 7.30am on Sunday morning.
The 10km Challenge is open to all females over the age of 15. Men wanting to take part must dress in drag, as the SPAR races are all about women.
The 5km Fun Run is open to females over the age of nine, and is an ideal opportunity for some mother and daughter special time together.
It has been very hot for the past few days, and Sunday is expected to be no different, with the temperature predicted to be in the high 20s, so it is important that you wear cool, comfortable clothing, a protective hat and are well armed with sunblock. There are water stations along the route and runners and walkers are advised to keep themselves well hydrated.


BE PART OF THE SPAR WOMEN”S JOBURG CHALLENGE AND SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER

South Africa, Johannesburg- The Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg, will be a hive of activity on Sunday October 11, when thousands of women gather for the annual SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run.

On Sunday morning 11 October at the Wanderers Sporting Club in Illovo, Joburg the SPAR Women’s Challenge will take place. Proceeds from the Challenge will go to Reach For Recovery, a support group for women with breast cancer, providing them with practical and emotional support. Pictured from left to right are Reach For Recovery survivors (Left) Fernando Lang, (Middle) Dorothy Lewis and Vicki Garbutt. Although online and pre entries have closed, you can still be part of the 10km or 5km Challenge by entering the race on 8, 9,10 October at The Wanderers Sporting Club between 09h00 and 16h00.

Picture Credit: BLD Communications


The women are flocking there for a morning of sunshine and fun, but there is a more serious side to the race as well. Proceeds from the Challenge will go to Reach For Recovery, a support group for women with breast cancer, providing them with practical and emotional support.
It is a sobering thought that about one in nine women in South Africa are likely to suffer breast cancer at some stage in their lives.
It is no respecter of boundaries, and affects women of all races and classes.
But the good news is that breast cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, and definitely no longer a death sentence. Treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, in involves either the removal the lump or a complete mastectomy.
It can be a traumatic experience, especially if the treatment involves a mastectomy, but that is where Reach for Recovery comes in.
All the counsellors are trained breast cancer survivors, who are able to understand the feelings of the newly-diagnosed patient.
The Reach for Recovery counsellors visit patients either at home or in hospital to talk to them and to provide them with support.
“We explain what is going to happen, and what they can expect,” said Beulah Jankelowitz, Chairperson of the Johannesburg branch.
“We also provide pretty floral bags for them to carry their drains, and very soft cushions to put under their arms so they can be more comfortable.
“While we can’t provide medical advice, we are also available to answer questions both during and after their treatment,” she said.
“We have all been there ourselves, so we know what they are going through.”
Many of the Reach for Recovery counsellors will be taking part on October 11. They can be recognised by their pink t-shirts and the sound of laughter that accompanies them.
For the first time, the organisers have introduced a Tree of Hope.
“So many people have been affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly,” said SPAR sponsorship manager Belinda Nel.
“We will make cards available for them to place on the tree, with a message for someone they know who has been touched by cancer of any kind. It is a way in which they can acknowledge those who have gone, or who are currently battling cancer.”
Although online and pre entries have closed, you can still be part of the 10km or 5km Challenge by entering the race on 8, 9,10 October at The Wanderers Sporting Club between 09h00 and 16h00.


HAVE A BALL AND HELP YOUR SCHOOL

Johannesburg, South Africa- Do you want to win some brownie points at school and have fun at the same time? It is all so easy – all you have to do is take part in the SPAR Women’s Challenge at The Wanderers Sporting Club in Illovo, Joburg on Sunday October 11 and you can help your school stand a chance of winning Mecer laptops and all in one printers.

There are two parts to the Challenge – you can either take part in the 10km Challenge or else you can opt for the 5km Fun Run and the great news is that walkers are welcome in both races. The school with the most finishers on race day will win the grand prize of a Mecer laptop with software and an all in one colour printer, copier, scanner and fax. Schools with the second and third highest number of finishers will each win a Mecer laptop with software; and the second place school taking away an all in one mono printer, copier, scanner and fax. Schools must have at least 20 entries to qualify for the prize.

That’s not all, there are some really great prizes on offer – the best is groceries for a year in the form of SPAR vouchers worth R15 000 – can you imagine your mother’s face if you come home with a prize like that.

Just think of the fun you can have while helping your school. You could organise a competition within a competition – why not try to see which class can get the most number of girls to take part, or you could have an inter-house competition – perhaps the winning class or house could be the ones to get first use of the computer?

The race itself is great fun – thousands of women out to enjoy themselves. You and your friends can catch up on some important talk time, with no-one telling you to keep quiet or walk in line! There is always great entertainment at the finish, and there’s a real party atmosphere.
The first 15 000 people to enter the race will receive a free race t-shirt at registration, and the first 15 000 to finish will receive a medal and a goodie bag. This year’s t-shirt are coloured a lovely pink that will look good on anyone, so it is well worth entering the race just for the t-shirt.

It is very important to get your school’s entries in before the closing date of September 26 – that’s next week! Only pre-entries will be considered for the laptop and printer prize and just as important, only pre-entries will receive the free t-shirt.


PHALULA SISTERS TRIUMPHANT IN JOBURG SPAR RACE

Johannesburg, South Africa - The Phalula twins had much to celebrate after the Johannesburg leg of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Club on Sunday.

Lebogang Phalula celebrates her win as she crosses the finish line first at the SPAR Women’s Challenge race in Johannesburg on Sunday, 12 October 2014.

Picture credit: Reg Caldecott

The top three SPAR Women’s Challenge winners at the Joburg leg. (L-R): Rutendo Nyahora (2nd); Lebogang Phalula (1st); and Mamorallo Tjoka (3rd).


Lebogang Phalula romped home in first place and her sister, Diana-Lebo, clinched the Grand Prix, after finishing in fifth position.
The twins went into the lead right from the start of the race, which was run on a cool overcast morning. For the first two kilometres, they ran in a bunch which included Rutendo Nyahora and Lesotho runner Mamorallo Tjoka.
Lebogang then moved ahead, and was never seriously challenged after that.
“I knew that I had to get well ahead, because Rutendo finishes strongly, “ she said.
Lebogang Phalula finished the race in 33.34 minutes, seven seconds ahead of Nyahora, who was closing in on her in the last kilometre.
“I just hung in there,” said Phalula, smiling.
“The weather was good for me today. I really struggle when it’s hot, so it was good that it was cool and overcast.”
She said her victory was very important to her.
“I tested positive for drugs in a Challenge race in Pretoria and was banned for six months,” she said.
“It was hard to come back into running after that, especially as the banned substance was given to me by my coach. Now I’m running clean and I want to prove to everyone that I am not a drug cheat. I am so happy to be running well again.”
Nyahora said she had decided to push hard from the six kilometre mark, although her legs were very tired.
“My aim was to win, but I couldn’t catch her. But next year …” she said.
Third home was Tjoka, in 34.43 minutes.
“I’ve been running these races for a long time, without really getting anywhere. But I’m preparing for the Soweto marathon, and I decided to test my speed today,” she said.
“I’m very pleased with the way I ran today and will push myself harder the next time I run the SPAR race.”
Irvette van Zyl, who won the Pretoria race in August, was fourth in 34.58, followed by Diana-Lebo Phalula, 35.21. Three times Grand Prix winner, Rene Kalmer, finished in sixth place, in 36.02, and last year’s Grand Prix winner, Mapaseka Makhanya was seventh in 36.27.
Diana-Lebo won the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth races in record time, but was then hampered by a hamstring injury. She said she was thrilled to have won the Grand Prix, for which she will receive a Nissan Micra.
“It’s the biggest prize I have ever won,” she said.
“It is a wonderful motivator. When you don’t feel like training, you think of that prize and it makes it easier to hit the road.”
The Phalula twins said they would both be using the Nissan Micra which Diana-Lebo will receive as winner of the Grand Prix.
“We’re twins, so we share whatever we have,” said Diana-Lebo. Her sister, however, said she had her sights set on winning her own car in 2015.
“Then we will each have a car,” she laughed.
Nearly 13 000 runners took part in the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run, with proceeds from the race going to breast cancer support group Reach for Recovery. They received a cheque for R 50 000.


