LEBOGANG Phalula flew through the finish line in the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km race on Sunday in a respectable time of 34:41 – slicing 1;29 seconds off last year’s winning time.Phalula’s only quest was to win the race. “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.”She said this was her first Maritzburg race.“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 as though I was floating.”There is much excitement in the Phalula household as her sister Lebo is representing South Africa at the Rio Olympics marathon on Sunday. Finishing 75 seconds behind Phalulua, Jenet Dlamini from Umzimkhulu crossed the line in a time of 35;56 followed by Cornelia Joubert 45 seconds later, in 36;41.Dlamini stated that overall she was happy with her race, “It was a tough run having run the Hammarsdale 10km 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 a iming for a top five position. “I was pleased with my result and my time even after resting a bit this week as I had pushed myself in the 21.1km SA champs in PE, where I finished 10th last weekend.”There were a record number of 4039 runners this year who competed in ideal running conditions.“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. Whatever the reason, it was a joy to see so many people coming out in force to participate and have so much fun,” said MD for SPAR KZN, Rob Philipson.The official race charity, Choc, will receive R8 000 from race entries. - Supplied.