Nyahora too good for the local ladies in PE | SASCOC - SASCOC

Nyahora too good for the local ladies in PE

Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank CGA) notched up her second consecutive SPAR Women’s Challenge victory when she stormed home in 33min 09min in the Port Elizabeth race on Sunday. Nyahora also won the race in Cape Town in March.

Diana-Lebo Phalula (Maxed Elite) finished second in 33.39 and Mapaseka Makhanya (Transnet) finished third in 34.06.

The top three runners went into the lead from the start, in cold, blustery conditions, running in a close pack. Nyahora moved ahead at the five km mark, and Makhanya dropped back. ÔÇ£At the start, I was happy to stick with the others, but I decided at five kms that I must make my move and go ahead,ÔÇØ said Nyahora. ÔÇ£I was aiming for 32 minutes, but the wind was strong so that made running quite hard,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£Lebo set a good pace and really helped me to win.ÔÇØ

Nyahora said she would take a short break, and then start training for the Durban SPAR Challenge race. ÔÇ£I want to win all the SPAR races this year,ÔÇØ she said.┬á ÔÇ£I know that as a Zimbabwean I can’t qualify for the Grand Prix, but I am still determined to make this my year.ÔÇØ

Phalula, who won the Port Elizabeth Challenge in 2011, said she had just gone out to do her best. ÔÇ£I’m not in 100 per cent condition at the moment, but I’m happy with my race. I just decided to go out there and do my best. Now it’s back to the drawing board, and I will be ready for the Durban Challenge in June. But before that, I’ll be running in the South African 10km Championships in Durban on May 19.ÔÇØ

Makhanya, whose third place put her on top of the Grand Prix ladder, after her second place in Cape Town, said she had battled in the race because of the conditions. ÔÇ£I got very cold, and just couldn’t get warm,ÔÇØ she said. Makhanya, who has done most of her running on the track, said she was new to road running, but was enjoying the experience. ÔÇ£I’ve got the speed from the track, but I need to put in the mileage on the road,ÔÇØ she said.

ÔÇ£I’m moving upwards from 800 metres to 1500 and 5000 metres, and the road running will be very helpful. Eventually, I plan to move over to marathons ÔÇô I plan to run my first marathon in 2016.ÔÇØ

Irvette van Zyl, twice winner of the SPAR Grand Prix, said she had had a bad race, finishing in seventh place. ÔÇ£I think I still had the London Marathon in my legs, and I have been struggling for some time with numbness in my left leg.┬áI had to stop at four kms to stretch it, and you can’t afford to do that in a 10km race,ÔÇØ she said.

Evergreen Sonja Laxton, who was running her 77th Challenge race, won the Grandmaster category, and Grace de Oliveira, multiple Comrades Marathon gold medalist, was the first Master home.

More than 13,000 runners took part in the running of the 20th Port Elizabeth SPAR Women’s Challenge.