Caltex Challenge strives to build a love of running in the community

THE 5km and 8km weekly Caltex Challenge Time Trial, which has been running for the past 33 years, strives to build a love of running in the East London community.

The weekly Caltex Challenge Time Trial is held at Oxford Striders every Tuesday evening.

Helen Pretorius of Oxford Striders Running Club said the event aims to build a sense of community wellness and promote a healthy lifestyle amongst the running community.

“It also stands as a way of building friendships with residents and of encouraging the inclusion of a sporting activity in our busy modern lifestyles. Most importantly the event strives to encourage people of all abilities,” she said.

Pretorius said the reasons to participate vary among runners.

“The importance of participating in events of this nature will be different for each athlete. Some will be participating motivated by the desire to lead a healthier more active lifestyle while others will participate in order to gauge the progression of their fitness levels during a marathon training program.”

Caltex Challenge sponsor, Patrick Kelly, of Eastern Cape Marketer said the company’s marketing focus is on “Caring for the Community”.

“We believe that this weekly event fits in perfectly with that theme. We have seen the event grow from between 50 to 80 runners a week to almost 300. It has become more than just a time-trial but is now a culture of family and friends getting together to exercise and socialise afterwards. It is wonderful to see runners bringing along their children and encouraging them to take part in healthy activities.

A number of runners who started off at the time-trial have gone on to become accomplished runners, with several of these runners having recently completed the Comrades Marathon. There has been resurgence in road-running in the Border area and we believe that initiatives such as this have played a large role in introducing a number of runners to the sport,” said Kelly.

Results for the Time Trial are posted on the Oxford Striders Facebook page and Oxford Striders website every Wednesday.

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