The stricter lockdown measures may seem like another roadblock in a challenging year, but there is hope amidst despair as South Africans continue to demonstrate incredible resilience. 

Tapping into South Africa’s tenacious spirit, SPAR resolved to provide hope through innovation and inspire people to defy the limits they or others may impose upon them. 

The theme for this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge aims to encourage not only women but South Africans in general to #LiveLimitless. The pandemic and lockdown measures have been implemented to save lives but do not have to limit the human spirit. 

SPAR is rallying behind South African women and challenging them to live beyond the limits imposed by the latest level-4 lockdown measures by staying happy and healthy during this time.

SPAR spoke to some of the friends of the SPAR Women’s Challenge on how participants can better prepare for this year’s race. 

Longstanding members of the SPAR Women’s Challenge family, Charné Bosman and Kesa Molotsane shared some tips to not only prepare for SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge but boost their health and wellbeing.

The duo suggests that ladies drag their friends along when they hit the road, not only for safety reasons but also to serve as motivation and fun. When you know someone will join you for a training session, it makes the run easier and more enjoyable.

While running in pairs or groups provide safety in numbers, it is important to maintain a

safe distance from possible danger such as traffic and dress warmly when the weather is cold. Although people are permitted to exercise outdoors, this is still subject to adherence to Covid-19 regulations. Wear your mask, wash your hands or sanitize.

While gyms are closed during level 4, it is vital to incorporate some strength training into your running regime.

Bosman and Molotsane say that only two sessions per week are required – two leg, arms and stomach exercises per session – to boost their strength. It is advisable to stop doing strength training 10 days before challenge day.

They encourage participants to run at least three to four times in new shoes before doing the challenge.  

Rape survivor and activist Leilani Kuter, who completed a 729km walk against gender-based violence in South Africa, gave some advice on how to stay positive during this time. 

Key among her tips is to start each day with 10 to 30 minutes of quiet time without disruptions like social media. 

“Make time for things that you don’t normally have time for, such as painting, gardening, writing and so on,” she said.

“Have a Zoom family meeting once a week. Seeing the ones you love helps keep your heart light.”

SPAR Women’s race MC and race-day host Warrior Ric said it was important for people to practice self-care as they wrestle with covid fatigue.

“Work on your relationships and consider how can be more intimate, even if it is virtual, with the relationships that matter most,” said Warrior Ric.

“Find the balance, choose love, and make sure you don’t let this storm hit you by surprise, ride the crest of the wave so that you can see well in front of you.” 

Entries will close on 15 August 2021, and are limited to 75 000 participants.

This year you will again be able to not only create your own race number online, but you can also create your own certificate of completion – check out sparvirtualchallenge.co.za and follow the few easy steps.  

Entrants residing outside South Africa will unfortunately not be able to receive a virtual challenge pack due to postal restrictions and courier fees. Your entry fee will still contribute to the donation of a pack of sanitary products for a schoolgirl in need.  

For more information on the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge, please see our FAQ section here: https://sparvirtualchallenge.co.za/faq/

Announcement video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I691zBf1Mag

Warrior Ric Positivity Tips: https://sparvirtualchallenge.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Warrior-Ric-Positivity.mp4

This article was published in partnership with Media Xpose.

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