Phalula Doubles Up in Nelson Mandela Bay 10km

by | May 4, 2014

Barefoot runner Diana-Lebo Phalula set Port Elizabeth alight on Saturday morning when she won the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in a record time of 32.27 minutes.

(Click here to read the wrap of the SPAR 10km Challenge in Cape Town on gsport)

Rene Kalmer finished second, in 33.27, and last year’s Grand Prix winner, Mapaseka Makhanya was third in 33.28. Ethiopian runner Hunduma Gemeda, who was second in the Cape Town race, was fourth, in 33.35.

Phalula’s time was the fastest in a Challenge race and the fourth fastest time by a South African in any race. Kalmer ran the same time at the South African Championships in Stellenbosch in 2009, Zola Budd ran 31.42 in Oslo in 1984 and Colleen de Reuck ran 31.38 in Durban in 2000. The fastest time by a South African is Elana Meyer’s 31.13 in Budapest in 2001.
Phalula jumps for joy as she crosses the finish line first in her second successive victory at a SPAR Challenge race. Photo: Mark WestPhalula made her break early in the race, after running in a group led by two Ethiopian runners, Gemeda and Chelity Asefa, for the first two kilometres.

“I was feeling very motivated and I decided to get away from the others,” said Phalula. “I just kept going and I didn’t look back. The weather was good for running and I felt very relaxed,” she said.

Phalula said she believed the improvement in her times was a result of training with men. “They motivate me, and I’m training very hard,” she said.

Phalula said she was aiming to secure a place in the South African team for the Commonwealth Games, running the 5000m and the 800m.

Silver medallist Kalmer said she was very happy with her second place. “After coming eighth in Cape Town, I’m just pleased to be back in the top three,” she said. “The Ethiopians started very fast, so I just decided to run my own race,” said Kalmer.

“I tried to keep within striking distance of the leaders, but Lebo was just too strong for us today.”

“Lebo ran a great race,” said 2013 SPAR Grand Prix champ Makhanya. “It was my third competitive road race this year, and I just want to carry on. The more you race, the more competitive you become.

Makhanya also has her sights set on the Commonwealth Games, while Kalmer is to travel to the United States to run a number of races there.

With two victories under her belt, Phalula is now well on her way to securing the SPAR Grand Prix and the first prize of a new Nissan Micra.

 

Leading Open Results of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge race, from Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth, on Saturday, 3 May, 2014:
1. Diana Lebo Phalula (Maxed Elite) 32.27
2. Rene Kalmer (Modern Athlete) 33.27
3. Mapaseka Makhanya (Boxer) 33.28
4. Hunduma Gemeda (Nedbank) 33.35
5. Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) 33.48
6. Lebogang Phalula (Transnet) 34.06
7. Chelity Asefa (Nedbank) 34.18
8. Lineo Chaka (Nedbank) 34.27
9. Nolene Conrad (Boxer) 34.39
10. Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) 34.54
Junior:
1. Simonay Weitsz 35.46
2. Annie Bothma 35.57
3. Nicole van der Merwe 37.10
4. Jamie-Lee Schlemmer 39.36
5. Siphokazi Nojoko 42.57
Age group 40-49:
1. Ronel Thomas 38.34
2. Janene Carey 38.40
3. Lana Theunissen 41.13
Age group 50-59:
1. Elmarie Coetzee 40.57
2. Annatjie Botes 42.41
3. Janette Scheirz-Crusius 44.19
Age group 60-69:
1. Margie Saunders 42.26
2. Liz Grundlingh 53.22
3. Sonja Laxton 57.12
 

Main photo caption: The top three SPAR Grand Prix runners, at the Port Elizabeth leg, run from Pollock Beach, (from left-right): Mapaseka Makhanya (3rd); Diana-Lebo Phalula (1st); and Rene Kalmer (2nd). Blitzing the coastal 10km course in a record time of 32.27 minutes, Phalula finished ahead of Kalmer in second, in 33.27, and last year’s Grand Prix winner, Mapaseka Makhanya third in a time of 33.28. Photo: Mark WestPhoto: Mark West

Photo caption: Diana-Lebo Phalula jumps for joy as she crosses the finish line first in her second successive victory at a SPAR Challenge race. Photo: Mark West

 

(With editing by gsport)

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