Rutendo Nyahora Takes Pretoria Title

Zimbabwe’s Rutendo Nyahora waited for the perfect time for her late surge and notched an impressive victory in the Pretoria Spar Women’s Challenge 10km race in Centurion on Saturday.  The 26-year-old Nyahora overtook the strong-starting Phalula twins, Lebo and Lebogang, at the 7.5km mark and was not challenged again as she cruised to the finish line in a time of 34 minutes, 54 seconds.  Nyahora says:  ‘It all went according to plan and I’m so happy.  I’ve been training at midday every day from the beginning of the month, so the heat did not affect me that much.  I was struggling for the first two kilometres, but after that I enjoyed the race.’

 

Lebo Phalula finished second in a time of 35:10, while Lebogang was third, a further 28 seconds back, but it wasn’t all bad news for the twins as Lebogang has earned enough points now to be virtually assured of the Spar Grand Prix Series title.  The race started at 14:00 with the temperature a warm 29 degrees and Lebo Phalula said the heat was not to her liking.  She says:  ‘It was too hot, I don’t run my best when it’s hot so I’m happy with my second position.  It was a very challenging race for me, the hardest of the series, and I messed up the first kilometre.’

 

Nolene Conrad (36:25), who only decided to run on Friday night after struggling with a calf injury, and Cherelee Schoeman (37:08) rounded out the top five.  The series now moves to Johannesburg on October 11 and Lebogang Phalula said she was determined to round off an excellent series for her with the overall title.  Lebogang says:  ‘I’m over the moon, I was aiming for a top three finish here, so I’m very happy.  I congratulate Lebo and Rutendo, but they must watch out because I love running in Johannesburg and I’m very keen to defend my title there.  This is my year.’

Photo credit: Reg Caldecott