WOMEN TO TAKE TO THE STREETS IN SPAR CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Johannesburg’s northern suburbs will resonate to the sound of thousands of pairs of feet on Sunday morning as more than 11 000 women take to the streets in the SPAR women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run at the Wanderers Club.

South Africa’s top women runners will all be there, battling it out to cross the finish line first, but the Challenge is about far more than the winners. It brings together women of all ages, shapes and sizes, and most of those taking part on Sunday are doing it for fun. Many of them will walk rather than run, and the sounds of laughter and chatter will echo round the leafy suburbs of Melrose, Illovo, Atholl-Oaklands and Killarney.

Some famous faces will also be taking part, including well-known television sports presenter Vaylen Kirtley, Morning Live’s Andile Masuku, who will be taking a break from telling us about the weather, and fans of ‘7de Laan’ will be delighted to be able to catch up with Melanie du Bois, better known as Felicity.

Other faces not as well-known are those of the women from Reach for Recovery, the Challenge’s designated charity. Reach for Recovery is a support group for women with breast cancer. Its members are all women who have been through the ordeal of breast cancer and are well placed to talk to women who are undergoing treatment. The Reach for Recovery runners are easily recognized by their pink t-shirts and the laughter that accompanies them wherever they go.

Although the Challenge is a women’s race, men are allowed to take part on the condition that they dress in drag.

Social media has become part of the fun of the SPAR Challenge and Fun Run, and the organizers are encouraging participants to enter the spirit of the occasion by tweeting photos and comments. The hashtags are #SparRaceJHB #SPARJozi

As always, there are wonderful prizes on offer, including a lucky draw for a Nissan Micra, the Bring-a-Buddy competition, where an entrant and her friend can win New Balance shoes, and the schools competition, where the school with the most entrants can win prizes from electronics giant Mustek.

Pre-entries for both races have closed, but late entries will be accepted at registration on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and before the race on Sunday. Both races start at 8am, and finish at the Wanderers Club.


SPAR GRAND PRIX SETTLED BUT THE RACE IS ON FOR FIRST PLACE

Johannesburg, South Africa - The Wanderers Club in Illovo is the place to be on Sunday, when South Africa’s top roadrunners vie for first place in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge.

Diana-Lebo Phalula despite finishing fourth in the Durban and Pretoria SPAR Women’s challenge in August, still remains top on the SPAR Grand Prix leader board. There is one SPAR women’s challenge race left for 2014 which counts towards the SPAR Grand Prix standings. The last leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge race takes place this Sunday, 12 October in Illovo, Johannesburg.

Three-times Grand Prix winner Rene Kalmer, who is second on the Grind Prix log with 66 points, just two points ahead of last year’s Grand Prix winner Mapaseka Makhanya. Kalmer finished ninth in the Berlin Marathon last month, in a personal best time of 2 hours 29.59 minutes. She has not had a win in this year’s SPAR Challenge races, and will be determined to change that in the last Challenge of the year.
Picture credit: Reg Caldecott


The Johannesburg race is the last of the five-race Challenge series, and the winner of the annual Grand Prix is virtually cut and dried. There is only the smallest technical possibility that Diana-Lebo Phalula will not emerge as winner of the Nissan Micra awarded to the runner with the most points from the five races.
She has a total of 94 points, after winning the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth races in record time, and finishing fourth in Durban and Pretoria.
Her nearest rival is three-times Grand Prix winner Rene Kalmer, who is 28 points behind, with 66 points, just two points ahead of last year’s Grand Prix winner, Mapaseka Makhanya.
Diana-Lebo’s twin sister, Lebogang, and two-times winner of the Grand Prix, Irvette van Zyl, are in joint fourth place on the log, with 57 points. Lebogang won the Durban race and Van Zyl was first across the line in Pretoria.
Although the outcome of the Grand Prix may be known, the top runners have all let it be known that they will be satisfied with nothing less than victory on Sunday.
They have all been in good form recently. Van Zyl followed her record-breaking win in Pretoria with victory in the Nelson Mandela Marathon the following day. She was unable to finish the Cape Town race because of an injury, but she has been running outstanding times and could be hard to beat on Sunday.
Kalmer finished ninth in the Berlin Marathon last month, in a personal best time of 2 hours 29.59 minutes. She has not had a win in this year’s Challenge races, and will be determined to change that in the last Challenge of the year.
The Phalula sisters have been running better than ever this year, and either of them is capable of winning the Johannesburg race. Diana-Lebo had a hamstring niggle in Durban and Pretoria, but should be back at her best for the Johannesburg race.
Other runners to look out for include Rutendo Nyahora, Rene’s sister Christine, Marelize Retief, Jenna Challenor and Thozama April, who will all be pushing for a place on the podium.
The evergreen Sonja Laxton will also be running. Last year, she completed her 80th SPAR race when she won the Grandmasters category in Johannesburg. A few weeks later she was struck by a car while training, and suffered multiple fractures. While there were those who thought she might never run again, Laxton had other ideas, and less than six months later, she ran in the Port Elizabeth Challenge, finishing in 57.12 minutes – a time that would put most women of her age to shame.

Late entries will be accepted at registration at the Wanderers on Thursday October 9, Friday October 10 and Saturday October 11, but only pre-entries are eligible for the free race t-shirt.


STILL TIME TO ENTER THE SPAR CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South Africa - After a short cold snap, warm weather appears to have arrived in Johannesburg to stay, which means it is time to get out there and enjoy our glorious climate.
The SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Club on Sunday October 12 provides an ideal opportunity to enjoy Johannesburg’s leafy suburbs at their very best. There is also a 5km Fun Run on the same day, and walkers are welcome in both races. In fact, the vast majority of people who enter the Challenge and the Fun Run are walkers, who make most of the opportunity to get some exercise, catch up with old friends and make new friends.
Johannesburg is looking lovely after the first rains, and the Sonja Laxton-designed routes give you an opportunity to enjoy peeping at some of the beautiful gardens in the plush suburbs of Melrose, Illovo, Atholl-Oaklands and Killarney.
But be warned – with two weeks to go before the race, the closing date for pre-entries is just around the corner.
The cut-off date for online entries has been extended to Tuesday September 30 and the cut-off date for entries at SPAR stores is Wednesday October 1.
Late entries will be accepted at registration at the Wanderers on Thurdsya October 9, Friday October 10 and Saturday October 11, but only pre-entries are eligible for the free race t-shirt.
So there’s no time to lose – get those entries in as soon as possible. Time is running out … tick, tick, tick.
Entry forms are available at all SPAR, Superspar and Kwikspar stores or online at www.spar.co.za / www.sparwomensrace.co.za.


