The Johannesburg Challenge is the last of five SPAR Challenge races, and the winner of the first Grand Prix first prize of R50 000 will almost certainly be the in-form Rene Kalmer.

Kalmer has had a very successful year in the Challenge series, winning three of the four races run so far, and has a very healthy lead on the SPAR Grand Prix leaderboard.

Kalmer is likely to enjoy the challenging course, and will join other top runners taking part, including Catherine Nkosi, Gloria Baeba, Maxine Heine-Wacker and Annerien van Schalkwyk.

The return of Gladys Lukhwareni to the race, after a two-year absence following a drugs ban, should add some spice to the race.  

Lukhwareni tested positive for a banned substance after winning the Cape Town Challenge in 2005, but has came back into athletics with a bang, winning her first race back after her two-year suspension.  

By all accounts, she has been training very hard and wants to prove she can do well without drugs. Because of her two-year absence, she will be something of an enigma to the other runners, who will be very wary of her.

Poppy Mlambo, who missed the Pretoria race because of international commitments, is always in line for top honours.  Although she has only run three of the four races so far, she is in sixth position on the Grand Prix leaderboard – the highest position for anyone who has only run three races.

Veteran Grace de Oliviera, who has made the most of the Grand Prix points awarded for category winners to reach third position on the leaderboard, will be in action trying to improve her 2006 time, and to add to her Grand Prix points.

Juniors Noria Sibanda and Maxine Heine-Wacker have also benefited from the category points and are in fourth or seventh position respectively and they will also be trying to improve their positions on the leaderboard.

Late entries will be taken on Thursday 11 October and Friday 12 October from 12h00 to 15:30, on Saturday 13 October from 10h00 to 16h00 and on Sunday before the race at Old Parktonians.

If you are planning to enter at registration, you can get the entry forms there, or else they are available from all SPAR, SUPERSPAR and KWIKSSPAR stores.