GRAND PRIX CHAMPION STARTS SPAR SERIES ON A WINNING NOTE

Cape Town, South Africa – SPAR Grand Prix title holder Kesa Molotsane (KPMG), who dominated the SPAR Women’s 10km Series last year, continued her winning ways on Sunday with a comprehensive win in the opening race of the 2018 series at the Bellville Stadium in Cape Town. Her winning time was 34.10.

Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) was second, in 34.39 and Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) was third in 35.07. It was an amazing performance by the three-times winner of the SPAR Grand Prix, because she is six months pregnant with her second child.

Christine Kalmer (KPMG) took the lead initially, running just ahead of Maria Shai (Boxer), with a number of runners, including Molotsane and Van Zyl, running in a group behind them.

Approaching the 4km mark, Xaba and Zintle Xiniwe pulled ahead and Kalmer and Van Zyl appeared to lose touch, but at the halfway point, Van Zyl surged ahead of the pack. Xaba and Xiniwe were close behind and for a time, Durbanville runner Olga Firsova took the lead. However, she fell back and Molotsane, who was looking very comfortable, applied her famous kick and took over the lead. She finished well ahead of the rest of the runners.

“It was a great start to the year for me,” said Molotsane, who said she had been suffering from flu after returning from the African cross-country championships in Algeria.

“I only discovered on Wednesday that we weren’t running at Greenpoint, but I liked the route. There were some hills, but it’s not like Johannesburg hills. I think it was challenging, but it wasn’t that hard.”

“I was thinking to go maybe after 7km, because the race really starts at 7km, so I told myself just to relax and then kick. When Kesa kicked, I just tried to go with her,” said Xaba.

Van Zyl was beaming at the post race media conference.

“I really enjoyed the race,” she said. “I was quite confused when I found myself in the lead at the halfway mark. I have been listening to my body and I am very happy with the way I ran today, because I haven’t been training like an elite athlete, as I would normally do. The last two kilometres, which were downhill, were easy – I just leant forward and the baby gave me momentum. I am doing the Two Oceans half marathon next week, and that may be my last race before the birth. But who knows – I might run the Port Elizabeth SPAR race, if I am still allowed to fly”

Photo: Reg Caldecott

RESULTS

Results of the SPAR Women’s 10km Grand Prix run at the Bellville Stadium on Sunday

Senior: 1. Kesa Molotsane (KPMG Free State) 34.10; 2. Glenrose Xaba (Boxer CGA) 34.39; 3. Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank Gauteng North) 35.07; 4. Rudo Mhonderwa (Nedbank Running Club Zimbabwe) 35.18; 5. Zintle Xiniwe (KPMG WP) 35.43; 6. Cherise Sims (Born 2 Run) 35.45; 7. Maria Shai (Boxer CGA) 35.50; 8. Christine Kalmer (KPMG CGA) 35.58; 9.Olga Firsova (Durbanville AC) 36:03; 10.Anel Terblanche (KPMG) 36:20

14-19: 1. Jane le Roux 41.40; 2. Mia Lions 42.46; 3. Leila Abouzaid 43.24

40-49: 1. Bulelwa Simae 38.02; Christine Adriaanse 39.15; Ronel Thomas 40.00

50-59: 1. Judy Bird 40-02; 2. Obertino Kanyongo 40.52; 3. Ester Brink 41.22

60-69: 1. Nancy Will 45.21; 2. Beverley Charters 46.33; 3. Judith Grove 53.06

70+: 1. Veronica van Niekerk 53.29; 2. Marietha Herbert 54.04; 3. Pixie Sparg 56.59