Masehla wins bumper Spar Women’s Race Spar women’s race winner

2015-08-26 06:00
                                                                                                          PHOTO: ROGAN WARD
Winner of the Spar Women’s Race 10km, Tebogo Masehla, crosses the line in Pietermaritzburg   yesterday.

PHOTO: ROGAN WARD Winner of the Spar Women’s Race 10km, Tebogo Masehla, crosses the line in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

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THE Pietermaritzburg Spar Women’s Race drew a record entry of 4 028 runners, who were treated to ideal weather for the five kilometre and 10km events, run around The Oval Cricket Ground precinct in Alexandra Park yesterday. Victory in the main race, the 10km, went to Tebogo Masehla in 36:10.

She was involved in a race-long duel with Makhosi Mhlongo for the win, but made her move a kilometre from the end to take the honours by 10 seconds with a happy smile on her face.

“For me, it is training for the Cape Town Marathon, so I wasn’t really expecting to go hard, but everything went smoothly, so I’m happy,” Masehla said at the finish.

“The time, also, is not that bad. I’m happy because it is also an indication for me that I am on the right track for the big one, which is the Cape Town Marathon.”

Commenting on her break from the diminutive Mhlongo, she said: “I pulled away at the nine-kilometre mark. I said to myself, if I go, I am not going to let her catch me.

“It was a tough run, but I really enjoyed it. The hilly route did play with my mind a bit, especially as I was running neck-and-neck with Makhosi. I know that I would not have done so well if I did not have her to push me.”

Lindokuhle Gabela grabbed the final podium place, finishing almost three minutes behind the leading pair in 39:17.

“Once again Maritzburg did us proud,” said Rob Philipson, the managing director of Spar KZN.

“The participants [said] that the support on the road was fantastic, this kind of camaraderie makes the Maritzburg race such an inviting, special event.”

Race organiser Brad Glasspoole was thrilled with the way the race had gone off.

“In the discussions with the team afterwards, we felt this was by far the best event we have had, if you take into account entries, registration and race day. It has been an incredible event.

“Feedback so far, the people are very happy, and that is what we are all about is making a happy event.”

He said 99% of people who had pre-entered came and collected their race packs, whereas there is normally a 10% drop-off, and of the entrants, 91% finished the race, which he described as “extremely good”.

Glasspoole said, having reached the 4 000 runner limit, he and his team would have to look at demand for next year’s event, also consider the route and feedback, before making a decision on whether to up the numbers.

“If we’re looking at more people wanting to take part, we have to figure out how to accommodate them.”

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