Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
4 Sep 2021
7:30 am

Plenty to shout about at Spar Grand Prix; just no one to do the shouting

Wesley Botton

Until the sea of social runners return, they have left a gap in the sport that just can't be filled.

The top three finishers in the Pretoria leg of the Spar Grand Prix in 2019, from left Rutendo Nyahora (third), Helalia Johannes (winner) and second placed Tadu Nare, with hundreds of amateur runners in the background. Picture: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images

One of the most spectacular things to witness in South African sport is the finish of a Spar Women's Challenge 10km race. The sight of tens of thousands of runners and walkers flooding the streets, all in matching shirts, is awe-inspiring. That's what makes the contrast so noticable under lockdown. Two weeks ago, the finishing area at the opening leg of the Spar Grand Prix in Pietermaritzburg included just a few officials, some journalists and a film crew producing the live stream. The three-lap route also ensured there were limited marshals and volunteers, and once Ethiopian athlete Tadu Nare slammed...