Just under 200 runners will take part in the fourth race in the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix series at the Irene Agricultural Research Farm in Centurion, Tshwane on Friday.
Leading the field will be the young Ethiopian runner, Tadu Nare (Nedbank), who has won every race in this year’s series so far. She has built up a commanding lead on the SPAR Grand Prix ladder.
The current SPAR Grand Prix title holder, Namibian Helalia Johannes, has withdrawn from Friday’s race but her Nedbank teammate and three times SPAR Grand Prix winner, Irvette van Zyl, will be running her first race in the series this year, after recovering from injury. Glenrose Xaba, who came second in Pietermaritzburg and Durban, will be out to improve her position in the SPAR Grand Prix rankings, after missing the Cape Town race.
Other runners to look out for include Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts), who won the South African cross country title in Durban last weekend, Comrades Marathon winner Gerda Steyn (Nedbank), Fortunate Chidzivo (Retail Capital), who is second on the SPAR Grand Prix table and rising star Cian Oldknow (Murray & Roberts), who came third in Cape Town earlier this month.
Race Director Wynand Breytenbach says the route will be very different this year.
“Because of the limited numbers, we can run it entirety in the grounds of the Irene Agricultural Research Farm. There will be three laps, with three turning points and the runners should be able to see each other all the time,” he said.
“it is an enclosed area, so there will be no traffic. It won’t be a fast race but it will be an interesting one. It will be a rural rather than an urban race run on the Irene farm.”
The Tshwane SPAR Grand Prix race starts at 8am. Because of Covid restrictions, there will be no spectators, but fans can track runners on the SportSplitz app and live-stream the race on the SPAR Grand Prix Series (SPAR Grand Prix Series | Facebook) or the SPAR Women’s Challenge Tshwane Facebook Page from 07h30.