SPAR Womens Challenge 740

As excitement builds for the return of the SPAR Women’s Challenge, exercise enthusiasts are in line for a number of incentives which will be on offer.

The popular mass run was cancelled last year because of Covid-19 and returns to the calendar in the form of the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge on September 4.

SPAR Eastern Cape promotions and events manager Alan Stapleton said they were delighted to host the race again, even if it took on a different format due to the lockdown restrictions.

“Just to have it on our programme is a step in the right direction and we are looking forward to a wonderful turnout on the day,” he said.

But he warned runners and walkers that no time should be wasted in registering for the event as entries closed August 15 and there was no provision for late entries.

“Due to the fact that we need to get out the virtual challenge packs to many regions, we cannot take any entries after the closing date,” said Stapleton.

The virtual challenge pack containing a variety of items is just one of the incentives for entering, the chief of which is a chance to give back to society by generating funds for beneficiaries Masimanyane and On Eagles’ Wings.

Both organisations tie in with SPAR’s commitment to fight gender-based violence as they provide shelter and counselling for victims of that scourge.

SPAR Womens Challenge 740

Following the cancellation of last year’s race, thousands of runners around the Eastern Cape are preparing to take part in the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge on September 4. Entrants will be able to choose their own route and distance any time between 6am and 6pm on the day. The closing date for entries is August 15 and no late entries will be permitted this year. Photo: Leon Hugo

In addition, part of the entry fees will go towards donating sanitary pads to schools to ensure young girls do not miss out on their education.

There will be a number of attractive prizes on offer in the lucky draw, while the virtual challenge pack will provide entrants with a race T-shirt, buff, medal and comprehensive digital magazine.

Subject to lockdown regulations, participants will run or walk their own route over any distance between 6am and 6pm on September 4.

This is designed to make the event suitable for a wide range of women and girls to enjoy the camaraderie the event traditionally generates.

“Even though it is in the virtual format, we feel that groups of females across the region will relish the opportunity for some healthy exercise, which is such an important element in SPAR’s philosophy,” said Stapleton.

South African entrants can collect the virtual challenge pack from their chosen SPAR store or have it delivered to a specified address at an additional cost.

Entrants will receive an email in which access will be provided to this year’s digital magazine.

The cut-off for the number of participants countrywide will be 75 000.

For guidance on entries and more event information, visit