SPAR Women's Challenge 2019
GALLERY | SPAR Women's Challenge
Saturday May 4 was race day for thousands of Nelson Mandela Bay fun runners and athletes
The 2019 SPAR Women's Challenge filled the streets of in Summerstrand on Saturday May 4, with the gun going off for the 10km race at 7am and for the 5km fun run at 8am.
Dubbed the country's "most beautiful race", the Port Elizabeth event was the first in the national series of women's races.
Around 7,000 women - and a few men dressed in drag - took to the streets of Summerstrand, completing a circuit that started and finished at Pollok Beach at the bottom of Eighth Avenue.
Namibian Helalia Johannes stormed to victory with a personal best 10km time of 31 minutes 50 seconds to win her maiden title in Nelson Mandela Bay. Siphokazi Nojoko won the 5km race in a time of 19 minutes 13 seconds.
Entertainer Gino Fabbri revved up the early morning crowd before a posse of MCs got going to keep spirits high until prize giving when Schauderville vocal trio Genesix performed.
SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton paid tribute to the high standard of running on display.
“What a race it was, and to have such an array of top-class talent was really good for Port Elizabeth,” he said. “I think it brought out the best in all the athletes, with a great time and a great spirit among all the runners.”
He did not forget the rest of the entrants.
“To have thousands of runners out here celebrating the beauty, the power and the joy of being a woman is fantastic. The camaraderie you see just makes this such a wonderful event.”
With Zisa the STOP Plastic campaign mascot entertaining the crowds at the start, Stapleton said they wanted to remind people of this initiative.
“It all kicked off last year and we really want to encourage people to think about their use of plastic and to make sure they recycle to combat this threat to our environment.”
The annual event also has a strong charity element, and the 2019 beneficiary is Sanitary Sistas, assisting the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa's Port Elizabeth branch to provide sanitary products to teenage girls.
- See your Herald on Monday for more.