Hundreds of Garden Route residents will don their running or walking shoes in aid of people with special needs when they take on the Heather Park SUPERSPAR Sunrise Challenge in George on Saturday.

Store owner Duncan Brown said organisers were aiming to double last year’s field to over a thousand participants for the sixth edition of the event.

“We’d really like the whole of George to support this race for a great cause.”

Race beneficiary Up with Down’s is a local school that caters for children and adults with Down’s syndrome and other special needs.

“We became involved with the school about two years ago and help out where we can,” said Brown.

“A major portion of the entry fee and any other profit generated goes to the school.

“In addition to this, the adults from the school visit our shop every Thursday between 11am and 1pm to sell their baked goodies and help pack customers’ bags.

“They enjoy the outing and our customers also enjoy having these wonderful people in our store.”

The event now offers 1km, 5km and 10km options, with increased prize money for serious competitors and medals for the first 500 finishers.

“It was a 21km race for the first four years but now we are focusing on the shorter distances to make it more accessible to all.”

While it was billed as a women’s race last year, this edition will be open to everyone.

“So there’s no excuse for not taking part,” said Brown.

For their efforts, Sunrise Challenge participants stand to win a variety of lucky draw prizes.

“We have a hamper for the school with the most entries and a R2 000 voucher for one lucky individual, as well as free gym memberships and other prizes.”

The route takes runners and walkers from the store, through Heather Park, around Kingswood Golf Estate and back to the SPAR.

Hot and thirsty participants will receive free Ola ice creams, with plenty of other refreshments available.

To enter, collect an entry form from Heather Park SUPERSPAR and register in-store on Friday evening. The first 500 entrants will receive race t-shirts.

Go to or follow @spar_ec to follow all of SPAR Eastern Cape’s initiatives.

Sunrise Challenge

Spar mascot Squillo and a pupil from Up with Down’s School enjoy the fun of the Heather Park Superspar Sunrise Challenge. This year’s race takes place from the George-based store on Saturday.

Photo: Lente Brown