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This year’s SPAR Women’s 10km Grand Prix Series is bigger and better than ever – prize money has been boosted and the winner of the Grand Prix will pocket an additional R12,000 for a total prize of R185,000. The runner up will receive R60,000 and the third placed athlete will take home R35,500.
There are substantial cash prizes for the season ending top 15 runners on the Grand Prix ladder.
Runners earn points for the Grand Prix by taking part in the six-race SPAR Women’s Challenge Series, with races run in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria and Johannesburg.
SPAR Grand Prix coordinator Ian Laxton says the increased prize money will ensure that most of the top runners in South Africa will do their best to run in as many of the races as they can.
“It really is worth their while to take part in the SPAR Grand Prix, and most will run in all the races, unless they are doing national duty elsewhere,” he said.
Laxton said that one change for 2018 was the Junior Grand Prix was being restricted to just four races.
“We were asking too much of our young athletes with possible injuries,” he said. “The Junior Grand Prix will therefore exclude the Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg races. This does not mean that the junior runners may not run in those races – they can still compete for points in the open category, but those two races will not count towards the Junior Grand Prix.”
Once again former SPAR Grand Prix winners Mapaseka Makhanya and Rene Kalmer have been named SPAR Grand Prix Ambassadors.
Kalmer, who has won the SPAR Grand Prix three times, and has won more SPAR Challenge races than anyone else, says she is excited to be an ambassador for the SPAR Grand Prix Series.
“I love the SPAR races – they introduce so many women to the joys of road running and the atmosphere at the races is always so good,” she said. “I have been running SPAR races since my early teens and I will continue to run them as long as I can. I feel honoured to have been named an ambassador.”
Makhanya, who is one of the most popular runners on the circuit, said she too felt honoured to be a SPAR Grand Prix Ambassador.
“The SPAR races are so good for women in South Africa,” she said. “What I love about them is the way everyone mixes with everyone else. Women and girls of all ages, all shapes and sizes, walkers and runners enjoy an opportunity to get fit.”
The opening SPAR Grand Prix race will take place in Bellville, Cape Town on Sunday, 25 March 2018.

The 2018 SPAR Grand Prix calendar is as follows;
Bellville, Cape Town Sunday 25 March
Port Elizabeth Saturday 5 May
Durban Sunday 24 June
Pretoria Saturday 4 August
Pietermaritzburg Sunday 19 August
Johannesburg Sunday 7 October

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