ELITE RUNNERS GEAR UP FOR FINAL SPAR RACE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Elite runners are gearing up in preparation for the final leg of the SPAR women’s 10km Challenge series at the Wanderers Club on Sunday October 12th.

From L-R: Irvette van Zyl, Lebogang Phalula and Mapaseka Makhanya leading the field during the third leg of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge series, at Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead last month.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott


Barefoot runner Diana-Lebo Phalula, who is virtually assured of winning the SPAR Grand Prix, started training again earlier this week after a break to recover from a hamstring injury. She won the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth legs of the race in record time, and top four finishes in Durban and Pretoria earned her an almost unbeatable lead of 28 points over her nearest rival, Rene Kalmer.
Phalula’s twin sister, Lebogang, who won the Durban race and finished third in Pretoria, said that she was aiming to finish second on the Grand Prix log.
“Lebo can win the car this year, but I also need a car, and I’ll be aiming to win the car next year,” said Lebogang.
“In the meantime, I want to finish second on the log and win the R30 000 prize.”
Lebogang Phalula won the Cape Town Marathon 10km race on Sunday in 33.22 minutes, and she travels to the Netherlands later this week to run in a 10km race in Amsterdam.
“I’m quite happy with my form. I’m doing well, but I’m not happy with my times. I wanted to run 32 minutes, and I haven’t achieved that yet, but that is my aim for next year. And next year, I will be going all out to win the car in the SPAR Grand Prix.”
She is not the only runner who will be heading for Europe this week. Rene Kalmer is running the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, on what has been described as the world’s fastest marathon course. Kalmer has won the SPAR Grand Prix three times, and was the first runner to win the prize of a Nissan Micra.
Irvette van Zyl, who won the Pretoria Challenge in record time, has been in the form of her life recently, after recovering from serious injury. On August 9, she smashed her personal best by half a minute to win the Totalsports Women’s race in Stellenbosch in 32.20 minutes, equaling Zola Budd’s personal best for the third fastest time by a South African woman. Van Zyl followed up her victory in the Pretoria race by winning the Nelson Mandela Marathon near Pietermaritzburg in glorious fashion the very next day, finishing 19 minutes ahead of her nearest rival.
However, Van Zyl, who had been expected to shine in the Cape Town marathon last Sunday, had to drop out of the race because of a knee injury. It is not clear at this stage if she will be fit to run in the final Challenge race, but if she is fully fit, she could well challenge for second place on the Grand Prix log.
Another contender is last year’s winner, Mapaseka Makhanya, who has not been able to match the heights she achieved in 2013. But she has a strong competitive streak and can never be ruled out.


CALLING ALL SCHOOLGIRLS TO TAKE THE SPAR CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Calling all schoolgirls – SPAR and Mustek are offering you a chance to have a great day out and to do something important for your school at the same time.

The schools that have the highest number of entrants in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run at the Wanderers Club on Sunday October 12 will win computers with Win7 Starter software and School Image.
The school with the most entrants will also win a Brother Flatbed Print, Scan, Fax and Copy printer, and the school with the second highest number of entrants will win a Brother Mono Laser Scan, Copy, Print and Fax printer.
Computers and printers are valuable assets for any school, so learners who help their school to win these will certainly earn brownie points from the teaching and administrative staff.
But there is so much more on offer for learners who take part in Johannesburg’s most beautiful race. The energetic can run either the 10km Challenge or the 5km Fun run, but walkers are welcome in both races. What could be better than spending the morning with your best friends, catching up on the latest gossip and enjoying the fresh air and a look at some beautiful gardens in leafy suburbs like Illovo and Melrose?
Who knows – you might enjoy the day so much that you take up running seriously. Many of the top runners, like Rene Kalmer and Irvette van Zyl, started off running in races like the SPAR Women’s Challenge – they are now professionals who earn their living from the sport they love so much.
Once you have finished the race, there is action galore at the Wanderers, where popular singer-pianist Bongi Mthombeni will have you tapping your toes and clicking your fingers. There will be plenty of food stalls, and as usual, there are masses of fabulous prizes, including a lucky draw for a Nissan Micra and the Bring-a-Buddy prize of New Balance shoes for a lucky entrant and her friend. The first 15 000 pre-entries will receive a free race t-shirt on registration, and the first 15 000 finishers will receive a medal and a goodie bag.
To qualify for the prize, schools must submit all their entries at the same time, and only pre-entries will be eligible for the prizes. Pre-entries close on September 27, so it is time to get cracking and organize as many of your schoolmates as possible to enter the race. You have to be 15 to enter the 10km Challenge, but the Fun Run is open to girls over the age of nine, which means primary schools can also take part and stand the chance of winning one of these fabulous prizes.
Entry forms are available at all SPAR, SuperSpar and KwikSpar stores, or online at www.spar.co.za / www.sparwomensrace.co.za


ETHIOPIAN WINS SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLENGE

Wanderers, Johannesburg - Ethiopian Gezashigh Hunduma Gemeda, running in the Nedbank colours, romped to victory in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Sunday in a time of 33.49 minutes.

Ethiopian Gezashigh Hunduma Gemeda on route during the SPAR Women’s Challenge in Joburg on Sunday 13 October.

The top three (l-r): Rutendo Nyahora (placed third), Gezashigh Hunduma Gemeda (winner) and Rene Kalmer (placed second).
Pictures by: Reg Caldecott


South African half marathon champion Rene Kalmer (Nedbank) was second in 34.31, followed by Rutendo Nyahora, also Nedbank, in 35 minutes. Lebo-Diana Phalula (Maxed Elite) was fourth, in 35.37 minutes.

Running on the new route through some of Johannesburg’s leafy northern suburbs, Nyahora took the early lead, but the Ethiopian, who arrived in South Africa on Saturday, surged to the front after three kilometres, and retained her lead for the rest of the race.“It was a lovely race – I liked the route and I enjoyed the atmosphere,” said Gemeda.

Kalmer said she had an awesome race. “It feels good to be running injury free again, and I was feeling very good. I didn’t know what to expect from Gezashigh, because I haven’t run against her before, but I tried my very best and I am pleased with the way I ran,” she said. “I feel I am back in the swing of things, and I am looking forward to next year.” “It is slightly bittersweet to lose to a foreigner running in my own club colours, but it is always good to test yourself against world class runners,” said Kalmer.

Nyahora, who won the first two races in the 2013 Challenge Series, said she was happy to be back in the top three in the race. “I finished fourth in Pretoria, so it was nice to feel I was back again. Third place was a victory for me.”

The leader on the SPAR Grand Prix ladder, Mapaseka Makhanya, who won the Durban and Pretoria legs of the series, finished outside the top 10, but she had built up such a substantial lead that she will still receive the keys to the Nissan Micra presented to the overall Grand Prix winner. Irvette van Zyl, who was the only runner who could overtake her, was unable to run on Sunday because of a knee injury.

Nearly 11 thousand women took part in the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run, which meant the designated charity, Reach for Recovery, which is a support group for breast cancer patients, received a substantial cheque. Race organisers received positive feedback on the new route “there was one section after Killarney where we ran through a grove of trees, it was so beautiful. A great route”


DENIM IS BACK

Johannesburg, South Africa - There is great news for fans of the Afro-pop group Denim – the hugely popular group will once again be performing at the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Club on Sunday October 13.

