Namibian runner Helalia Johannes (Nedbank) produced the fastest-ever time by a woman in Port Elizabeth to cruise to victory in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in a time of 31 minutes and 50 seconds on Saturday.
More than 7,000 runners took part in the 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run near Pollok Beach.
Making her debut in the series, Johannes said she was delighted with her victory.
Breaking away at the 7km mark, the 38-year-old Johannes piled on the pressure in the final kilometres as she realised she was on course to better her personal best of 32:28.
“It is my personal best [PB] time and is a new Namibian national record, so I am very pleased,” Johannes said.
“The weather was perfect and I enjoyed the course.
“Around the 7km mark, I decided to make a break as I wanted to improve my PB.”
Running her first race outside her country, Ethiopian runner 17-year-old Tadu Teshome Nare (Nedbank), finished second in 32:38 minutes.
Kesa Molotsane’s dream of a hat-trick in the city was shattered in the sensational race.
Despite improving on her winning time of 2018 and setting a new personal best time of 33:09, the Murray Roberts runner placed third.
Her winning time in 2018 would have seen her finish seventh in Saturday’s race.
Incredibly, the first seven runners all finished under 34 minutes with the first six all earning 10 SPAR Grand Prix bonus points for beating 2018’s winning time.
There were no Port Elizabeth runners in the top 20.
Speaking through an interpreter, second-placed Teshome said this was