SPAR Women’s Challenge has Come a Long Way

By Faeza
05 August 2015

The Pretoria Leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge has grown from humble beginnings to one of the world’s biggest road races – benefitting not just the entrants but the charities and stakeholders involved in the race. SPAR Northrand Marketing Director, Jerome Jacobs expresses his views on exactly what this means to SPAR.

The SPAR Women’s Challenge is the most popular and inclusive road race in South Africa, attracting the country’s top professional female athletes and a vast range of recreational runners. The race began in 1999 with just 600 entrants racing along the University of Pretoria’s Groenkloof Campus.

Today, more than 25,000 entrants from around Gauteng take part in the race and run through Centurion’s streets, starting at Supersport Park stadium and looping back along both a 5km and 10km route. Participants include Olympians, top age-group competitors, and many thousands who run for charity and to achieve their own personal goals. An estimated 15 000 spectators turn out in support of the event, along with hundreds of print and broadcast media. The Pretoria race is a key part of the SPAR Grand Prix series – the only competition of its kind in South African road running.

According to Jerome the growth of the Pretoria SPAR Women’s Challenge would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the race sponsors or without the close relationship that has been built with Supersport Park Stadium over the years. “Our participants are our main focus as we want to ensure an amazing experience for them but this would be an impossible feat without our sponsors,” says Jerome. He is of course referring to the 2015 race sponsors and partners; SuperSport Park, City of Tshwane, Jacaranda FM, Athletics Gauteng North, New Balance, TradeUnipoint, Aquavita, Suzuki Montana, Glade, Fitbit, Futurelife, Knorr, Danone, Gary Rom, Ola, Shield and Tempur.

SPAR’s main focus has always been to entrench themselves into their immediate communities and to uplift those communities in any way possible. Over the years, the SPAR Women’s Challenge has become a strong vehicle for making this happen. “This race really is so close to our hearts because of the good it brings. It’s an amazing sight to see 25 000 women from the SPAR Northrand community running side by side but it’s phenomenal to see it and think to yourself that each one is chosen to take a part in order to make a difference,” says Jerome. “I cannot express enough what this means to us and how much it inspires us to keep putting on a bigger and better race every year.”

Entries for the Pretoria leg are now open and are available in SPAR stores or at  .Stay on top of the latest race news, enter exciting competitions and show your support by Liking the SPAR Women’s Challenge Pretoria Facebook Page or following @SPARladiespta on Twitter.