Denim
Picture by: Quartier Entertainment


Denim, who are widely regarded as one of South Africa’s top live acts, provided the entertainment at the 2011 Challenge, and were such a hit that the organisers decided to invite them back to wow the crowds with their songs, including their massive hit “Crazy Love”.

The Denim lads are constantly on the move, touring South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Dubai, and they draw the crowds wherever they go. They have received numerous accolades, and have performed for blue chip companies including Microsoft, Edcon, Standard Bank, Nedbank, Sun International and SA Breweries.

Their music encompasses a wide range from cutting edge pop/dance music, a bit of hip hop and R & B, and some old school remixes – and you will experience many of these numbers if you take part in the SPAR Challenge.

Denim is a group that offers something for everyone, and that is what race day will be like as well. There is a kiddies corner, where runners can leave their children safe in the knowledge that the youngsters are being cared for by qualified child minders. There is plenty of entertainment for the small fry, with clowns, jumping castles, face painting and games.

For those who think they might be a little peckish after their run/walk, there will be plenty of food stalls selling a variety of foods and drinks.

There are plenty of reasons to stay on at the ground after completing the race – there are some awesome prizes, including a Lucky Draw for a brand new Nissan Micra. But you have to be there to claim a prize, so don’t rush off as soon as you’ve crossed the finishing line – relax, chill and have fun.

Remember, walkers are welcome, and if you don’t want to do 10kms, you can always enter the 5km Fun Run. Entry forms are available from all SPAR, KwikSPAR and SuperSPAR stores, or online at www.SPAR.co.za Entries close on October 4.


TAKE THE CHALLENGE AND FIGHT CANCER

Johannesburg, South Africa - Cancer is a scourge that appears to be on the rise.
The most common form among women is breast cancer, with about one in nine South African women likely to suffer the disease, which is no respecter of boundaries. Women of all races and all classes are susceptible.

Reach for Recovery’s Beulah Jankelowitz, accepts the handover cheques at the 2012 SPAR Joburg Challenge. Olympic Bronze Medalist Bridgitte Hartley assisted SPAR South Rand’s Managing Director Brett Botten with the handover.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott


But the good news is that caught early, breast cancer is one of the most treatable forms of the disease, and is far from a death sentence.
Among the warning signs are:
• A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea;
• A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast;
• A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle;
• A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple;
• A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed);
• Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple;
• An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast; and
• A marble-like hardened area under the skin.

Among the treatments for breast cancer are chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, which could involve either, removing only the lump or else a complete mastectomy. This is where the support group Reach for Recovery comes in. An international organisation, Reach for Recovery was started in South Africa in 1967, and there are 20 branches in South Africa.

Chairperson of the Johannesburg Branch, Beulah Jankelowitz, explains that Reach for Recovery is a support group for breast cancer patients, which provides emotional and physical support. All the counsellors are trained breast cancer survivors, who are able to understand the feelings of the newly-diagnosed patient.

“We are approached by doctors and often by the patients themselves, and when we hear someone is about to have surgery, we visit them either at home or in the hospital,” she says. “We explain what is going to happen, and what they can expect. We also provide pretty floral bags for them to carry their drains, and very soft cushions to put under their arms so they can be more comfortable. “While we can’t provide medical advice, we are also available to answer questions both during and after their treatment,” she said.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Reach for Recovery is once again the designated beneficiary for the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run at the Wanderers on Sunday October 13, with a portion of all entry fees going to the support group.

Many members of Reach for Recovery will be taking part in the Challenge and Fun Run, wearing their distinctive pink t-shirts. They also stand out because wherever they are, they are surrounded by laughter. They are an amazingly positive group of women who know all about the terror of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but they will also tell you how they came through it with the support of other women who had been there as well.

So do your bit to fight the scourge of cancer by taking part in the SPAR Joburg Challenge. The first 15 000 entrants will receive a free race t-shirt, and the first 15 000 to finish the race will receive a medal and a goodie bag … and perhaps you will be the one to win the lucky draw for a brand new Nissan Micra.


SCHOOLS CAN SCORE AT JOBURG SPAR CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South African - Schools are the nurseries for the development of sportsmen and women in various disciplines, and running is no exception.

Schools prize winners Atlholang Primary School at the 2012 edition of the Joburg SPAR Women’s Challenge, at Old Parktonians on 14 October.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott


Two of South Africa’s most prominent runners, Olympians Rene Kalmer and Irvette van Zyl are among the many who started their running careers at school; “I started running when I was at primary school, and I’ve been running ever since,” says Kalmer. She and Van Zyl also started taking part in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge races in their early teens, and both were still at school when they won their first Challenge races.

The Johannesburg SPAR Challenge race at the Wanderers Club on October 13 offers schools the opportunity to test their young runners and stand a chance of winning computer equipment worth thousands of rands. The top three schools will each receive a Mecer laptop with Win7 Starter software and School image.

The school with the most entrants will also win a Brother Flatbed Print, Scan, Fax and Copy printer, and the school with the second highest number of entrants will win a Brother Mono Laser Scan, Copy, Print and Fax printer.

Girls participating in the 10km Challenge must be 15 or older, but there is also a 5km Fun Run, which means the schools competition is open to primary schools as well. Although some girls may want to emulate runners like Kalmer and Van Zyl, and try for the top spot, walkers are welcome in both events, and many girls may prefer to walk the routes, chatting to their friends and catching up on the latest news.

Many schools use the Challenge to promote school unity and some organise competitions within the schools – house against house, or grade against grade.

There is also a role for boys at the school, who can support their female counterparts along the route, or go to the Wanderers Club to cheer them across the line, and share the fun of a superb day’s entertainment.

Entries for the schools competition should be submitted together, by September 28. Only entries of 20 or more pupils are eligible for the prizes, and at least 20 girls must complete one or other race.

As an added incentive, the first 15 000 pre-entries will receive a free T-shirt, and the first 15 000 to finish will be given a medal and a goodie-bag.


MAKHYANA DREAMING OF HER NEW CAR

Johannesburg, South Africa - Transnet’s Mapaseka “Speedsta” Makhanya is celebrating.
The 28-year-old runner won the Pretoria leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge series at Supersport Park on Saturday to ensure that, with one race to go, it is almost impossible for any other runner to overtake her and win the Nissan Micra that will be handed over to the winner of the 2013 SPAR Grand Prix.

A record breaking finish by Mapaseka Makhanya on Saturday 31 August, at Supersport Park.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott


Makhanya won the Pretoria race in a record time of 33:37 minutes to earn 30 Grand Prix points. She now has a total of 97 points – 29 ahead of her nearest rival, former Grand Prix winner Irvette van Zyl, who has 68 points. The only way for Van Zyl to overtake Makhanya would be if the Transnet runner missed the final race in Johannesburg on October 13, and Van Zyl won the maximum 30 points by winning the race at the Wanderers in a record time.

“I’m really excited about the thought of winning a car,” said a beaming Makhanya. “It really is something different and special. I can’t wait to collect the keys and drive away in my brand new motor car.”

