Last year’s SPAR Grand Prix winner Irvette van Zyl is poised for a change of tactics when she launches her bid to retain the Port Elizabeth title in what should be a highly competitive Women’s 10km Challenge showdown on Saturday.
The Nedbank runner started strongly in the Cape Town race last month, but was caught at about 7km by Louisa Leballo and Kesa Moletsane, who came first and second respectively.
After the race Van Zyl, who came third, said she had been taken by surprise.
“I didn’t realise Kesa was in the race until 7km. Maybe, if I had known at the start I might have run differently,” she said.
“In the last kilometre, I knew I was in big trouble. Kesa has a big kick and Louisa was a surprise.”
Van Zyl is likely to alter her strategy to meet the challenge this weekend. However, Moletsane is in superb form and will be hard to beat.
Leballo, Moletsane and Van Zyl are well ahead of their nearest rivals on the Grand Prix ladder. The runners earned bonus points in Cape Town for finishing below the target time set for the race.
The target time for Port Elizabeth is 33.26 minutes, which is within the capabilities of the top three or four runners. If the weather is good, the pace should be fast and the competition fierce.
There are five races to go and with a first prize of R173 000 up for grabs for the series winner, South Africa’s top runners will be going all out to earn maximum points.