Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Glenrose Xaba chasing faster times on the road

Xaba ripped more than half a minute off her 10km personal best in Gqeberha.

In the shape of her life, long-distance runner Glenrose Xaba hopes to produce another quick time next week when she turns out in defence of her national 21km title.

Xaba delivered a gutsy performance on Saturday, and while she was unable to stay in touch with the Ethiopian contingent in the second half, she held on to take third place at the Spar Grand Prix 10km race in Gqeberha.

Though she was off the pace of race winner Tadu Nare, who clocked 31:35, and runner-up Selam Gebre (31:53), Xaba crossed the line in 32:12, ripping more than half a minute off her personal best of 32:45 set in October 2019.

Glenrose Xaba, Spar Grand Prix
Glenrose Xaba (right) with Ethiopian athletes Tadu Nare (centre) and Selam Gebre after the Spar Grand Prix race in Gqeberha on Saturday. Picture: Delarey Ferreira

She admitted afterwards, however, that she had not put her foot flat on the pedal as she didn’t want to enter the SA Half-Marathon Championships, also being held in Gqeberha next Saturday, with tired legs.

“My plan is to keep improving my times but I didn’t want to go flat out today because I still need that energy next week,” Xaba said.

Global championships

After finishing 16th at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Gdynia three years ago, Xaba was hoping to improve on that result at the World Road Running Championships in Riga in October.

Following her superb result over 10km at the weekend, she hoped to gain further momentum ahead of the global championships by winning her third successive title at the national half-marathon champs. She was also eager to give her 21km personal best (1:09:26) a shake.

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“This 10km personal best has built some momentum for me, and it gives me strength and a positive mindset,” she said,

“I’ll be happy if I can run 69 minutes next week because I’m building up to the World Championships where I want to improve my position.”

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