Namibian star Helalia Johannes (Nedbank International) won her fourth successive SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge when she led from start to finish to win the Tshwane race at Supersport Park on Saturday afternoon, in a record time of 32.29 minutes.
Ethiopian junior Tadu Nare (Nedbank Ethiopia) was second in 34.19 and Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank Zimbabwe) was third in 34.40.
Last year’s winner and defending Grand Prix champion, Glenrose Xaba (Boxer GN) finished in fifth place, in 35.39.
Johannes was fresh from coming second in the Bogota half-marathon in Colombia, which was run at an altitude of 2700 metres. She said she was excited about her last two seasons of running, because she was doing better than ever before.
Johannes shot into the lead from the start and the chasing pack were not able to reel her in.
“My coach told me not to worry about anyone else, but to run my own race.” – Helalia Johannes, winner of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in Tshwane
I was feeling good and I am happy with my performance,” said Johannes.
She confirmed that she would run in the Pietermaritzburg SPAR Challenge later this month, but said she took things from day to day, and could not commit herself at this stage to running in the last race, in Johannesburg in October.
“I am training for the World marathon championships and they are just before the Joburg race, so I will just have to see how I feel.”
Nare, who won the South African half marathon in Port Elizabeth last weekend, said her legs were still tired after the half marathon, but she was delighted to have finished second.
“I love the Pretoria race,” said Nyahora.
“I think it’s my favourite race and I was very happy to get a podium finish. I have had some health issues but I am feeling stronger now.”
Former Grand Prix winner, Kesa Molotsane (Murray&Roberts FS), who finished eighth, said the presence of the international athletes in the SPAR Challenge series was good for running in South Africa.
“They are spurring us on to faster times and they are making it very exciting for us. I think it’s good that different people are getting onto the podium in each race,” she said.
Forty-thousand 940 people took part in the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run.
Senior Results of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge run at Supersport Park in Centurion on Saturday, 3 August 2019:
1. Helalia Johannes (Namibia, Nedbank International) 32.29
2. Tadu Nare (Nedbank Ethiopia) 34.13
3. Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank Zimbabwe) 34.30
4. Fortunate Chidzivo (Retail Capital Langa) 34.53
5. Glenrose Xaba (Boxer GN) 35.39
6. Caroline Mhandu (Maxed Elite Zimbabwe) 36.10
7. Sarah Naibei (Nedbank Kenya) 36.15
8. Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts FS) 36.19
9. Makhozi Mhongo (Hollywood Bets) 35.44
10. Patience Murowe (Nedbank Zimbabwe) 36.45
40-49 Years Category:
1. Charne Bosman (Murray & Roberts GN) 39:51
2. Bulwela Semai (Boxer WP) 40:56
3. Janene Carey (Boxer KZN) 41:30
1. Judy Bird (Murray & Roberts CGA) 42:42
2. Grace de Oliveira (Murray & Roberts KZN) 43:02
3. Maria Bendana (Morningside) 44:53
60-69 Years Category:
1. Olga Howard (Nedbank WP) 47:28
2. Mariet Geyer (Maxed Elite) 51:32
3. Francis van Blerk (Nedbank ) 51:39
70+ Years Category:
1. Sonja Laxton (RAC) 54:02
2. Cara Senekal (Loskop) 59:46:46
3. Elaine Greenblatt (RAC)62:14
Tadu Nare (Nedbank) 34:13
Carmie Prinsloo (HIS Montana) 37:23
Tayla Kavanagh (Hillcrest) 37:47
Photo 1 Caption: Namibian Helalia Johannes (Nedank International) crossing the line to win the SPAR Women’s Pretoria Challenge race in a record time of 32.29, in Pretoria on Saturday, 3 August, 2019.
Photo 2 Caption: 2019 Pretoria Challenge winner Helalia Johannes (Nedbank) in action during the race. Photo: Reg Caldecott
Photo 3 Caption: The SPAR Women’s Pretoria Challenge 2019 Top 3 (from the left) are Nedbank runners Ruthendo Nyahora (third, from Zimbabwe), Helalia Johannes (first, Namibia) and Tadu Nare (second, Ethiopia). Photo: Reg Caldecott
With editing by gsport