SPAR Women’s Challenge in PE postponed as part of precautionary measures to contain Covid-19

By Lisa Spruyt    17-Mar-2020 11:51 UTC+02:00

The SPAR Women’s Challenge in Port Elizabeth, scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed due to steps announced by the presidency to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

The SPAR Women’s Challenge 10km and 5km races in Port Elizabeth, due to have been held on Saturday, have been postponed to later this year. The date of October 17 has been proposed, but this must still be confirmed. Photo: Leon Hugo

This was the message from SPAR Eastern Cape sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation last night in which stringent measures were introduced to try to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“In the light of the statements from the government and the limitations imposed on sports events the races will be postponed,” said Stapleton.

“The 17th of October has been proposed as a suitable date but we will still need final confirmation once the finer details have been sorted out.

“Further developments will be communicated to the community and all other role-players once they are finalised.”

He added that the entries of those who had already entered would remain valid for the race’s future date.

The Women’s Challenge, which offers distances of 10km and 5km, was due to have taken place in Summerstrand, adjacent to Pollok Beach, on Saturday.

It annually attracts thousands of runners and walkers to the PE beachfront and, as such, falls within the curbs imposed by the government.

In his address, Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster due to the virus and announced a range of measures to control further contamination.

“Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited,” the president said. “In addition large events and celebrations are cancelled.”

The postponement of the Women’s Challenge falls in line with other major sporting events which have been put on hold as the virus spreads its tentacles around the globe.

In PE, the Ironman South Africa race – initially scheduled for March 29 – has been postponed to November, while the Two Oceans ultra-marathon, due to take place in Cape Town over the Easter weekend, has been cancelled.

Stapleton said the confirmation of the new date and any other information would be released on the retailer’s digital platforms and in the media as soon as they became available.

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