East London residents with a penchant for exercise can look forward to a few changes when the third edition of the SPAR Family Challenge hits town on October 8.

Event organiser Candy Boonzaaier said one major difference would be earlier start times to avoid the strong winds of the past two years.

“We are trying to miss the wind which normally picks up at midday,” she said.

Boonzaaier said the Family Challenge would also see a route change to avoid traffic congestion caused by a taxi rank in the area.

The original route passed in front of SUPERSPAR Spargs in Beacon Bay, while the new one would divert runners behind it, she said.

Participants in both the 5km and 9.8km races will now go along Avalon Road, Imp Lane, Junction Road and Hillcrest Drive to the finish.

Boonzaaier said the new course’s degree of difficulty would be similar to previous years despite the tweaks.

With their emphasis on family participation and healthy lifestyles, SPAR Eastern Cape promotions and advertising controller Roseann Shadrach said the Family Challenge was a perfect fit for the retailer.

She said it had been enthusiastically supported by the East London community since its recent inception.

“Despite the torrid weather we have had in past years, they have come out in their numbers. Nothing seems to deter them.

“There is an incredibly high spirit among the entrants and it’s great to see families turning up in their numbers.”

Shadrach said they would be treated to some spectacular entertainment, including comedian Gino Fabbri and emcee Graham Gordon.

Apart from the festivities, she said there would also be lucky draw incentives to inspire entrants.

One of these is a spa treatment and lunch for two at the Miarestate Boutique Hotel and Spa.

Runners and walkers can enter on www.sparfamilychallenge.co.za or at cycle shops in the city until October 5.

Registration is from 10am to 7pm at the Beaconhurst sports field on the day before the event. Runners can also register from 8am to 9.30am on race day.

The 9.8km gets under way at 10am and the 5km at 10.15.

Participants in the SPAR Family Challenge on October 8 will experience a slightly different route for this year’s races. Photo: Supplied

Issued by: Coetzee Gouws
On behalf of: SPAR Eastern Cape