Lebogang Phalula races to victory in 25th Durban SPAR Women’s 10km
Durban at its best, Lebogang Phalula claimed a dramatic and sensational victory in the 25th Durban SPAR Women’s 10km race today (Sunday) in a time of 33.06.
Crossing the line in tears of joy, the Soweto-based runner collapsed on her knees after winning, completely overwhelmed by her victory.
On a picture perfect warm Spring morning, with a slight breeze, the elite runners started off in a pacey fashion, with race favourite Irvette Van Zyl blazing a trail in the lead and Phalula and Mapaseka Makhanya close behind with Phalula’s twin Diana hot on their heels. But in the end it was Lebogang Phalula taking the honours, and last year’s second place Rutendo Nyahora shaving off 14 seconds from her time, and Rene Kalmer coming in third position.
Close to the 2km mark Irvette Van Zyl, last year’s winner Mapaseka Makhanya and twin sisters Lebogang and Diana-Lebo Phalula owned the early parts of the race.
Between the 2km and 3km mark, nearing the newly revamped Blue Lagoon, the twins broke away from Van Zyl and Mapaseka. As the duo neared 4km the sisters were still shoulder to shoulder as they approached the Indian Ocean.
The break happened at 6km where Lebogang made her move away from her sister. “I could see she was struggling and she gave me a nod that allowed me to leave her.” said the winning sister, Lebogang.
Coming under the M4 underpass around the 7km mark, running towards the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium, Lebogang had a 25m lead on second placed Diana with Kalmer and Nyahora 70m behind in second place.
Rutendo and Kalmer had a cracker of a final few kilometres coming up from their fifth and sixth place. “We worked together slowly reeling in runner after runner. My confidence grew when we overtook Irvette, I knew I could do this!” said a delighted Nyahora at the press conference. I left Rene with 800m to go.”
“It was a nice race, and I felt stronger coming into the finish” said Nyahora, who said she had worked well with Kalmer to ensure they overtook van Zyl .
Rene Kalmer, who conceded the wind especially on the promenade was a hindrance, ran a steady race in fifth position and worked her way up to third position. “My next big event is the Berlin Marathon in 5weeks time so I am in marathon mode. The pace today was fast with a fantastic field competing.”
“I knew there would be lots of pressure on Irvette and the twins,” continued Kalmer, “and I knew the race would really start in the last 5 kilometres, so once we caught up with Irvette my confidence really grew. I am over the moon in being on the podium, and as there was no pressure on me I could really enjoy the race.”
An elated Phalula said “I am thankful to Irvette, as she set the pace in the beginning which was really fast. But I did say to myself to run my own race – not someone else’s. I needed to make a strong comeback, and I was only racing against time, no one else.”
Diana-Lebo, had unfortunately pulled a hamstring last night as the sisters were stretching, which meant she was unable to stay with the pace but still managed to come in fourth with a time of 34.02.
A total of 14,256 took part in the event with 6,054 running the 5km and 8,202 tackling the longer race.
“We are once again pleased with this fantastic event. The weather was perfect and the mood festive and fun.” says MD of SPAR KZN, Rob Philipson. “Thank you to all the women who participated and their families and friends who came out to support them for making this a memorable day.”
RESULTS OF SPAR WOMEN’S 10KM CHALLENGE RACE
Durban, South Africa - Results of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge race run in Durban on Sunday
Open: 1-Lebogang Phalula 33.06; 2-Rutendo Nyahora 33.41; 3-Rene Kalmer 33.49; 4-Diana-Lebo Phalula 34.02; 5-Irvette Van Zyl 34.29; 6-Mapaseka Makhanya 34.35; 7-Jenna Challenor 35.01; 8-Nicole Van Der Merwe 35.27; 9-Constance Nyasango 35.35; 10-Thozama April 35.56
Junior (15-19 Age Group): 1-Mtshali Nomcebo 39.14; Thenjiwe Gumede 41.57; Nondumiso Khoza 42.43
35-39 Age group: 1-Nonsikelelo Mbambo 41.55; 2-Debbie Perry 42.32; 3-Precious Duma 42.56
Veteran (40-49 Age group): 1-Ronel Thomas 39.39; 2-Janene Carey 39.39; 3-Shani Silver 41.22
Master (50-59 Age Group): 1-Judy Bird 41.24; 2-Elmarie Coetzee 42.16; 3-Janine Engels 44.26
Grandmaster (60+ Age Group): 1-Margie Saunders 43.27; 2-Sandra Fismer 49.02; 3-Judith Grove 49.45
CAPTION TO PHOTO BY ROGAN WARD:
Lebogang Phalula claimed a dramatic and sensational victory in the 25th Durban SPAR Women’s 10km race today (Sunday) in a time of 33.06