1 minute read
27 Aug 2013
4:22 pm

Makhanya has her eyes on the prize

With two Spar Women's 10km races to go in the Grand Prix series, Mapaseka Makhanya appears to have one hand on the keys to a new car.

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 23: Mapaseka Makhanya crosses the finish line to win the SPAR Womens 10km Challenge on June 23, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. .The Race will start at Durban Beachfront and finish at Sahara Kingsmead. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images).

A Nissan Micra would be driven away by the runner with the most points in the at the end of the five-race series. Makhanya still has some work to do to make sure she wins the coveted prize as she has last year’s winner, Rene Kalmer, and sister Christine breathing down her neck.

Rene Kalmer was plagued by injury and illness earlier this year, and was not her usual dominant force. She was forced to withdraw from the Port Elizabeth race because of a calf injury sustained in the Boston Marathon. But she says she is back to her best and intends trying to wrestle the keys away from Makhanya.

“My training is going well, and I’m feeling very good,” she said. “I lost a bit of ground in the Grand Prix because I couldn’t run in Port Elizabeth, but I am aiming for a top three Grand Prix finish. “If things go well in Pretoria on Saturday and in Johannesburg in October, who knows what could happen.”

Makhanya currently tops the Grand Prix ladder, with 67 points, and her nearest rival is Christine Kalmer, with 48. “Christine is running very well at the moment,” said her sister. “She gives me a good go at training, and she really could challenge for the top spot.

“Mapaseka is running very well, so she’s going to be hard to beat, but Christine has gained so much confidence and she’s a very different athlete this year from what she was a year ago.

Former Grand Prix winner Irvette van Zyl and Myrette Filmater were in joint third place, with 40 points, and Rene Kalmer and Nolene Conrad were fifth on 34.