Participants in this year’s SPAR Women’s Challenge will be able to share their moment of triumph via social media when they cross the finish line at Pollok Beach in Port Elizabeth on May 3.
Every one of the more than 14 000 expected runners and walkers will be monitored on a new timing chip system, which is being introduced in celebration of the event’s 21st birthday.
SPAR Eastern Cape marketing manager Abri Swart said each entrant’s race number would contain an electronic chip that recorded her finishing time.
“All finishers will have a profile on the race website, where they can go afterwards to see their result, as well as any photos or video footage of themselves taken on the day.
“They’ll be able to share these on their Facebook and Twitter profiles and also print out their own full colour finisher’s certificate.”
In addition, Swart said they would receive congratulatory SMSs on completion of the race confirming their results.
“This race is not just about the elite athletes. We want everyone to feel like a winner.”
Swart said the first 14 000 participants in the 5km and 10km events would receive the signature T-shirt and finisher’s medal.
“The event moved from Humewood to Summerstrand last year and our new venue can easily accommodate the growing numbers that the Eastern Cape’s biggest road race attracts.”
He said only minor changes had been made to the longer route, with the removal of the turning loop in Brighton Drive and moving the finish to St Croix Drive instead of Marine Drive.
“The 5km route has much bigger changes. We’ve altered the course to keep the high volumes of participants out of the major traffic routes like Admiralty Way and Erasmus Drive and ensure their safety.”
Swart said both races would finish opposite 8th Avenue for a “more festive finishing vibe”, with separate medal chutes to avoid congestion and improve the flow of finishers onto the grass area.
He said controlled parking would be available along Bird Rock Drive from 5am, with additional parking available in the side streets outside the area bounded by 5th and 9th avenues.
“This section of Marine Drive will be closed from 5am to 9am but there will
be a drop-and-turn point for people who are just dropping off their family and friends.”
Swart asked the public not to park in Brighton Drive, 8th Avenue or at the Summerstrand Village Shopping Centre.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming ladies from all over the Eastern Cape to what promises to be another fun-filled event, with lots of lucky draw prizes and entertainment.”
Enter before April 25 at www.sparwomensrace.co.za or collect a form from any SUPERSPAR, SPAR or KWIKSPAR.
Find SPAR Women’s Challenge Port Elizabeth on Facebook or follow @sparchallengepe and @spar_ec for updates. Alternatively, stay tuned to Algoa FM for news on the race.
Road closures: Marine Drive, between 5th and 9th Avenue (5am to 9am); Brighton Drive, from Admiralty Way to 2nd Avenue (5am to 9am); and one side of 2nd Avenue, from Marine Drive towards Skegness Road (7.45am to 9am).