Relaxed Phalula breezes to victory in PMB women’s race New two deck headline here

2016-08-10 06:00
Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) takes top honours in the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km on Sunday. PHOTO: rogan ward

Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) takes top honours in the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km on Sunday. PHOTO: rogan ward

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LEBOGANG Phalula (Boxer) flew through the finish line in yesterday morning’s Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km in a respectable time of 34:41 - slicing off one minute 29 seconds off last year’s winning time.

The visibly relaxed athlete, whose only quest was to win the race, said after her run: “I managed to break away from the seeded runners in the first kilometre of the race, and I was pretty much alone from there on. I asked my friend Cornelia [Joubert] to stick with me for this race but she was unable to.

“This was my first Maritzburg race, and I was not expecting so many hills, which were pretty tough, but I did enjoy it, especially from the eight-kilometre mark where it was pretty much a downhill stride for me - it felt like I was floating.”

There is much excitement in the Phalula household as her sister, Lebo, will be representing South Africa at the Rio Olympics in the marathon this coming Sunday. For Lebogang, her next focus is on the Totalsports 10 km Race taking place in Johannesburg on Women’s Day.

Finishing 75 seconds behind Phalulua, Jenet Dlamini (Umzimkhulu) crossed the line in a time of 35:56, followed by Joubert (Boxer) 45 seconds later in 36:41.

Dlamini from Umzimkhulu said that overall she was happy with her race, “It was a tough run for me having run the Hammarsdale 10 km race last week, so my legs were a bit tired.”

It was also Joubert’s first experience at the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s race, and although she was unfamiliar with the route, she was aiming for a top five position. “I was pleased with my result and my time even after having rested quite a bit this week as I had pushed myself in the 21,1 km SA Champs in PE, where I finished 10th last weekend.”

There was a record number of entries this year, with 4 039 competing in ideal running conditions. The KZN capital was slightly overcast with a bit of a nip in the air. The youngest runner was nine years old and the oldest was 73-year-old Beryl Trussler, who finished in a time of 53:29.

Alexandra High athlete Thembekile Mthimunye (17) took the honours in the five-kilometre race, breezing through in a time of 25:47.

“Well done to everyone who came out to brave the slight chill in the air. It was particularly festive this year, perhaps young and old alike have been inspired by the spirit of the Olympic Games in Rio.” said MD for SPAR KZN, Rob Philipson.

The official race charity, Choc, will receive an R8 000 donation from the race entries. — Supplied

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