Updated: March 16, 2016

Additional incentives will be provided this season, as South Africa’s most accomplished road runners square off in the 10th annual edition of the popular Spar Women’s Grand Prix 10km series.
Organisers announced a R410 000 purse for the campaign on Wednesday, with R160 000 going to the series winner (up from R150 000 last year).
An additional R10 000 would be up for grabs to the first woman across the line at each of the five races.
A new initiative was also revealed, with the six former series winners – three-time champion Rene Kalmer, two-time winner Irvette van Zyl, Mapaseka Makhanya, Poppy Mlambo, and twin sisters Lebo and Lebogang Phalula – each mentoring a junior athlete throughout the year.
“They will guide and assist them through the series, and share their secrets of success. We hope this will produce our next generation of winners,” said Spar group marketing executive Mike Prentice.
Kalmer, who won the inaugural series in 2007, believed the partnership between experienced local stars and up-and-coming talent would reap benefits for women’s road running.
The 35-year-old Olympian participated in her first Spar Ladies’ Challenge at the age of 11, more than a decade before the women’s only races were combined to form the annual series.
“It has been an exciting journey for me, but I think this is a great initiative,” Kalmer said.
“It would have been awesome to have someone like Elana (Meyer), Zola (Budd) or Colleen (de Reuck) on speed dial if I wanted to know something. It will be great to pass on the knowledge.”

2016 Spar Women’s Grand Prix fixtures:

17 April – Cape Town
7 May – Port Elizabeth
5 June – Durban
3 September – Centurion
9 October – Johannesburg