Neither the threat of rain nor blustery conditions could deter the thousands of runners and walkers who turned out for the 22nd annual SPAR Women’s Challenge in Port Elizabeth on Saturday morning.
Pollok Beach turned pink with delight as the women, clad in the official blush-coloured race T-shirt, and a few brave men dressed in drag, made their way along the beachfront route.
Top Billing presenter Nico Panagio, who acted as emcee for the event, set more than a few hearts racing as the action got underway in the 5km fun run and 10km feature race.
Defending 10km champion Diana-Lebo Phalula (Boxer) took her second straight victory in 32:57 – 30 seconds shy of her course record, which she set last year.
Her twin sister Lebogang (Transnet), who won the Two Oceans half marathon last month, made it a one-two for the family in 33:26.
Zimbabwean Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) rounded out the podium in 33:43 and dedicated her result to the victims of recent xenophobic violence in South Africa.
Barefoot runner Diana-Lebo said she had gone into the race intending to set a high tempo and better her own record in order to earn SPAR Grand Prix Series bonus points.
She said the wind had definitely been a factor on the day
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