Ready to take on the SPAR Women's Challenge

Take a chance on exercise and it may change your life is the message from SPAR Eastern Cape sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton ahead of the 27th Women’s Challenge in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, March 21.

The PE event, which consists of a 10km and 5km race, will be the first in the six-leg national Grand Prix Series and Stapleton urged social runners to join in a day of female camaraderie.

“We invite you to join the fun,” Stapleton said at the official launch at the Radisson Blu Hotel this morning. “Who knows, the fitness and fun bug might bite.

Ready to take on the SPAR Women's Challenge

Ready to take on the SPAR Women’s Challenge at the race’s launch at the Radisson Blu in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday are (from the left) runner Minnie Trimalley, SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton and entertainer Gino Fabbri. The 27th edition of the event will be held on March 21. Photo: Full Stop Communications

“Mindsets may change and old, lazy habits may seep away as exercise makes you feel good about yourself.”

He said the annual event would also be leveraged to promote the retailer’s STOP Plastic campaign.

“It is an effort to change attitudes about how people think about and use plastic. Being part of the Women’s Challenge will shout out loud that you are part of this wave of change.

“How you use plastic may seem insignificant, but it can lead to big change.”

The Women’s Challenge will also be used as a vehicle to help the less fortunate.

“Your involvement will align you with the ever-growing need to support the many young women unable to afford sanitary products,” said Stapleton. “We are proud to hold hands with Options (George), the Community Chest and Khazimla.”

The start and finish venue will again be at Pollok Beach in Summerstrand and the routes will take runners through the suburb’s streets.

There will not be a Kids’ Challenge this year, but children under nine can take part in the 5km race if accompanied by an adult. Otherwise the age restrictions for the 5km and 10km events are nine and 14 years respectively.

Men will be permitted to enter the 5km provided they dress in drag and run near the back.

Entry for the 10km costs R60 and R100 for licenced and unlicenced runners respectively (licenced competitors over 65 have free entry into the 10km). The fee for the 5km is R60.

The first 8 000 entrants will receive goodie bags and a T-shirt, redeemable at registration on March 19 and 20 as well as on race day from 5.30am. The 10km starts at 7am and the 5km at 8am.

The high school with the most participants will receive a laptop while the primary school and company with the most entries will receive R2 500 each (bulk entries close on March 15). The teacher who organises the most entries will pocket an incentive of R1 200.

Prospective participants can enter online at until March 17.

Manual entries can be handed in until March 18 at: The Footballer and Brian Bands Sports (Cape Road), Action Sports (6th Avenue Walmer and Summerstrand), Sportsmans Warehouse (Moffett Retail Park) and UD Sports (Graaff-Reinet Road in Uitenhage).

For more information, contact the race office from 9am to 5pm on weekdays on 072 257 2161.