Encouraging women

2014-08-21 00:00

THOUSANDS of women runners will take to Durban’s streets this Sunday for the Spar Women’s 5 and 10 km race which is fitting considering it is Women’s Month.

None other than defending champion Mapaseka Makhanya is calling Durban’s women to come out and run the race.

“We encourage everyone to run; it’s so nice to go out and see women run together. I would love to see more women in the race this year, it’s great to see new faces,” Makhanya told The Witness.

The Pretoria-based runner is excited to be returning to Durban and has victory on her mind.

“I am coming down with the intention of defending my title. If I can’t do that, my next goal is to beat my personal best,” she said.

That would mean running the race faster than her 32 minute and 49 second finish last year.

Despite the race running a different course this year, Makhanya is not stressed about a change of scenery.

“I love running in Durban and it shouldn’t be a problem,” she said.

She said it is great there were two Spar Grand Prix races in August, which is Women’s Month. The Durban race is the first with another race in Pretoria next weekend.

“These races encourage women. Every race changes their lives no matter who wins or loses. There are about 70 ladies from my neighbourhood in Pretoria that will run next week, they are excited to participate,” she said.

The race organisers have catered for 17 500 women, but are expecting around 15 000 runners this weekend.

The 10 km route takes women from Masabalala Yengwa Avenue, just across the road from Durmail northwards on the beachfront passing through Blue Lagoon. Runners then head up Snell Parade towards Kingfisher Canoe Club and past the Dusi Canoe Marathon finish. It is then back along the promenade for a finish at Sahara Stadium.

The 5 km route cuts back early by the Suncoast Casino parking lot and meets up with the 10km route to the finish.

Women can register from today at Suncoast SunZone from 10 am until 5 pm. That continues with the same hours on Friday (August 22) and the last chance is on Saturday (August 23) from 10 am to 3 pm.

Otherwise entries can be made online at www.sparwomensrace.co.za.

For competitive runners, the race is part of the Spar Grand Prix that includes all the Spar races nationally. The overall winner on the runner’s log will win a Nissan Micra.

As it stands, Diana Lebo Phalula tops the women’s table with Makhanya in second and Rene Kalmer in third. It will be interesting to see who comes out as the winner as there are some quality runners competing.

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