Tayla Kavanagh Wins Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge

22-year old Tayla Kavanagh was the clear winner of the Maritzburg SPAR Women's 10km Challenge in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 20 August - winning it in a time of 34.07. Photo: Rogan Ward / Supplied

Running an entirely individual race, young Tayla Kavanagh owned the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge that took place in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, 20 August 2023. 

Leading from the start to finish with a gun-to-tape dash, the 22 year old running for Hollywood Athletics Club, finished her 10km challenge in a time of 34.07. Kavanagh had a decent lead of 1 minute and 14 seconds to second place Jenet Mbhele, who finished in 35.21. A delighted third place Makhosi Mhlongo crossed 3 minutes and 21 seconds behind Kavanagh, in a time of 37.28.

A fresh looking Kavanagh, who resides in Hillcrest started after her run, “I had a good run, the course was undulating which suit me.

“The actual race was tough as I ran completely solo from the start.” – Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge, Tayla Kavanagh

There was no one to help push me but it was a good test for me demanding my focus on keeping up my pace”

The leading lady’s next race will be in two weeks’ time when she will be hitting the streets of Durban for her home club’s race, the Hollywoodbets 10km run. Thereafter, the budding athlete will be heading to the 5km World Champs in Riga, Latvia running around the Baltic city on 1 October. This will be her second international race, having a Hollywood dream build up to her second global race, the determined star finished second in the recent Totalsports Women’s Race held in Durban recently, in a time of 33.44. Her first international race was in Germany last year where she took part  in the Race 2 Records 10km run.

“I really would love to run a fast time in Riga, even a personal best would be great.” Talking about her personal best, the trail blazer has a 32.10 best run that she set in 2021 at the SA Champs for 10km.

Both second-place Mbhele and third-place Mhlongo will be heading east where they will both be competing in the gruelling 50km World Champs in Hyderabad, India later this year. 28 year old Mbhele from Umzimkulu ran in the Comrades earlier this year where she finished tenth overall. 

A completely sold-out field of 3,100 ladies tackled the course, starting in a gorgeous mystical mist that enveloped Alexandra Park area before the clouds lifted and burnt off, and the day warmed up to a gorgeous sunny morning. 

CHOC House in Pietermaritzburg, the race charity for the event, were awarded a cheque of R20,000, with R5 from each entry being donated to them. 

Leading Results of the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, 20 August 2023:

1 Kayla Kavanagh 34.07
2 Jenet Mbhele 35.21
3 Makhosi Mhlongo 37.38
4 Janie Grundling 38.36
5 Slindile Hlatswayo 38.50
6 Nokkhanya Memela 41.22
7 Janene Carey 41.25
8 Kadence Ribbink 43.15
9 Dawn James 44.48
10 Hannah Bullock 45.45

Junior

1 Kadence Ribbink 43.15
2 Hannah Bullock 45.45
Mia Clendennen 49.13

Senior

1 Tayla Kavanagh 34.07
2 Jenet Mbhele 35.21
3 Slindile Hlatswayo 38.50

40 – 49

1 Makhosi Mhlongo 37.38
2 Janine Grundling 38.36
3 Pauline Rainbird 49.03

50 – 59

1 Janene Carey 41.25
2 Dawn James 44.48
3 Sibongile Ziqubu

60 – 69

1 Brenda Myburgh 57.58
2 Alette Wegner 01:01.24
3 Kathy Baxter 01:04.30

70 + 

1 Sybil Dinkemann 01:12.26
2 Jeanette Eglington 01:16.41
3 Christina Eckstein 01:22.45


Photo 1 Caption: 22-year old Tayla Kavanagh was the clear winner of the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 20 August – winning it in a time of 34.07. Photo: Rogan Ward / Supplied

With editing by gsport

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