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11 September 2018

Some runners love to run barefoot. Take for instance the legendary Zola Budd who became known as the barefoot runner when she shot to fame in the early 80’s. In fact, when she received a running shoe sponsorship, the catch line was “Brookes or nothing.” Another runner who prefers to run barefoot is former SPAR Grand Prix winner Lebo Phalula, who like many other top runners still prefer to run without shoes. Keep in mind though, it’s one thing to run barefoot because you choose to do, but it is a completely different story if you run without shoes because you have none.
The organisers of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Marks Park on Sunday October 8 are doing their best to ensure that more girls and young women are given the option of running with or without shoes.
The Rosebank Killarney Gazette, which is part of the Caxton Group, noticed in 2015 that many children from disadvantaged schools ran the race barefoot. In 2016 the Caxton Cares initiative, together with SPAR, launched the “Drop a pair and show you care” campaign. Participants in the 10km Challenge or the 5km Fun Run were encouraged to drop off an old pair of running shoes, or even a new pair.
The first year, the shoes that had been donated were passed on to Skeen Preparatory School in Alexandra and the Johannesburg Girls Preparatory School in Berea. In 2017, more than 300 pairs of shoes were donated to the Realogile School in Alexandra.
This year the public once again have the chance to help allow even more young runners to have a choice. You can hand over your shoes and meet the Caxton Cares team on race day or you can drop off your unwanted shoes at Caxton House, 368 Jan Smuts Avenue or at 1187 Cornelius Street, corner of JG Strijdom, in Weltevreden Park.
There will be prizes to be won in a lucky draw for those participants that dropped off shoes for the ‘Drop a pair and show you care’ campaign. The winners will be announced upon the completion of the collection of shoes.

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