Thousands of runners have already signed up for the Eastern Cape’s most beautiful road race this Saturday – and it is not too late to enter.

Although pre-entries for this year’s SPAR Women’s Challenge are closed, those still wanting to be part of the sporting action can register on Thursday and Friday from 9am to 7pm in the race tent at King’s Beach, or from 6am on the morning of the race.

Last year’s event saw over 11 000 runners taking to the streets of Port Elizabeth and organisers are anticipating a similar turn-out this year.

“We usually take between 2 000 and 3 000 entries on the last two registration days and at least 1 000 entries on the day of the race,” said Colleen Muller, spokesperson for race organisers Walmer Athletics Club.

It is an enormous last-minute tally, considering the 5km fun run kicks off at 7.15am and the 10km race at 8am. “A lot of people only decide on the morning of the race that they are going to run.”
Muller said schools and companies accounted for most of the entries received to date. The high school with the most pre-entries will receive a laptop from Core Technologies, while the primary school and company with top race attendance will each receive R2 500.

Total prize money for top contenders in the popular road run, now in its 19th year, exceeds R25 000.

All finishers will receive medals and t-shirts will go to the first 11 000 entrants. Only women will be eligible for the big lucky draw prize of a year’s worth of SPAR groceries, valued at R15 000.

Women aged 15 and over can enter the 10km race, while anyone older than nine can sign up for the fun run. Male participants must don drag and run near the back.

The entry fee for the 5km run is R30, while licensed athletes can enter the 10km race for R35 and unlicensed for R60, the latter including a compulsory temporary licence fee. Entrance for the 10km run is free to licensed athletes aged 60 or older.

“Excitement is certainly brewing for Saturday’s event,” said SPAR Eastern Cape marketing manager Martin Webber. “It’s wonderful to see schools, companies and whole families getting involved to support this very worthy cause.”

The main beneficiary is the Yokhuselo Haven for victims of domestic violence.

The event forms part of a five-race national Grand Prix series, which provides elite athletes with a chance to accumulate points towards the overall prize of a Nissan Micra.

The SPAR Women’s Challenge series is also South Africa’s third largest athletics brand after the Comrades and Two Oceans marathons.

The venue for Saturday’s run is the Kings Beach car park with both the 10km and 5km routes starting on Beach Road and heading towards Summerstrand. Runners will pass the Oceanarium before turning right into Second Avenue.

There is a two-hour cut-off time for each race.

Enter the My Reason to Run competition on the “SPAR EC in ACTION” Facebook page to stand a chance to win a grocery voucher worth R1 000.

Also follow latest news and live updates on Facebook.


The big prize in the lucky draw at the SPAR Women’s Challenge on Saturday is a year’s worth of SPAR groceries, which SPAR EC sponsorship controller Lelane du Plessis (left), race MC Mike Bosch and SPAR EC promotions and advertising manager Wendy Westraadt can’t wait to give away. Photograph: Leon Hugo

Issued by:

Full Stop Communications

Coetzee Gouws
082 575 7991
041 368 4992

On behalf of:

SPAR Eastern Cape