Race’s 3-city coup saw thousands hit the streets on Women’s Day

Annie Bothma claims gold at the Totalsports women’s race Cape Town. Picture: Mark Sampson/Supplied
Annie Bothma claims gold at the Totalsports women’s race Cape Town. Picture: Mark Sampson/Supplied

For the first time since its inception in 2001, the Totalsports Women’s Race celebrated National Women’s Day across three major cities.

The streets of Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town were flooded with a sea of pink when close to 23 000 runners and walkers joined forces to celebrate National Women’s Day at the Totalsports Women’s Race on Friday in support of PinkDrive.

Present at each of the three events at the afore mentioned cities, PinkDrive – a non-profit company that is committed to improving breast cancer awareness, education, and providing and offering free services to the medically uninsured across the country – offered free clinical breast examinations and educating on the importance of self-breast examinations.

In Durban, Jenet Mbhele was the first 10km runner to cross the finish line at the Kings Park Athletics Track.

“I was prepared to do well today. I broke away from the leading group at round about the 5km mark and kept the lead. I am so happy to take first place. It has motivated me to continue doing well,” she said.

Mbhele claimed gold in an impressive time of 34 minutes 51 seconds. Jenna Challenor came in second, and Janie Grundling finished third.

Jenna Challenor and Jenet Mbhele. Picture: Rogan Ward/Supplied

Originally from Mpumalanga, Glenrose Xaba took no prisoners in Johannesburg crossing the finish line at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown in a deserving time of 35 minutes 05 seconds.

“I am very happy with my race today,” she said.

“I enjoyed the course, it had hills. I broke away from the group on approximately the 1 – 2km mark and decided to go with my own pace. The Totalsports Women’s Race is an amazing race. The support and vibe is great. I like it. My year started on a rough note with injuries, so I feel very excited to cross the finish line first. I wanted to gain confidence.”

Carina Viljoen came in second, while Kathryn van Meter finished third.

A very happy Annie Bothma successfully defended her title when she crossed the finish line at Grand Parade in the Cape Town CBD in a time of 34 minutes 52 seconds.

“I came here with only one purpose,” Bothma said.

“I didn’t really care about the time. I just wanted to defend my title. The race is challenging because it’s a very hilly course and I knew that Zintle [Xiniwe] is a very strong runner. I like this course because I am strong on hills.”

She added: “I repeated the mantra ‘conquer the hills you are stronger than the hills’. It feels incredible to successfully defend my title today. The vibe makes this race so special. It’s so beautiful to see all these women unite on one day and run together.”

Zintle Xiniwe came in second, and Beetrice Themane finished third.

The Totalsports Women’s Race in Cape Town closed off on a high note with a live performance by singer-songwriter Paxton.

Moonchild’s energetic performance left Durbanites wanting more, while hip-hop artist Boity had Joburg residents tapping their feet.

PinkDrive received a donation of R75 000 (R25 000 per city) during the 2019 Totalsports Women’s Race prizegiving in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

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