Grand Prix Halfway Mark

by | Aug 22, 2007

The SPAR Grand Prix Challenge reaches the halfway mark on Saturday with the running of the third SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at

’s sports grounds.

Mr. Price runner Rene Kalmer is firmly in the lead in the hunt for the top prize of R50 000, having won the first two Challenge races in
Port Elizabeth and in

.  She has 66 points.

Kalmer has a 13 point advantage over her nearest rival, Poppy Mlambo, who finished second in
Port Elizabeth and third in


But Mlambo will not be running in the Pretoria Challenge because she will be doing duty for
South Africa at the world athletics championships in

, so Kalmer has a chance to make sure that no-one can overtake her.

Annerie van Schalkwyk of Irene is currently in third position on the Grand Prix leaderboard, with 38 points, and will be aiming to improve her position running in what will be familiar territory.

Two runners – Noria Sibanda of Harmony

and veteran Grace de Oliveira of Mr. Price KZN – are in joint fourth position with 36 points. 

De Oliveira – a multiple gold medalist in the Comrades Marathon – finished 24th overall in

Port Elizabeth
, but because her victory in the veterans section earned her valuable points, and she will be aiming to repeat her victory on Saturday.

The SPAR Grand Prix has enticed many top runners to take part in all five Challenge races.  The ultimate winner, who will be announced after the

race on October 14, will walk away with R50 000. 

The runner-up will receive R20 000 and the woman who finishes third will receive R15 000.  The top 20 on the leaderboard will all receive cash prizes, while any runner whose name appears on the leaderboard will receive a certificate from SPAR.

“The Grand Prix adds some extra incentive and excitement to the already popular Challenge races,” said athletics commentator Ian Laxton.

“The money is a great incentive for the top runners, and the other runners will also be pleased to have some recognition of their achievements.”

The last two races are in
Cape Town on September 9 and

on October 14.

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