Makhanya Wins Durban SPAR 10km Challenge

by | Jun 23, 2013

Mapaseka Makhanya (centre) beats off strong competition to win the Durban SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge ahead of Zimbabwe’s Rutendo Nyahora (left) and Christine Kalmer, who came in third. Photo: Rogan Ward

Mapaseka Makhanya (Transnet) blitzed her way through the new route, running away with the title of 2013 SPAR Women’s 10km champion in Durban on Sunday in a time of 32.49.

Makhanya, competing in her first Durban SPAR race, bettered Rene Kalmer’s time from last year by 36 seconds on the brand new SPAR route and enjoyed over a minute gap between her and second placed Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank CGA).

Makhanya who is dominating the SPAR Grand Prix this year twirled across the finish line in superb style. The petite frame had a fantastic run improving on her two successes in the previous SPAR races, where she came second in Cape Town and third in Port Elizabeth.

The first kilometre saw the clock tick over on 3.10 minutes in the first split. The lead pack of eight ladies broke away from the masses in the second kilometre, with Christine Kalmer (Nedbank CGA) and Nyahora in the lead. The Zimbabwean, Nyahora who won both the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth races dropped off Christine’s shoulder around the 4km mark.

At the halfway mark, Mapaseka Makhanya changed gear, striding ahead and opening up a gap of 100m. As she neared the 7km she turned the gas on and opened up the lead to 200m.

“It was a great race, and with the new course I was planning to try break away at 2km before the end, but pulled away at 5km.” said a visibly delighted Makhanya, “I was not worried about the first part although the top ten runners are all fantastic athletes, but I had the confidence and the speed to win this.”

Makhanya, who prefers the track, recently competed in Mauritius in April in the 1,500 discipline and more recently stormed through a 3,000m race in Dakar two weeks ago, is looking to the next SPAR race in Pretoria. “The 800m is my favourite.” said the smiling figure. Holding the titles of the 1,500m and 5,000m SA champion she is increasingly competing in longer distances while still favouring the shorter distance track events.

Second placed Nyahora ran a slower race than her two previously SPAR wins, with a time of 33.55 said, “I didn’t get up to enough speed today, but I gave it my best.” Being a Zimbabwean, the top athlete is not in contention for the Grand Prix series.

“This has been my best race ever,” enthused Christine Kalmer, who came in third, just ahead of her sister Rene Kalmer who came down ill yesterday, “I have only ever come fourth so coming third was a bonus. I am ecstatic about it. There was tough competition out there but it just went right for me today.”

The younger Kalmer thought the new SPAR route was much better than the previous year’s one, pipped her sister, Rene’s performance and beating her by one position and 24 seconds. Defending champion, Rene battled through the 10km as she was fighting off a bout of flu. “2013 is just not my year,” said the disappointed Olympian. “I woke up feeling dreadful yesterday but I gave it my all!”

16,309 entries took to the new SPAR route on a beautiful winter’s morning.

‘It was a great day as the streets of Durban were awash with a sea of purple T-shirts as women came out for a day of festive, healthy fun.” says Rob Philipson, MD of SPAR KZN. “The new race route proved to be enormously popular and there was a strong sense of camaraderie among the participants as old and young alike crossed the finish line. SPAR is pleased to host such a popular and life-affirming event.”

Results of Durban SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge, on Sunday, 23 June, 2013:
1. Mapaseka Makhanya (Transnet) 32.49
2. Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank CGA) 33.55
3. Christine Kalmer (Nedbank CGA) 34.13
4. Rene Kalmer 34.37
5. Peres Jepchirchir 34.40
6. Myrtle Filmater 35.01
7. Lebo-Diana Phulala 35.15
8. Lineo Chaka 35.25
9. Tabitha Tsatsa 35.41
10. Jenna Challenor 35.47


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