Distance runner Kesa Molotsane was rewarded on Tuesday for a superb maiden season on the road, receiving the R173 000 winner’s cheque at the Spar Women’s Grand Prix awards ceremony.
Better known for her exploits on the track, Molotsane made a major impact on the road for the first time this year.
Stunning the field at the opening leg of the Grand Prix 10km campaign in Cape Town in April, she charged across the line in a personal best of 32:59.
Though she was edged out by Louisa Leballo, her opponent was later disqualified and banned for eight years on doping charges.
With Leballo scratched from the results, Molotsane was promoted to first place, earning her maiden Grand Prix victory.
She went on to win the Port Elizabeth and Pietermaritzburg legs, and finished on the podium at all three of the other series races in Durban, Centurion and Joburg to secure top spot in the points table.
“When I ran the first one (series race) in Cape Town, I was really doing it just as a form of training for track racing,” said Molotsane, who won the national 10km title in Nelspruit last week.
“I planned to run just one or two, but then I realised I had a chance of winning the Grand Prix, so I carried on.”
Defending series champion Irvette van Zyl, who won the high-altitude legs in Centurion and Joburg, took second place overall in the annual campaign after dropping out of the Durban race with an injury.
Nolene Conrad and Mapaseka Makhanya, who delivered consistent performances throughout the season, shared third position in the final standings.