thousands of women
Photo Credit: Supplied

Thousands of women did something incredible together in Tshwane!  Thanks to their steps, leaps and bounds, they’ve made a difference in the future smiles of South Africa. Here’s more!


Centurion, South Africa (09 August 2023) — In the heart of Centurion, a vibrant spectacle unfolded on a sun-kissed Saturday as athletes from across the African continent converged for a jubilant celebration of the spirit of road running.

The air was filled with exhilaration and excitement as countless individuals, ranging from elite racers to spirited amateurs, came together to etch another glorious chapter in the storied history of the SPAR Women’s Challenge in Tshwane.

With a pulsating energy that echoed through the streets, the event showcased both tenacity and triumph. Tadu Nare, a remarkable Ethiopian athlete, etched her name in the record books again, securing her triumphant third consecutive victory in the 10km race. As the clock stood still at 32:57, Nare also captured the illustrious overall title in the SPAR Grand Prix series—a dazzling achievement that epitomised the event’s spirit.

In a captivating display of athleticism, Nare’s compatriot, the youthful Selam Gebre, seized second place in 33:50, followed closely by Lesotho’s Blandina Makatisi, who carved her path to success in 34:15. Notably, Cian Oldknow, a beacon of South African strength and determination, emerged as the first local woman to cross the finish line, securing a remarkable fourth position overall in a time of 34:17.

Yet, as the spotlight shone on these elite athletes, the heartfelt mosaic woven further down the ranks truly encapsulated the essence of the event. Women of every age, physique, and background triumphantly crossed the finish line, each step a testament to their indomitable spirit and resilience. The #4Smiles theme illuminated the path, casting a radiant glow upon the faces of these brave participants.

The astounding numbers vividly painted the event’s magnitude. Nearly 15,000 individuals joined the bustling tapestry of this celebration. A staggering 2,930 runners and walkers embarked on the 10km journey, while an even greater multitude embraced the joy of the 5km fun run.

In the resounding words of Retha Ingenbleek, the visionary SPAR Women’s Challenge Tshwane Race Organiser:

“Congratulations to all the runners and walkers who participated in the 5km and 10km races. We are delighted to have laid a platform once again to bring so many women from around South Africa together for this road running festival which promotes women in sport. In addition, we are pleased to have raised money for multiple valuable causes, including the Smile FoundationHanna Charity and Cupcakes for Hope. We want to thank all our partners and fellow stakeholders for ensuring this event was a great success.”

Adding to this jubilation, Ingenbleek effused:

“We are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming success of the recent SPAR Women’s Challenge Tshwane. The race was a testament to each participant’s unwavering spirit and determination, inspiring us.

“Together, we celebrated unity, resilience, and the pursuit of personal excellence, all while spreading smiles along the way. The #4Smiles campaign created an atmosphere of joy and positivity, reminding us of a simple smile’s incredible impact. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to every participant, supporter, and volunteer who contributed to the triumph of this event. As we reflect on this unforgettable experience, we are reminded of the power when women empower each other and the ripple effect it creates.”

thousands of women

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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