Women’s race takes three cities by storm

Jacky McLean

About 23 000 runners and walkers in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town celebrated National Women’s Day at the Totalsports Women’s Race, in support of PinkDrive, proving that they are #StrongerTogether.

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

  Jenet Mbhele of Umzimkhulu was the first 10km runner to cross the finish line at the Kings Park Athletics track in Durban.

  “I broke away from the leading group at 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 34 minutes 51 seconds.  Jenna Challenor came second, while Janie Grundling finished third.

  Glenrose Xaba of Embalenhle, Mpumalanga, crossed the finish line at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Joburg; in 35 minutes 5 seconds. 

  “I broke away from the group on approximately the one to 2km mark and decided to go with my own pace.  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.  I am thankful to Totalsports for inviting me to race.  I will definitely come back next year,” she said.

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

  Annie Bothma of Mouille Point, Cape Town, successfully defended her title when she crossed the finish line at Grand Parade in the Cape Town CBD in 34 minutes 52 seconds. 

  “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.  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 and run together,” she said.

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

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