The SPAR Family Challenge returns to East London for a second year running on Saturday, October 10.

Following the success of the debut event, organisers are expecting more than two thousand runners and walkers to turn out at the Beaconhurst Sports Grounds.

According to SPAR Eastern Cape marketing manager Abri Swart, the inaugural event went down a storm with Buffalo City residents last year.

“We had a great response even though the weather was terrible with gale-force winds.

“The race takes place slightly later this year, so we’re hoping for fantastic conditions on race day.”

Swart said the scenic 9.8km and 5km routes had worked so well that organisers had decided to keep to the winning formula for the second edition.

“This is a great way for families to spend quality time together, doing something fun and active in the fresh air.”

Last year, local athletes Luthando Hejana and Stephanie Smith took the men’s and women’s titles in the feature race, while Mbuyiseli Mema and Giselle Pauls claimed the 5km wins.

Although children must be nine years or older to qualify for a prize, younger children would be allowed to participate under the supervision of an adult, said Swart.

“Both routes can be run or walked as long as parents and children stay together.

“Moms and dads are welcome to run with prams but will be directed to the back of their start batch.”

Because the longer route features a 2km stretch of beach sand, he said prams would be encouraged to take part in the 5km race only.

Swart said the 1pm starting time meant participants could easily do their grocery shopping and errands in the morning and look forward to some fun and relaxation in the afternoon.

“We also know that the parkruns are very well supported in East London and we didn’t want to compromise those faithful participants by having our event in the morning.”

He said Family Challenge entrants would receive race T-shirts, race guides and goodie bags.

“Every participant will receive a race number with timing chip to record his or her official time, and there will be medals for all finishers.

“Afterwards, families can enjoy the entertaining antics of Gino Fabbri and taste the delicious food and refreshments on offer,” said Swart.

Entry forms are available at all SPAR, SUPERSPAR and KWIKSPAR stores and all cycle shops in East London.

Alternatively, enter online at before October 7. Late entries will be accepted until 10am on the morning of the race.

Issued by: Coetzee Gouws
On behalf of SPAR Eastern Cape