Tuesday, 21 June 2022 12:58

Records expected to tumble at Durban spar grand prix on Sunday.

Staff Reporter.

Two Oceans Champion, Gerda Steyn confirmed for Durban SPAR Grand Prix

If the opening race of the SPAR Women’s 10km Grand Prix series is anything to go by, the second race, in Durban on Sunday, should be a cracker.

The season opener in Gqeberha last month was very fast, with the first 11 runners home finishing in under 34 minutes. The director of the Durban race, Brad Glasspoole, expects another very fast race on Sunday.

"The race is all at sea level, with the highest elevation nine metres," he explained.

"It’s an ideal route for in-form runners to break records."

The race starts and ends in Battery Road, outside Kings Park swimming pool and is one of the few races in South Africa to finish on the road rather than in a stadium. The athletes will line up facing the famous Moses Mabhida Stadium. The first 5kms take the runners on a circuit around Kingsmead Cricket Ground while the second 5kms takes them along Durban’s famous beach front, finishing in front of Kings Park swimming pool.

A quality field has entered the race, headed by the 2019 SPAR Grand Prix winner, Helalia Johannes of Namibia (Nedbank). Forty-one-year-old Johannes was thought to have run the fastest time by a veteran in Gqeberha when she won the race in 31.53 minutes, but it was later found that 43-year-old Australian Lisa Weightman had run the Sydney 10km in 31.20 three weeks earlier.

However, Johannes set a world record for over 40s in the South African half marathon championships, with a time of 1hr 7.49 minutes, beating Weightman’s world record time of 1hr 8.48.

Two Oceans Champion, Gerda Steyn has confirmed her entry for the Durban race.

Also running on Sunday are Ethiopians Tadu Nare and Selam Gebre, who finished second and third in Gqeberha. Nare won the SPAR Grand Prix in 2021.

Local runners include Murray & Roberts’ Tayla Kavanagh, a Durbanite, who was the first South African home in Gqeberha, the 2018 SPAR Grand Prix winner Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts) and three times SPAR Grand Prix winner Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank). Another exciting prospect is rising star Karabo Motsoeneng of Prestige College, who will represent South Africa at the World Under 20 Championships in August.