Durban SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge celebrates 30 years on
Entries are open for the much-loved Durban SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge, the race that started the now iconic national women’s running event, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year on Sunday 23 June.
The Challenge, has over the years, seen hundreds of South Africa’s top athletes, including a number of distinguished Olympians, take the honours. Many of the sportswomen who have appeared in the top three of the race, are written in the annals of SA road-running history, including the likes of Zola Budd-Pieterse, Poppy Mlambo, Gwen Griffiths (van Lingen), Carlien Cornelissen, Nicole Fuller, Tanith Maxwell, the Kalmer sisters –Rene and Christine, the Phalula sisters – Lebogang and Lebo-Diana, Irvette van Zyl and Nolene Conrad to name a few.
This list, of course, includes two Durban favourites, Blanche Moila, who has appeared in the top three twice, and Grace de Oliveira who won twice (1994 and 1995) and appeared in the top three four times. Both have run all races since its inception.
The inaugural event has come a long way since it began in 1990 with field of 2,200 when the now USA-based SA athlete Colleeen de Reuck won in a time of 34:16. Fast track to 2018, where Zimbabwean-based Betha Chikanga shaved off 1:09 from that time, bagging the win at 33:07 in a field of close to 14,000 participants.
Historically, the race route has remained fairly consistent around the Durban beachfront and CBD. The record time is still held by de Reuck who clocked in at 31:38 in 2000, followed in 2009 by Rene Kalmer with 32:27 and in 1991 by Gwen Griffiths (van Rensburg) with 32:28.
“Over 29 years more than 330,000 women and girls, including a smattering of some rather enthusiastic men, have beaten a track around the City in a show of camaraderie, and spirit,” says Max Oliva, MD of SPAR KZN. “We look forward to continuing this wonderfully, colourful journey with thousands more like-minded fitness enthusiasts for many, many more years to come.”
This year the race route remains the same as last year starting off in Masabalala Yengwa Avenue opposite the outer fields of Jonsson Kings Park Rugby Stadium, which is also the finish.
To celebrate 30 years on, SPAR will award the winner of this race R30,000, as well as the usual cash category prizes. Elite runners participating in the SPAR Women’s 10km Grand Prix Series will be vying to increase their standings on the leaderboard. Currently Namibian runner Helalia Johannes (Nedbank) is in poll position having won the Port Elizabeth race on 4 May in a regional record time of 31.50 minutes.
Participants will receive a breakfast pack upon completion of the event, and are encouraged to remain after the race and enjoy the entertainment on offer, with some big lucky draw prizes up for grabs to mark the 30th birthday.
Entry fees are R145 for a 10km non-licensed entrant, which will include a temp licence, R120 for a 10km licensed entrant and R120 for all 5km entrants. Entrants for the 10km challenge must be 14 years or older and for the 5km must be 9 years or older on the day of the competition.
Entries can be done online via the race website - EFT payments close on 10 June and Credit Card payments close on 17 June. A manual entry option is available, subject to the limit of 15,000 not having been reached, at race registration which takes place at Hall 6 at the Durban Exhibition Centre on: Thursday, 20 June and Friday, 21 June from 10:00 to 17:00 and Saturday, 22 June from 10:00 to 15:00. All entrants will receive a promo bag at race registration.
To enter online or for more race information, www.sparwomensrace.co.za/durban.
For more information like the KZN SPAR Women’s Race Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.