The Kalmer sisters – Rene and Christine – are in joint third position, with 63 points. Last year’s Grand Prix winner Rene Kalmer has had a year plagued by injury and illness. She was unable to run the Port Elizabeth race because of an injury she sustained in the Boston Marathon on April 15. However, she appears to be on her way back to her best, finishing second to Makhanya on Saturday, also inside the record she set in 2011. “It’s been a hard year,” said Kalmer. “But I’m feeling good again and happy with my running. I’m back in the groove. I want to finish in the top three in the Grand Prix,” said Kalmer.

Van Zyl, who has also battled with injury since the London Marathon in April, was delighted to be back among the top Grand Prix contenders. “I’ve had a knee injury and a numb foot, but the knee is all right now, and I’m getting treatment for the foot. I was so happy to be able to complete the race on Saturday without stopping. My third place felt like a win, and it was such a bonus that I finished inside Rene’s record,” she said.

The Grand Prix runner-up will receive R30 000, and the third-placed runner will receive R17 500.


SPAR WOMEN’S 10 KM CHALLENGE HAS A NEW HOME

Johannesburg, South Africa – Joburg’s most beautiful road race; the SPAR Women’s Challenge, has moved to an exciting new venue.

(L-R) James Moloi President Central Gauteng Athletics, Mapaseka Makhanya SPAR Grand Prix leader, Martin Webber Marketing Director SPAR South Rand, Irvette Van Zyl Defending Champion of the SPAR Joburg Race, and Leon Swanepoel Race Director, all toast to the new improved SPAR Joburg Race. The launch took place at the Wanderers; the new race venue.

Top runners Mapaseka Makhanya and Irvette Van Zyl with their race numbers for the Joburg leg of the SPAR Womens Challenge, taking place on the 13th October 2013 at the Wanderers.
Pictures by: Reg Caldecott


After many years at Old Parktonians in Randburg, the race, which takes place on Sunday October 13, has moved to the elegant Wanderers Club in Illovo.

Created by long-time SPAR Challenge runner, Sonja Laxton; the 10km signature race route takes the runners along Corlett Drive and Oxford Road as far as Riviera Road in Killarney, before zigzagging back through some of Johannesburg’s leafiest suburbs.
The 5km route meanders through the plush suburbs of Illovo, Melrose, Birdhaven and Atholl-Oaklands, giving runners a chance of peeking at some of the most beautiful gardens in Johannesburg.

“They are lovely routes,” said the evergreen Sonja Laxton, who will be running her 80th SPAR Challenge race in October. “I do most of my training in this area, and I think all the runners will enjoy the new 10km route. It is not as challenging as the previous route. There are a few longish uphill drags, but generally it is quite a gentle route, and I think the layman runner will appreciate it. “You run past some beautiful gardens as well as the Killarney golf course and there are lots of trees. The jacarandas may be out by then, which makes it all even prettier.”

She said she was excited about running her 80th Challenge race. “I’ve always enjoyed the SPAR races,” she said. “Women’s races are a lot of fun. The winner has the satisfaction of being the first across the finishing line, instead of coming after a bunch of men, and there is always a very good vibe at the SPAR races. They really are something to look forward to. I plan my year’s training around the SPAR races,” she said.

“I think they have done a lot to get women involved in running. Women who might have been a bit wary of running in a mixed race feel more comfortable about running in a women only race.” She said the standard of running was also very high. “You get the cream of the crop running in the SPAR races. In fact, it is almost like five national championships spread across the country.”

The Johannesburg Challenge is the last of the five Challenge races that make up the SPAR Grand Prix, with the runner earning the most points from the five races winning a Nissan Micra. Mapaseka Makhanya has all about claimed the title, as she has been consistently climbing the leaderboard, and placed first in the Pretoria leg this past Saturday in a record-breaking time.
Apart from the new route, there have been some other exciting changes. For instance, you have a chance to win a Nissan Micra car, simply by taking part in the race. As runners complete the race, the lucky draw slip on their number will be torn off and automatically entered for the draw. Also, there are prizes worth about R200 000 to be won.

Schools with the most entries will win Mecer laptops and accessories donated by Mustek Electronics, and the very popular Bring-a-Friend competition offers runners the chance to win New Balance running shoes worth R1000. As always is the most important beneficiary of the race, Reach for Recovery, who will receive a portion of proceeds from the SPAR Joburg Challenge entries.

In addition, the first 15 000 entrants will each receive a New Balance SPAR Challenge t-shirt on registration, and the first 15 000 finishers will be given a medal and a goody bag.

Online entries opened on August 1 and close on September 27, but late entries will be accepted between October 10 and 13. Online entries are available at www.sparwomensrace.co.za


VAN ZYL ROMPS HOME

Johannesburg, South Africa - Irvette van Zyl (formerly Van Blerk) led from the start to win the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians in Randburg in 34.34 minutes on Sunday.

Irvette Van Zyl crossing the finish line at the Joburg leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge, at Old Parktonians on Sunday.

The top three runners at the Joburg leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge. From left: Diana-Lebo Phalula, Irvette Van Zyl; and Rutendo Nyahora.
Pictures by: Reg Caldecott


Van Zyl, who married fellow Olympian LJ van Zyl two weeks ago, said she had found the race quite hard going, so she was delighted with her first win of the 2012 Challenge season. “I decided that I was just going to run my own race,” she said. “I have just recovered from an Achilles tendon injury I picked up at the Olympic Games, so I was surprised when I went into the lead so early. I had planned to see where I was at the 5km mark, and then try to win it from there. But as it turned out, I was able to just keep running at my own pace and win.” She said she had been aiming for a 36 minute finish, so was very happy with her time.

“I’m getting bored with second place,” laughed Zimbabwean Rutendo Nyahora, who finished second in 35.34 minutes. She also came second in the Port Elizabeth, Durban and Pretoria races. “I ran two hard races last weekend, so my legs were very stiff today,” she said.
Diana-Lebo Phalula, who finished third in 35.43 minutes said she was pleased with her position in the race, because she was not in very good shape at the moment. She said she intended to turn her attention to track racing in 2013, and was preparing to run the steeplechase.

Van Zyl’s victory means she has finished second in the Grand Prix, behind Rene Kalmer, who won the first four Challenge races. Kalmer was forced to withdraw from the Johannesburg SPAR Women’s Challenge at the last minute because she was suffering from achilles tendinosis (micro tears).

“I came from fourth to second, so I’m very pleased about that,” said Van Zyl, who won the Grand Prix in 2010 and 2011.

Evergreen Sonja Laxton completed her 76th Challenge race in 46.23 minutes to win the Grandmasters category and Olympic bronze medalist Bridgitte Hartley was part of a celebrity relay team that completed the Challenge, along with Nicole Flint and Romy Titus.

The designated race charity, Reach for Recovery, was presented with a cheque for R50 000. Reach for Recovery is a support group for women with breast cancer. A record number of 12 306 runners took part in the race, on a cool, overcast morning.


KALMER AIMING FOR CLEAN SWEEP

Johannesburg, South Africa - The final SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge of the year will be run at Old Parktonians in Randburg on Sunday morning, and while Rene Kalmer may have won the Grand Prix already, she is determined to add the Johannesburg race to her list of victories.

Rene Kalmer crossing the finish line at the Pretoria leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge on August 25th.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott


Kalmer clinched the 2012 SPAR Grand Prix title in Pretoria in August, where she won in a record time. After the Pretoria race, Kalmer had an impressive 110 points, nearly double those of her nearest rival, Portia Ngwenya, who has 56.

