Mbombela added to 10km Grand Prix calendar
Prize money hiked to R170k for each race
This year's Spar Grand Prix will have a packed calendar as it will host six events nationwide, with Mbombela being the latest addition.
Other host cities for the female 10km races will be Gqeberha, Durban, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The first race, in Gqeberha, will be on May 28 and the last in Cape Town on October 23.
An exciting incentive for this season's competition is the increase in the prize money to R170,000 for each race, with the winner receiving R30,000. Open entries will be maxed out for each race at 500 runners, who will compete in the open, junior, 40-49, 50-59 and 60+ categories.
Points for the Spar Grand Prix will be awarded to the first 20 runners in the open category, with 20 points for the winner and one for the 20th-placed runner. Points will be awarded to the first five finishers in the age-group categories.
Spar Lowveld marketing director Sean Komlosy is beaming about the measures the Grand Prix has taken and the prospects of introducing the race to Mpumalanga athletes and avid road runners. “Spar is well known for the promotion and development of women in sports, especially in grassroots areas,” said Komolsy.
“This event will produce a solid foundation for the development and future sustainability of female athletes in Mpumalanga. We will also include differently abled athletes in a non-elite race, which is a first for our province.
“The relationship between athletics and The Spar Group has continued to outlive many others. This season, for instance, is another year of smiles for many athletes who will once again be happy to get another chance to run and a shot at top prize money.
"For many women, running is their life because it puts food on the table and each race of this series gives them that opportunity to work towards another payday," he said.
James Moloi, the president of Athletics SA, commended Spar for being able to pump money into athletics as many corporates have pulled out financially from sports during the pandemic.
“As our sport continues to ease back from the clutches of Covid-19, we applaud the efforts of The Spar Group for ploughing back into our communities through the sport of athletics. Over the years we have also seen the revival of many careers where women athletes had given up," said Moloi.
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