Nare promises fast time in SPAR Grand Prix race in Gqeberha

All 20-year-old Ethiopian runner Tadu Nare (Nedbank) needs to do to win the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix title is to take part in the final race in the series in Gqeberha on Saturday.

With five wins in the six race series under her belt, Nare has accumulated 125 points, and is 18 points ahead of her nearest rival. But Nare indicated in Joburg on Sunday that she was hoping to do a very good time in the final race.

“I started slowly because I was saving myself for the last race,” Nare explained. 

“It is at sea level, and I can run faster there.”

Asked if she planned to attempt to run the 10km in under 30 minutes, Nare was noncommittal.  

“I want to run a fast time and it all depends on the weather conditions,” she said.

Most of South Africa’s top road runners will be in action on Saturday.  

The race will be run on the Nelson Mandela University Campus. There will be three laps, of about 3.1 kilometres each, finishing at the Madibaz Stadium where they will run the final 300 metres on the track. The organisers say the course is flat and expected to produce fast times.

The 2017 SPAR Grand Prix winner, Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts) is second on the leaderboard.  She has come second twice, in Cape Town and in Johannesburg, and will be looking to maintain her position on Saturday. Glenrose Xaba (Boxer), who has come second three times, will be trying to improve on her fourth place in the Joburg race.  Xaba missed the Cape Town race and has been trying to regain lost ground on the SPAR Grand Prix leaderboard.

Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) made a welcome return to the series in Tshwane, after missing the first three races because of a stress fracture sustained shortly before women’s marathon at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. She finished fourth in Tshwane and third in Johannesburg and the three times winner of the SPAR Grand Prix should never be under-estimated. 

There is an interesting battle for first place in the veterans category.  2015 Comrades Marathon winner Charne Bosman won the first four races, but missed the Joburg race, which was won by her Murray & Roberts teammate Janie Grundling.  Having finished second to Bosman in the previous four races, Grundling moved to the top of the category log with 21 points.  If Bosman wins on Saturday, and Grundling comes second, they will finish with 25 points each.

The Gqeberha SPAR Grand Prix race starts at 07h00. 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) Facebook Page from 06h30.

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