If Kalmer wins on Sunday, she will become the first person to achieve a clean sweep of all five Challenge races around the country. “There is always something to run for,” said Kalmer. “At the beginning of the year, when I heard that this year’s Grand Prix prize was a Nissan Micra, I got very excited and made up my mind that I was going to win that car. Years ago, I was in a race where the first prize was a car, and since then, it has been my ambition to win a car. Now I have done that, my next goal is to win all five SPAR races in the same year. No-one has ever done it before, and I want to achieve that.”

Kalmer, who led the South African charge in the World half marathon in Kavarna, Bulgaria last weekend, finishing 16th overall, can expect some fierce opposition at the Johannesburg Challenge. Defending Grand Prix champion Irvette van Blerk, who recently married fellow Olympian LJ van Zyl, will be trying to recover lost ground and register her first Challenge victory of the year, while Kalmer’s sister Christine is beginning to show signs of rivalling her sister as a major force in road running in South Africa.

Others who will be vying for a top spot in the race on Sunday include Zimbabwean Rutendo Nyahoro, Cape Town runners Zintle Xiniwe, Portia Ngwenya and former SPAR Grand Prix winner Poppy Mlambo. Veteran runner Sonja Laxton, who has the Grandmaster’s Grand Prix title sewn up, will be running her 76th Challenge race.


OLYMPIC MEDALLIST TO RUN FOR HOPE IN SPAR WOMENS CHALLENGE RELAY

Johannesburg, South Africa - One of the enduring memories of the London Olympic Games was canoeist Bridgitte Hartley’s celebrations as she received her bronze medal for the women’s 500m sprint.

Pictures by:  Andrew McGibbon
Pictures by: Andrew McGibbon

“It really is an emotional occasion,” said Hartley. “This is what every athlete dreams of. It’s the most amazing thing that has happened in my life so far.” What most people remember about her medal ceremony is her smile that appeared to light up the sky. It was a smile that said that all the years of hard work and sacrifice had been worth it.

On Sunday October 14, Bridgitte Hartley will be one of a group of celebrities who will be running in the Torch of Hope relay in the Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians, as a means to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Other celebrities who will be running include former Miss South Africa Nicole Flint and Supersport presenter Romy Titus.

Hartley said she was excited about running in the Challenge, which attracts thousands of women from all walks of life, saying the presence of the celebrities would add sugar and spice to what was already a great event. She had a message of inspiration for the thousands who do not normally spend their weekends pounding the pavements. “I have a great quote from St Francis of Assissi,” she said. ‘Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’ “Always believe in yourself and believe that every challenge you are given in life can be conquered eventually,” she added

She urged the other runners to enjoy taking part in such a wonderful event, and said that though she was only scheduled to run two kilometres, she would definitely be running more.

While Hartley and the other celebrities will be taking part in the 10km race, there is also a 5km Fun Run for those who feel 10kms is too far, and as always, walkers are welcome in both races.

Entries are available on the morning of race day.
For more information about the race visit www.sparwomensrace.co.za


ALL WOMAN GROUP SET TO WOW SPAR CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS

Johannesburg, South Africa - The SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians in Randburg on October 14 is all about women – so it is only fitting that the entertainment for the day should come from an all-woman group.

The beautiful and talented ladies of BlackByrd.
From left: Tamsyn Maker, Samantha Heldsinger and Tarryn Lamb.
Picture by: Famous Concerts


BlackByrd – comprising Tarryn Lamb, Samantha Heldsinger and Tamsin Maker - are rapidly making waves in the South African pop music scene with their unique approach to adult contemporary music, particularly since Lamb started writing their songs. They have just released a 13track debut album, “Strong”. Only one track, country classic “Reason to Believe,” made famous by Rod Stewart, was not written by Lamb. The album also features their hit single “All for Me.”

Managed by music industry veteran Mike Fuller and produced by Mean Mr. Mustard’s Mark Beling, “Strong” is filled with real emotion and powerful lyrics. “Our overriding messages on “All For Me”, as with all the tracks on the album, are positive,” Lamb explains. “It’s all about not looking back, and focusing on what the future holds.”

Their messages blend perfectly with the SPAR Challenge, and also with the idea behind Reach for Recovery, the support group for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, which is the charity that will benefit from the Challenge.

But while they have strong messages, BlackByrd are also about having fun and providing great music. Women are particularly receptive to their positive message. “Our songs are all quite cathartic,” Heldsinger says. “It’s music that’s intended to make people happy.”

What could be better than listening to their kind of music after enjoying a morning in the company of thousands of women, pounding the pavements and making new friends while taking part in the Johannesburg leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge?

For those who feel 10kms is a bit too far, there is also a 5km Fun Run, and walkers are welcome in both events.

Entry forms are available from all SPAR, KWIKSPAR and SUPERSPAR stores, or online at www.spar.co.za or www.sparwomensrace.co.za


TAKE THE CHALLENGE AND BEHERO

Johannesburg, South Africa - The Paralympic Games in London last month introduced a host of new heroes, as people around the world thrilled to the exploits of athletes who had overcome mild to severe disabilities.

A few of the Reach for Recovery ladies posed for a picture at the launch of the Joburg SPAR Women’s Challenge on 4th September at Buitengeluk in Broadacres.
From left to right (back) Rachel Katz and Dorothy Lewis, (front) Beulah Jankelowitz and Gretha Tresiman from Reach for Recovery.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott


People like Ilse Hayes, Shireen Sapiro, Anrune Liebenberg, Dyan Buys and Charles Bouwer and many more joined the more familiar Natalie du Toit and Oscar Pistorius to become household names, as South Africa notched up 29 medals, including eight gold medals.

What people loved about the Paralympics was the indomitable spirit of the athletes, and their matter-of-fact attitude to sometimes almost insuperable problems. Others with this same attitude are the women from Reach for Recovery, a support group for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases facing women. It knows no boundaries and is no respecter of social status, wealth, physical fitness or education. Some of the best known breast cancer conquerors are Sibongile Khumalo, Sheryl Crow, Cynthia Nixon, Christina Applegate, Kylie Minogue, Melissa Etheridge and Martina Navratilova, who all put up a brave and public battle against the disease.

But breast cancer is no longer necessarily a death sentence. Early detection and treatment can ensure that the patient lives a long and healthy life after the initial diagnosis. Nevertheless, the words ‘you have breast cancer’ strike terror into any woman’s heart, and this is where the Reach for Recovery volunteers come in.

Every member of Reach for Recovery has gone through the ordeal herself, and is able to understand exactly what the new patient is going through. Volunteers from the support group visit patients in hospital before and after the surgery, to talk about what is about to happen and to provide counselling. Because they have been through it themselves, they are able to reassure the patient that there is life after surgery.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Reach for Recovery has once again been selected as the charity that will benefit from the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians on October 14. Many of the Reach for Recovery volunteers will be taking part in the SPAR Challenge, either doing the 10km Challenge or the 5km Fun Run. They can be identified by their pink t-shirts, but also because wherever they are, there is an atmosphere of fun and laughter.
They are an amazingly positive group of women who know all about the terror of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but they are also happy to talk about how they came through it with the support of other women who had been there as well.

So support Reach for Recovery by taking the Challenge, and show that you can also be a hero. Walkers are welcome in both races.

