• The 2017 Pretoria SPAR Women’s Challenge is encouraging unity through the message that we are #BetterTogether. The official launch of the 2017 race took place on 9th May 2017 kicking off the opening of entries and sharing the Better Together message with media, sponsors, race partners, top runners and VIP’s.

    Entries are now officially open for the Pretoria Leg of the 2017 SPAR Women’s Challenge, the biggest and most popular race in the SPAR Women’s Challenge Grand Prix series, which attracts a whopping 25 000 avid runners each year.


    At the official launch, this year’s race theme was unveiled and just as it has in earlier years; the theme holds an important message for every lady taking part in the race. This year SPAR is uniting with the 25 000 runners taking part in the 2017 Pretoria SPAR Women’s Challenge to prove that together there is nothing we cannot do – under this year’s race theme, BETTER TOGETHER.

    SPAR’s belief in working together originates from the vision of Dutch founder, Adriaan van Well, when he established the SPAR organisation back in 1932. That original sentiment is as relevant today as it was back then – that we can all benefit by working together. “Our belief in working with the community is founded on the conviction that our customers are our pillars. Working with our customers is incredibly important to us as this enables us to give back to our community – which is what SPAR is all about,” said Jerome Jacobs, SPAR North Rand Marketing Director at the official launch.

    According to Jacobs, at the heart of the #BetterTogether message is the idea that while one person can make a difference, together we have the strength and the ability to change the lives of those in our community who need us most. “Join us on 5 August 2017 and see for yourself that we are truly better together. The nationwide interest and participation in this race is inspiring and it all comes together when over 25 000 women run side by side on race day as one big, happy SPAR family,” Jacobs commented.

    Also speaking at the launch, SPAR North Rand’s Managing Director, Desmond Borregeiro said that the race theme represents the universal bond that connects us all. “What we want the women running the race this year to take away from the better together message is that no one person is an island and that everyone has a role to play. You have to be actively involved as far as possible to join others and make a real difference,” Borrageiro explained.  “As proud South Africans and in the spirit of Ubuntu, the race theme is a call to action for us to stand united as a nation to celebrate our diversity, to harness its potential and to create a better South Africa for everyone.”

    The Race is On!

    The 2017 Pretoria SPAR Women’s Challenge takes place at 14:00 on Saturday, 5th August at SuperSport Park in Centurion. As always, the race will offer 25 000 women from all walks of life, and all levels of fitness the opportunity to take part in a 5km or a 10km race. Separate starting points for each route will ensure a seamless experience for everyone.

    The top SPAR Women’s Challenge runners will of course be competing for the winning spot in the SPAR Grand Prix Series which is made up of six SPAR Women’s Challenge 10km races hosted across the country and challenges South Africa’s top female athletes to earn points based on their performances in each race. “Competition to take the title will be the fiercest we have seen in recent years,” says Jacobs. “Starting this year, international runners now qualify to accumulate Grand Prix points and all eyes will be on Zimbabwean runner Rutendo Nyahora as she is a strong competitor who will now be eligible to take the title. A sixth race has also been added to the Grand Prix series in Pietermaritzburg so each runner competing will have to go that much further now.”

    We are Painting Pretoria Coral!

    The sight of 25 000 runners making their way along Centurion’s streets each year is often referred to as “a sea of colour”. This year, Pretoria residents will have their streets brightened up by thousands of ladies making their way along the race route in vivid coral shirts and the foam peak that every lady receives will be in matching coral too!

    Over the years many ladies running the race have livened up the race route with their own customized version of the SPAR Women’s Challenge one-size-fits-all race t-shirt. This year SPAR is encouraging everyone to glam up their shirts any way they like! Race entrants can post a picture of how they customised their race tee on the SPAR Women’s Challenge Pretoria Facebook page and stand a chance to win SPAR store vouchers.

    Racing for a Cause

    Every year, numerous Pretoria based charity and community upliftment organisations are selected to benefit from the proceeds of the SPAR Women’s Challenge. In 2016 just over R370 000 was donated. “SPAR’s donations to the race beneficiaries are proof that when a community comes together we can make a difference,” says Jacobs. “It shines a light on SPAR’s commitment to our community which is why we truly believe that we are better together. Over the years we have built relationships with our sponsors and race partners who have become a vital helping hand in supporting all of our community and social upliftment initiatives. These include our relationships with SuperSport Park, Athletics Gauteng North and the City of Tshwane who help make the race a physical reality every year,” says Jacobs.

    The race beneficiaries for 2017 are Irene Homes, Jacaranda Good Morning Angles, the Chrysalis

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com