Challenge lures runners

It's that time of year again - the days are getting shorter and thousands of women in the Friendly City are preparing to celebrate autumn by taking part in the Spar Women's 10km Challenge on May 3.

It's that time of year again - the days are getting shorter and thousands of women in the Friendly City are preparing to celebrate autumn by taking part in the Spar Women's 10km Challenge on May 3.

The Port Elizabeth Challenge - the second of five races held at centres around South Africa - is being run for the 15th time and has become an important fixture on the social and sporting calendars of the Nelson Mandela Metropole.

Last year 8 300 runners took part - and the organisers are expecting even more this year.

The challenge is the second race of the 2008 Grand Prix series, which enables the top runners to earn points towards winning a grand prize of R50 000 after the final challenge in Johannesburg in October.

Rene Kalmer, who has dominated the PE race over the past few years, got her nose in front right from the start, and cleaned up in the Grand Prix, finishing way ahead of nearest rival Annerien van Schalkwyk.

What makes the Grand Prix very appealing to the runners is that they can earn points in three different ways, overall position in the race, position in age categories and time incentives, with bonus points for beating the time posted in the previous year's challenge

This innovation helped veteran runner Grace de Oliveira take third place in the Grand Prix, just one point behind Van Schalkwyk, and junior runner Maxine Heine-Wacker finished in sixth place.

The top 20 runners on the Grand Prix log all receive cash prizes, and every runner who features on the log receives a merit certificate.

There will be cash prizes for the top three runners on the day. -Sapa

X