Entry forms are available from all SPAR, KKWIKSPAR and SUPERSPAR stores, or online at www.spar.co.za or www.sparwomensrace.co.za


WIN A COMPUTER FOR YOUR SCHOOL

Johannesburg, South Africa – In today’s modern world, computers are essential in schools. Not only for the day to day running of them, but for teaching children how to be prepared for life. No school can ever have too many computers, which are useful in so many ways.

Cindy Vorster from Mustek Technologies with pupils from Atlholang Primary School, the winners of last year’s school prize.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott


Now SPAR, Mecer and Brother are offering girls an opportunity to win computer equipment worth thousands of Rands for their school, while having fun at the same time.

The 21st Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge is taking place at Old Parktonians Club in Randburg on October 14, and the schools with the most entries will win laptop computers with Win7 Starter software and School Image.

The school with the most entrants will also win a Brother Flatbed Print, Scan, Fax and Copy printer, and the schools with the second highest number of entrants will win a Brother Mono Laser Scan, Copy, Print and Fax printer.

Entries must all be submitted together and entries for the schools competition close on September 28.

Girls taking part in the 10km Challenge must be 15 or over, but there is also a 5km Fun Run which is open to girls who are nine and over, which means primary schools also stand a chance of winning the computers. Some girls, inspired by the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games, may want to run, but walkers are welcome in both the 10km Challenge and the Fun Run. Many girls will welcome this as an opportunity to chat with their friends and catch up on the latest news.

Schools could add to the fun by having internal competitions – perhaps house against house, or grade against grade. The boys at the school also have a role to play – they can come along to Old Parktonians or line the streets to provide moral support for their schoolmates.

There is also a serious side to the day – a portion of the proceeds from both races will go to Reach for Recovery, which is a support group for women with breast cancer. All Reach for Recovery volunteers are breast cancer conquerors, so they are well aware of what newly diagnosed breast cancer patients are going through. They provide support, counselling and a shoulder to cry on.

And that’s not all! There are a number of fabulous prizes on offer, including New Balance shoes and for entrants over 18, the chance to win a brand new Nissan Micra. The first 12 000 pre-entrants will receive a free race t-shirt, and the first 12 000 across the line will receive a medal and a goody bag.


VAN BLERK TRIUMPHS AGAIN AT SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South Africa – Nedbank CGA’s Irvette van Blerk had plenty to celebrate on Sunday with her emphatic victory in the Spar Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians in Randburg.
Van Blerk also won the Durban and Pretoria legs of the race, after finishing second in Port Elizabeth and fourth in Cape Town, and her victory ensured that she was a clear winner of the R60 000 Spar Grand Prix.
Rutendo Nyahora of Nedbank AGN was second, followed by Gauteng Strider’s Lebogang Phalula.
Rene Kalmer, who kept pace with Van Blerk in the early stages, dropped out of the race because of an ITB injury. Kalmer has twice won the Grand Prix.
Van Blerk went into the lead from the start, and extended her lead as the race continued.
“I had a very good run, although it was a tough course,” said Van Blerk. “I decided to go hard – I knew that if I won the Grand Prix, but didn’t win the race, it would be an anti-climax. So I decided to go all out, and then if I didn’t win, I would know I have given it my best.”
“I thought that maybe the new course wasn’t as hilly as last year, but there was a big surprise waiting for me at 8kms.”
Van Blerk said she had not looked back during the race, although she was expected Kalmer, Nyahora or Phalula to catch up with her at some stage.
“So I just kept going hard, and they didn’t catch up,” she smiled.
Nyahora and Phalula ran together for much of the race, but Nyahora pulled away at the 7km mark.
“I really wanted to win this one, but I was determined to do as well as I could,” said Nyahora. “So although we had been running together, I decided I had to get away from Lebo.”
Van Blerk said she was overjoyed to win her second Grand Prix, but that her focus was now switching to the marathon.
“I want to qualify for the Olympic Games in London next year,” she said. “I think I’m the right age now, and I really enjoy half-marathons, so why shouldn’t I enjoy two back-to back half-marathons.”
She rejected suggestions that she should aim for the 10 000m at the Olympics.
“I’m a road runner,” she said. “I don’t like track – I find it very boring.”
There was a record entry of 10 534 runners, despite the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between South Africa and Australia being played at the same time. The Springbok loss did not dampen spirits on a glorious summer day and the Celebrity Relay, in which celebrities Poppy Ntshongwana, Vanessa Carreira, Romy Titus, Carol Manana and Nicole Flint, accompanied by members of the Spar national netball team took part, gave the race’s designated charity, Reach for Recovery, reason to celebrate by raising R40 000, in addition to the money Reach for Recovery receives from the proceeds of the race.


ALL SMILES ON RACE DAY

Pictures taken on race day of the SPAR Women’s Challenge at Old Parktonians Sports Club, on 9 October 2011.
Our lovely SA celebs holding the Torch of Hope before they set out on their relay. R40 000 was handed over to Reach for Recovery after the race.

In this picture; Nicole, Carol, Romy, Vanessa and Poppy.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott


SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Great news for fans of the trendy pop group Denim. After a four year wait, their new album “Crazy Love” is finally here … and even better news is that Denim will be performing live at the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians in Randburg on Sunday October 9.

Race Day entertainers ‘Denim’ at the launch of the SPAR Women’s Joburg Challenge. From left: SPAR Marketing Director Mark Robinson, Baldez Manye (Denim), SA runner Maxine Heine-Wacker and Bo Seritsane (Denim).
Picture by: Reg Caldecott

The guys from Denim, widely regarded as one of South Africa’s top live acts, believe this album is their very best, and that the four year wait has been worthwhile. “We love what we do, and we wanted to be sure we didn’t rush our inspiration and the direction of the album,” they explained on their blog. “We have taken our time and have chosen the best 24 tracks (20 originals and four covers) to give our fans a journey through our growth and experiences in the past four years.”

The album covers a wide range from cutting edge pop/dance tracks, a bit of hip-hop and R & B, and some old school remixes – and you will experience many of these numbers if you take part in the SPAR Challenge. When asked what they were looking forward to on race day, the band commented; “We as DENIM are very excited and honoured to be a part of this prestigious and amazing event.. We look forward to adding our magic touch to what will already be an amazing experience and we promise all the athletes and supporters a great and electrifying performance. We look forward to performing material from our brand new album exclusively. Come have fun with us DENIM style SPAR style.”

Denim is a group that offers something for everyone, and that is what Race Day will be like as well. There is a kiddie’s corner, where kiddies will be entertained. There is plenty of entertainment for the small fry, with clowns, jumping castles, face painting and games. And for those who simply can’t bear the thought of missing out on the Rugby World Cup, the good news is that the Old Parktonians Sports Club will be showing the quarter finals that will be played that day – which may feature South Africa.

For those who think they might be a little ‘peckish’ after their time on the road, there will be plenty of food stalls selling a variety of foods and drinks. So there is every reason to take part in the SPAR Challenge on October 9. For those who don’t want to tackle 10kms, there is also a 5km Fun Run, and walkers are very welcome to take part in both races.

There’s not long to go before the race, so enter now. Online entries have been extended until the 29th September so visit www.spar.co.za today! Entries will also be available on race day between 06h00 and 07h45.


CELEBRITIES ADD GLAMOUR TO SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Some well-known personalities will be adding a touch of glamour to the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians on Sunday October 9.

