FIVE OUT OF FIVE FOR ETHIOPIAN RUNNER
October 4, 2021  

Ethiopian runner Tadu Nare (Nedbank) made it five out of five when she won the Joburg leg of the 10km SPAR Grand Prix race at Marks Park on Sunday, finishing in 33.20 minutes.

There was a battle royal for second place, with Kesa Molotsane  (Murray & Roberts) putting on a spurt in the last two kilometres to cross the finish line in 34.34 minutes, six seconds ahead of Irvette can Zyl (Nedbank).

Nare stayed with the pack for the first half of the race, before pulling away from the rest of the runners.  Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) was in second position until the six- kilometre mark, when she was overtaken by Van Zyl. Xaba, who finished second in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Tshwane, finished in fourth place, in 35.24 minutes.

Nare said she had run slower in the first lap, because she wanted to save herself for the final race, in Gqeberha next Saturday.

“I am hoping to run below 30 minutes in Gqeberha, depending on the weather conditions,” said Nare.

“I find it very tiring because I have to fly back to Addis Ababa after every race, because they will only give me a five-day visa.  It would be better for my training if I could stay here,” she said.

Molotsane said she had been behind the front runners, but caught up with them at about seven kilometres.

“I was managing my time and the distance for the first eight kilometres and then I kicked for the last two.  I saw Irvette pass Glenrose, and then I was able to get past Irvette right at the end.”

Van Zyl was running only her second SPAR race this year after sustaining a traumatic injury before the marathon at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.  She said she was very happy to have finished in the top three.

“I think I got over-excited when I overtook Glenrose at six kilometres and accelerated too fast and too soon. I felt I was running on empty for the last two kilometres. I didn’t realise Kesa was so close and there was nothing I could do when she passed me. 

“But I am very happy to make top three and Kesa ran a very good race,” said Van Zyl.

She said that she was considering taking part in an international marathon later this year.

“I am just so pleased to be running again, pain-free.  Now I just have to work on my fitness, but mainly on my mental health.  I keep having flashbacks to the night before the marathon in Tokyo. But running in these SPAR races has helped my confidence. They are helping me to move forward.”

Fortunate Chidzivo, who had been in second position on the SPAR Grand Prix log, finished in eighth position, but collapsed just after finishing. She was stabilized on the finish line by the race paramedics before being taken to hospital for treatment, but was discharged in time for the prize giving.

The final race in the series is to be run next Saturday in Gqeberha within the Nelson Mandela University grounds, where Nare is expected to complete a clean sweep of the six SPAR Grand Prix races.