London 2012 bornze medalist Bridgitte Hartley is only scheduled to run 2km of the Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge Torch of Hope relay at Old Parktonians on Sunday 14 October, but she’s promised to go the distance. Photo: Andrew McGibbon

One of the enduring memories of the London Olympic Games was canoeist Bridgitte Hartley’s celebrations as she received her bronze medal for the women’s 500m sprint.

“It really is an emotional occasion,” said Hartley. “This is what every athlete dreams of. It’s the most amazing thing that has happened in my life so far.” What most people remember about her medal ceremony is her smile that appeared to light up the sky. It was a smile that said that all the years of hard work and sacrifice had been worth it.

On Sunday 14 October, Bridgitte Hartley will be one of a group of celebrities who will be running in the Torch of Hope relay in the Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians, as a means to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Other celebrities who will be running include former Miss South Africa Nicole Flint and Supersport presenter Romy Titus.

Hartley said she was excited about running in the Challenge, which attracts thousands of women from all walks of life, saying the presence of the celebrities would add sugar and spice to what was already a great event.

She had a message of inspiration for the thousands who do not normally spend their weekends pounding the pavements. “I have a great quote from St Francis of Assissi,” she said.

“’Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’ Always believe in yourself, and believe that every challenge you are given in life can be conquered eventually,” she added.

Hartley urged the other runners to enjoy taking part in such a wonderful event, and said that though she was only scheduled to run two kilometres, she would definitely be running more.

While Hartley and the other celebrities will be taking part in the 10km race, there is also a 5km Fun Run for those who feel 10kms is too far, and as always, walkers are welcome in both races.

Entries are available on the morning of race day.

For more information about the race visit SPAR Women’s Race website.