Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Kesa Molotsane (KPMG) coasted to victory in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Pollok Beach in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, in a time of 33.46 minutes.
Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) was second in 34.01 and Zimbabwean Patience Murowe (Nedbank) finished third in 34.16.
The 25th edition of the Port Elizabeth was run in ideal conditions, with a light breeze. The lead runners started in a bunch, with Cornelia Joubert and Christine Kalmer leading the pack for the first couple of kilometres. The group thinned out to nine runners until the halfway mark, when Joubert slipped out of the top group. Xaba surged at 6kms, taking six runners with her, but at 7kms it was Molotsane, famed for her “kick”, who surged into the lead. The much smaller Xaba tried hard to stick with her, but Molotsane, with her easy running style, was just too good and Xaba dropped back leaving a smiling Molotsane to cross the finish line alone.
“Yesterday, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to run because of a technical issue, so I wasn’t in the right frame of mind,” said Molotsane.
“I couldn’t run according to my original plan, and it was only at about 5kms that I really felt I was in the race. But I’m a fighter and at 7kms, I felt I had to go for it. I am very happy to have won,” she said.
Xaba, who also finished second at the Cape Town Challenge in March, said she had also thought she might not be able to run because of a tight hamstring.
“But luckily I was able to take part. At one stage, I was leading, but at 8kms I felt I had to slow down. I enjoyed running alongside Kesa – she is a challenging runner.”
Murowe said she had aimed at finishing in the top five.
“I was with the race pack from the start, taking the lead from time to time. It was a very flat course, and I have been training to run on a flat course, so I was very happy. I didn’t struggle on the last 2kms because of my training,” she said.
“The race didn’t go quite as I had expected – the pack started quite slowly and then picked up the pace and at 7kms, I got away from the pack.”
Molotsane, who is the current SPAR Grand Prix title holder, said she wasn’t sure whether she would be able to run all of the remaining four Challenge races.
“I am having to juggle my track running, cross-country and SPAR races,” she said. “I am trying to qualify to run the 5000m at the African Championships, so I may have to miss some of the Grand Prix races. At this stage, I still want to do all three disciplines, although I will eventually have to decide on one.”
Veteran runner Sonja Laxton completed her 95th SPAR race 51.26 and finished the race 89th overall.
Eight-thousand-108 runners took part in the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run.
SPAR Sponsorship and Events Manager for the Eastern Cape, Alan Stapleton, said he was delighted that the race was proving so popular with the women of the Eastern Cape.
“This year, we have decided that instead of donating money to a designated charity, we will put that money into a clean-up and education campaign aimed at eliminating plastic. This is in line with SPAR’s decision to do away with plastic bags wherever possible,” he said.
RESULTS OF SPAR WOMEN’S 10 KM CHALLENGE
Results of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge run at Pollok Beach in Port Elizabeth on Saturday
1. Kesa Molotsane (KPMG) 33.46; 2. Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) 34.01; 3. Patience Murowe (Nedbank) 34.16; 4. Rudo Mhonderwa (Nedbank) 34.21; 5. Zintle Xiniwe (KPMG) 34.23; 6. Christine Kalmer (KPMG) 34.24; 7. Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) 34.38; 8.Cornelia Joubert (Boxer) 34.49; 9. Ntombesintu Mfunzi 34.54; 10. Cherise Sims (Boxer) 34.59
1. Nicole Louw (KPMG) 36.02; 2. Lyndi Roelofse (Boxer) 37.03; 3. Tara Schwulst (Born2Run) 38.58
40 to 49
1. Bulelwa Simae 37.29; 2. Janene Carey 39.41; 3. Ronel Thomas 39.58
50 to 59
1. Judy Bird 39.42; 2. Christine Claasen 42.57; 3. Marietta Hattingh 43.41
60 to 69
1. Margie Saunders 42.38; 2. Blanche Moila 47.35; 3. Renee Hawkridge 50.25
1. Liz Jenkinson 54.46; 2. Ronelle Steyn 1.00.53 3. Vicky Ashley 1.05.44