From left: Former Miss South Africa Nicole Flint, top runner Irvette Van Blerk, SPAR Proteas Captain Amanda Mynhardt, top runner Maxine Heine-Wacker, and 5fm DJ and stylista Poppy Ntshongwana.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott

Radio and television personality Carol Manana, award winning news anchor Romy Titus, fashionista DJ, adventure-loving Poppy Ntshongwana and two former holders of the Miss South Africa title, Nicole Flint and Vanessa Carreira-Coutroulis, are joining forces at the Challenge to create greater awareness of the race’s designated charity, Reach for Recovery.

The five glamour girls will run the race as a relay, completing two kilometres each.
In true Olympic style, they will carry a torch, which will be passed from hand to hand. The changeovers will take place at watering points, giving members of the public a chance to interact with them.

Award-winning “Simply Carol” Carol Manana became known to millions of viewers around the world when she anchored the draw for the 2010 World Cup. The Supersport anchor is familiar with most sports and has covered two Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Commonwealth Games in Athens and the Fifa World Cup in Germany in 2006.

Romy Titus, who was named Best News Anchor at the SABC Awards in 2008, has also covered many sports events, both as a reporter and as MC. The dynamic and experienced anchor is currently working with Supersport International.

Popular 5fm DJ Poppy Ntshongwana will probably regard a two-kilometre run as little more than a walk in the park, after diving with sharks, skiing and surfing. She has also completed the Cape Argus Cycle Tour – and she did all these things with such style that she won the 2010 Style Award for Most innovative Style.

Vanessa Carreira-Coutroulis and Nicole Flint have not allowed the grass to grow under their feet since relinquishing their Miss South Africa title in 2001 and 2009 respectively. Vanessa is much in demand as a motivational speaker and MC, has done television work, hosted a number of events through her own events company and was named one of UNISA’s goodwill ambassadors along with Yvonne Chaka-Chaka and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Nicole, who forms part of the breakfast show on Jacaranda 94.2, is a part time television presenter, MC and model. She is also a bit of a sports junkie and recently completed the 2011 Sun City to Table Bay Charity Cycle Tour and is well-known for her work on raising funds for housing and the fight against crime. Nicole has also just been chosen to co-present The Tropika Island of Treasure season 4 in Cancun Mexico.

The five celebrities will seek sponsorship for their two kilometres, raising money for their own charity or for Reach for Recovery, making their participation in the race even more meaningful. Romy Titus has chosen to raise funds for Babies Behind Bars, a charity of which she is a founder that reaches out to babies whose mothers are imprisoned.

The SPAR South African netball captain Amanda Mynhardt and other members of the national team that performed so well at the World Netball Championships in Singapore earlier this year will run alongside the celebrities as their “Guard of Honour”, and will carry the torch for them if they get tired during their leg of the race. “I’m looking forward to an amazing day” says Mynhardt. “Being a Guard of Honour to our local celebrities, and running together with all the beautiful women in our country is a huge privilege. I can’t wait for the SPAR Women’s Challenge!”

There are only a few weeks left before the race, but there is still time to enter and have the chance to rub shoulders with some of South Africa’s most stylish celebrities. Pre-entries close on the 24th September. Entry forms are available from all SPAR, KWIKSPAR and SUPERSPAR stores or online at www.spar.co.za


Johannesburg, South Africa - It’s that time of the year again when girls can do their bit to help th

Johannesburg, South Africa - It’s that time of the year again when girls can do their bit to help their school and have some fun at the same time.

Atlholang Primary, winners of the 2010 Schools Challenge collect their prices from Cindy Vorster, representative of Mustek, on stage on race day 10 October 2010.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott

The SPAR Women’s Challenge takes place at Old Parktonians in Randburg on Sunday October 9 and the schools with the most entries will win Mecer laptops with Win7 Professional software. The top school will also receive a Brother colour print, copy, scan and fax printer. The school with the second highest number of entries will receive a laptop and a mono print, copy, scan and fax printer, and third placed school will also receive prizes.

No school has enough computers – they are such a crucial part of modern education and winning one could not be easier. Entries must all be submitted together and entries for the schools competition need to be in before September 24.

Girls taking part in the 10km Challenge need to be 15 or over, but the 5km Fun Run is available to girls over nine, which means primary schools also stand a chance of winning these wonderful prizes.

Although some girls will be eager to run, walkers are also welcome in both competitions. Many girls will welcome this as an opportunity to chat to their friends and catch up with the gossip. Schools could add to the fun by running an internal competition to see which class or house has the most entries.

In addition to helping their school stand a chance of winning a computer, and having a fun day out when Johannesburg is looking its best, the entrants will also have the satisfaction of knowing that they are doing their bit for a very important charity. A portion of proceeds from the race will go to Reach for Recovery, a support group for women with breast cancer. All Reach for Recovery volunteers are breast cancer conquerors, so they are well aware of what newly diagnosed breast cancer patients are going through. They provide support, counselling and a shoulder to cry on.


SPRING DAY HERALDS JOHANNESBURG CHALLENGE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Most people would agree that it has been a hard, cold winter. Each brief spell of warm weather was followed by another cold front – each seeming to be colder than the last. But September 1 is Spring Day and there are definite signs that spring really is just around the corner.

The scent of jasmine permeates the air and the trees are beginning to show signs of green. The days are getting longer and as people shed their extra layers of clothing, they are beginning to shrug off their winter blues.

Spring Day also means that thousands of women from all over Gauteng are looking ahead to the annual SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians in Randburg on October 9. Many have started their preparations for the race with an extra spring in their step as they think about the warmer days ahead.

October is one of the most beautiful months in Johannesburg. The trees have their new soft green leaves, gardens are a wealth of colour and some of the city’s thousands of jacarandas are beginning to show tinges of the glorious blue that will soon dominate the scenery. So it is a wonderful time to take to the streets and enjoy the warmer weather and the lovely surroundings.

The SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge coincides with Breast Cancer month, and a portion of proceeds from the race go to Reach for Recovery, a support group for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The Reach for Recovery volunteers have all had their own encounters with the disease, and so they are in a perfect position to talk to and counsel women who have just heard those ominous words “you have breast cancer.”

Although some of South Africa’s top athletes, like Irvette Van Blerk, Rene Kalmer, Zintle Xiniwe, Annerien van Schalkwyk, Ntombesintu Mfunzi and Catherine Skosana will be vying for top spot, the race is really all about the thousands of ordinary women and girls who will be taking part just for the fun of it.

For those who feel 10km is a bit too far, there is also a 5km Fun Run, and walkers are welcome in both events.

There are always wonderful lucky prizes at the SPAR Challenge, including groceries for a year in the form of vouchers worth R12 000, and R2000 worth of SPAR’s new Good Living stainless steel range of appliances. The first 10 000 pre-entries will receive a free race t-shirt, and the first 11 000 finishers will receive as medal and goodie bag.

The Challenge is a fun day for the whole family, with a variety of food stalls, a children’s play area with jumping castles, clowns and face painting as well as live entertainment provided by Denim, who are widely regarded as South Africa’s top party band.

So don’t delay – enter today! Entry forms are available from all SPAR, SUPERSPAR and KWIKSPAR stores or online at www.spar.co.za

View Our Archives

View our categories

Subscribe via RSS