Makhanya leads the way in Grand Prix Challenge | SASCOC - SASCOC

Makhanya leads the way in Grand Prix Challenge

Transnet’s Mapaseka Makhanya has taken the early lead in the SPAR Women’s 10km Grand Prix Challenge, after finishing second in the open category of the recent Challenge race in Cape Town.

The race was won by Nedbank AGN’s Rutendo Nyahora. However, as she is from Zimbabwe she does not qualify for the Grand Prix, in which the top runners collect points from the five Challenge races held around the country. The winner of the Grand Prix will receive a Nissan Micra, and the runner-up will pocket R30┬á000.

Makhanya has 19 points, and Zintle Xiniwe (Maxed Elite WP) has 18 points. But Makhanya and Xiniwe will know they have their work cut out to stay in the lead, as Nedbank CG teammates and 2012 London Olympians Rene Kalmer and Irvette van Zyl are hot on their heels, with 17 and 16 points respectively.

Kalmer finished fourth in the Cape Town leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge, which was her first competitive race after a lengthy lay-off because of an Achilles injury, while Van Zyl came fifth.┬áHowever, they have won all but one of the Grand Prix titles since its inception, with Kalmer winning the ultimate prize three times and Van Zyl twice.

Kalmer said after the Cape Town Challenge that she was determined to win the Grand Prix title again. ÔÇ£I was out of action for a long time, but I’m back now, and just watch out for me,ÔÇØ she laughed. ÔÇ£I won the car last year, and it would be really great to win a car again this year.┬áSo I’ll be going all out to win in Port Elizabeth in May.ÔÇØ

With five runners in the top 20 in Cape Town, Nedbank CG have a substantial lead in the race for the club title. They have 62 points, well ahead of their nearest rivals, Boxer KZN, who have 33. Transnet Rail Engineering are in third place, with 29 points.

The next race in the Grand Prix series will be run at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth on 4 May.