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A razzle dazzle launch

EMMARENTIA – Top runners and band Denim turn up for the launch of the Spar Women's Race Joburg.

If the Spar Women’s Race Joburg media launch is anything to go by, the actual race will be phenomenal.

As Spar South Rand marketing director, Martin Webber, said, since the race was launched 26 years ago, it has all been about the ‘fun element’. TV and radio presenter, Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, and motivational speaker, Warrior Ric, were hosts at the event at Marks Park Sports Club on 23 August.

They cracked jokes in-between calling dignitaries up to explain how the run would work before the band Denim entertained guests with covers of the best pop songs around.

Top runners Irvette van Zyl, Mapaseka Makhanya and Rutendo Nyahora were present, as well as race ambassador and Olympian, René Kalmer.

“One thing I do know is I will beat her [Makhanya],” Nyahora joked about her good friend. “I aim to be in the top three come 8 October. I just need to race against myself and not anyone else.”

Shanley Koekemoer (17) is the second junior runner on the Spar Grand Prix Series log. “I am not sure I will beat Nicole Louw but I am really looking forward to the run. It is a tough course,” she said.

Currently, Kesa Molotsane leads the series with 137 points, with Van Zyl behind on 116 points. Van Zyl can win the series only if she finishes the race with a bonus point, and Molotsane does not finish at all.

The 10km route goes through the lovely suburbs of Greenside and Parkview, with wide, tree-lined avenues. The 5km route goes past the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam.

“The run attracts people from all walks of life: girls, moms, aunts and grannies, and men come to support them,” added Webber.

Gauteng Central Athletics president, James Moloi said running brought people together, and the best women runners in the country competed in the Spar Grand Prix Series. He made special mention of Makhanya, who competed in the women’s marathon at the recent IAAF World Championships.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the main beneficiary of the race is Reach for Recovery. The international breast cancer support group helps women with breast cancer return to daily life through providing free support as well as providing a prosthesis service.

Included in the event is the Drop off a Pair, Show you Care campaign that Spar and Caxton Local Media co-host. The initiative collects running shoes for those in need. So participants are asked to bring their old, almost old or newish running shoes to one of Caxton’s Joburg branches or to the race.

Race tickets can be bought online at www.spar.co.za and at most Spar stores.

Details: Caxton’s Joburg offices are situated at 368 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall, and 1 187 Cornelius Street, Weltevreden Park.

Also read: Entries are open for Spar Women’s Race Joburg

Have you completed the Spar Women’s Race before? Tell us all about your experience on our Facebook page.

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