Jenna Challenor won the SPAR Women’s 10km race at the Oval in Pietermaritzburg in a time of 35.24 on Sunday, annihilated the field with a massive lead of 3.35.
From 300m into the race Challenor looked to have a commanding position with the rest of the 3,200 runners filing in behind her. “It was a windy, hot and dry race out on the road,” commented Challenor after the race.
Continuing, the leading lady revealed, “This is my third big race on the trot, last weekend in Pretoria I gave it my all coming in fifth in the SPAR race. I felt strong but am fightening off the flu and have a niggling hamstring.”
Concluding, Challenor said, “There is a chance that I will be running in the SA Cross Country Champs in Potchefstroom next weekend but after the run today, my body is tired! Running three major races I wouldn’t mind a break.”
Pocket dynamite, Poppy Mlambo lost her title to the in-form Challenor, finishing second, “The race was ok, the conditions were hot and dry. I have been training in Durban for the last month, so have adjusted to the humidity but the berg wind was unforgiving.”
Mlambo has been concentrating on the longer distances this year, having competed in six marathons, she is preparing for the Soweto Marathon taking place in November.
In the 5km race, two seconds separated the first two ladies, young Fezeka Mchunu snatched victory from the defending champion Natascha Hartmann with a time of 20:43 on the clock, Hartmann finishing her run in 20:45.
The Race Director, Brad Glasspoole said, “We have had complimentary feedback about the new route; the reality is we will never have a fast and flat route in Pietermaritzburg, but we have tried to make it as easy as possible for the ladies.”
“Congratulations to all the athletes that turned out today. The enthusiasm shown at the race with so many bright and colourful people making an effort to dress up, fabulous to see! We had a very good turnout despite the blustery berg wind and dry and warm conditions. Thank you Pietermaritzburg for supporting us and helping us make out event so successful,” said Rob Philipson, MD of SPAR KZN.
Over 3,200 runners took to the course around the Oval sporting precinct, 78 year old Joan Schoeman was the oldest runner to complete the 10km, finishing in a time of 1.36:20 while the youngest was Gcini Kubheka finishing in a time of 1.32:26.
Leading Results of the 10km SPAR Women’s 10km race in Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday 8 September, 2013: 1. Jenna Challenor (Boxer) 35:24 2. Poppy Mlambo (Boxer) 38:49 3. Makhosazane Mhlongco (Savages) 39:03 4. Keneilwe Sesing 39:35 5. Slindile Chici 40:18 6. Nomcebo Mthethwa 40:54 7. Amanda Bradshaw 41:10 8. Grace de Oliveira (Boxer) 42:56 9. Tsepani Mlefe 44:27 10. Lindo Gabela 44:40 9 – 14 Years: 1. Sindle Mbanjwa 1.14:50 2. Nonkazimulo Mthembu 1.35:08 3. Sibusisiwe Majola 1:35:26 15-19 Years: 1. Slindile Chici 40:18 2. Gina Williams 45:08 3. Mbali Mtshali 45:49 Seniors: 1. Jenna Challenor (Boxer) 35:24 2. Poppy Mlambo (Boxer) 38:49 3. Makhosazane Mhlongco (Savages) 39:03 35 – 39 Years: 1. Michelle Lloysellis 45:06 2. Wendy Durow 46:43 3. Simone Smale 48:09 40 – 49 Years: 1. Sibongile Ziqubu 46:55 2. Xolisile Mwelase 48:37 3. Christa du Plessis 51:46 50 – 59 Years: 1. Grace de Oliveira 42:56 2. Janine Engels 47:22 3. Debby de Koning 50:11 60 + Years: 1. Judith Grove 50:39 2. Jane Dickinson 52:54 3. Patricia Fisher 59:39 5km: 1. Fezeka Mchunu 20:43 2. Natascha Hartmann 20:45 3. Noshila Phungula 21:24 4. Londeka Mweli 21:32 5. Sinenhlanhla Zondi 21:49
(With editing by gsport)