Nare, who also collected a total of R150 000 along the way in the six women’s only individual races, will receive an additional R190 000 as SPAR Grand Prix title holder, giving her a grand total of R340 000 for seven weeks’ work.
Although she had emphatic wins in all six races, life was not exactly easy for Nare. Because of visa restrictions, she had to fly back to Ethiopia after every race, even though the 2021 schedule was completed in just seven weeks due to lockdown rules. “It was very tiring, all that flying and the resultant COVID tests” she said.
But the year is far from over for the hard-working runner, who now has her sights set on distances greater than 10km. “I am training for my first marathon, in Barcelona in November, so I have to keep up my training schedule, even though I would like time to rest and recover from the flights. To prepare for 42.2km I have been doing 35km training runs during the week between the SPAR races.”
Nare, who also finished second in the 2019 SPAR Grand Prix, said she hoped to defend her title in 2022. “I love South Africa. It’s like my second home. And I am very grateful to SPAR for putting on these races to give us an opportunity to compete and to make some money. I hope to build a house for my mother,” she concluded with a smile.
Former titleholder Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts) finished second and receives R90 000 in prize money. Molotsane’s performance underlined the importance of consistency, taking part in as many races as possible. She finished second in Cape Town and Johannesburg, fourth in Pietermaritzburg and Gqeberha, fifth in Tshwane and 10th in Durban, for a total of 129 points.
There was a battle royal for the next three places, with three runners finishing within a point of one another. Fortunate Chidzivo (Retail Capital Langa) and Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) finished joint third, with 117 points each. Like Molotsane, Chidzivo’s success was the result of consistency and taking part in all six races, finishing fifth, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth and 11th. Xaba, on the other hand, finished second three times (Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Tshwane), third in Gqeberha and fourth in Johannesburg. However, she missed the Cape Town race through injury and could not make up ground and overtake Molotsane. Xaba and Chidzivo will share the prize money for third and fourth places and receive R47 500 each.
Cian Oldknow (Murray & Roberts) finished fifth, with 116 points, winning R35 000.
A freak accident caused former Comrades Marathon winner Charne Bosman to lose out on first place in the 40-49 years category. Bosman won the first four races, with Janie Grundling in second place on each occasion. But Bosman missed the Johannesburg race and then injured her foot stumbling on a stair and missed the Gqeberha race as well. Grundling won both and wrapped up the category title to win R6000. Bosman, in second spot, collects R4000.
After a ding-dong, series-long battle, Elmarie Pretorius (Run/Walk for Life) and Shani Silver (Boxer) finished joint winners of the 50-59 years category, with 27 points each. Both won three races and will receive R5000 each.
Judy Bird (Murray & Roberts) like Tadu Nare won every SPAR Grand Prix race in the 60-69 category, worth R6 000.
Murray & Roberts, whose runners dominated the 40-49 and 60-69 categories as well as scoring consistently in the open category, was the clear winner of the club competition, finishing with 731 points from 28 scorers. Nedbank was second with 605 points from 19 scorers and Boxer third with 368 from seven scorers.