'I'm glad that we'll have everyone back' - Molotsane as thousands expected for SPAR Tshwane race
Not since 2019 has the SPAR Women's Challenge Tshwane featured the tens of thousands of runners and walkers that had made this leg of the 10km series the jewel in the crown that is the SPAR Women's Challenge. Taking place around the country in cities such as Cape Town, Durban and Gqeberha, the highlight of the annual SPAR Women's Challenge during pre-Covid times was the race in the nation's capital which drew 20 000 participants and was a fun day for the whole family. This year, organisers have announced their intentions to return the Tshwane race to its former glory when it takes place at SuperSport Park in Centurion on 5 August 2023.
"The SPAR Women's Challenge Tshwane 2023 promises to be an unforgettable experience, with loads of exciting activities for runners and their families to enjoy. From live entertainment and competitions to exhibitors and food vendors, the event has something for everyone," said SPAR Women's Challenge Tshwane race organiser Retha Ingenbleek during last week's launch. "Most importantly, the event will raise funds for local charity initiatives, making a real difference in the lives of those who need it most. We look forward to hosting thousands of women and girls once again at this world-class event."
The return of social runners, walkers and families pushing babies in prams has been welcomed not only by the legions of weekend warriors who have come to love this event, but also by the top runners who during 2020, 2021 and 2022 were forced to run in elite invitation only races. One of those is 2018 SPAR Grand Prix champion Kesa Molotsane who is happy that the event is returning to the format that embraced all women.
"I am super excited, and I am looking forward to seeing thousands of women in all different forms attending the races. My first experience of the SPAR races was amazing because it was the very first time, I’d been in a race with so many women. I am glad that we will have everyone back so that we can continue planting a seed of hope; healthy lifestyle and mental health support to these women because after all, the event is not just for the elites but for our social runners," she explained.
Molotsane will be one of several elite athletes vying for a share of R1,8 million in prize money during Tshwane leg of the 2023 SPAR Women's Challenge, which incorporates the elite SPAR Grand Prix Series. And there is added incentive for Molotsane and the likes of Glenrose Xaba and Irvette van Zyl to do well because during the 2023 SPAR Grand Prix the first South African in the overall series will win an additional R100 000, while the first local in each individual race will earn an extra R10 000, that is over and above the R200 000 that will be on offer for the series winner regardless of nationality. Xaba took home that additional R10 000 when she finished in third place (34:05) in the first race of the year in Cape Town and Molotsane has thanked SPAR for backing local runners.
"I would like to thank SPAR for their continued support of women’s road running in South Africa. This competition provides a platform for female athletes to showcase their talent and inspire others to take up the sport," said Molotsane who took fourth place (34:07) behind Xaba on a wet, windy and cold day in The Mother City. She says her training is going well. "The year has been quite busy but we are getting back on track. I am excited to see how it pans out by the end of the season."
You can enter in selected SPAR stores or online at www.sparwomenstshwane.co.za. Only R150 gets you your funky shirt, a foam peak and magazine, plus the jam packed goodie bag when you finish your 5 km or 10 km challenge on the day.