Front-running Jones dashes to Durban victory | TeamSA - TeamSA

Front-running Jones dashes to Durban victory


British marathon athlete Tish Jones led from start to finish to win Sunday’s SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in Durban.

Jones won in 32min 58sec, with Kesa Moletsane second in 33:31 and Lebogang Phalula third in 33.39 minutes.

Jones, better known as a marathon runner, took the lead immediately. A small pack of runners tried to keep pace with her, but she shook them off at about six kilometres and ran well ahead of the rest of the athletes. Moletsane started slowly, but then used her famous kick to pass Phalula and snatch second place.

Jones said she enjoyed her run in only her second SPAR race. ‘I’m more used to running further, and I expected a faster time for the effort I put in. But I guess that is my body adjusting to the shorter distance,’ she said.

‘I didn’t really feel any pressure during the race – there was a group fairly close to me and I edged them out and widened the gap from about six kilometres.’

‘There are many factors that affect the way you run – the weather, the route, the temperature, etcetera. But I’m very happy to have won, and I intend to do two or three more Challenge races this year.’

Moletsane, a leading track runner who has done exceptionally well in her first season running the Challenge races, said she had found the going hard.

‘The route was quite tough and it’s quite difficult to adjust to road running. But I’m using the races as training for the track and I just love running, whether it is on the road or the track,’ she said.

‘I’m determined to finish in the top three in the SPAR Grand Prix.’

For Phalula, it was her first podium finish this year. ‘I’ve been very stressed, because my twin sister Diana-Lebo was pregnant, but she has given birth to a baby girl, and now I feel better. I went out to enjoy the race and I’m very happy to be back in the top three,’ said Phalula.

Defending champion and current Grand Prix title holder, Irvette van Zyl, dropped out of the race after about four kilometres because of an injury.

Picture of the top three (left to right):  Moletsane, Jones and Phalula courtesy of Reg Caldecott

1 Tish Jones (KPMG) 32:58; 2 Kesa Moletsane (KPMG) 33:31; 3 Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) 33:39; Elisabet Kebede Arsedo (Nedbank) 33:48; 5 Ruthendo Nyahora (Nedbank) 33:50; Glenrose Xaba 33:56; Rudo Mhonderwa (Nedbank) 34:03; Nolene Conrad (Nedbank) 34:07; Bertha Chikanga 34:15; Mapaseka Makhanya (Olifantsfontein) 34:26.

1 Nicole Louw (Afs-KPMG) 35:26; 2 Nicole Van Me (KPMG) 36:11; 3 Chery-Lee Schoeman  (KPMG) 39:51; 4 Nomthandazo Memela 40:03; 5 Nokukhanya Mtshali 41:19

1 Bulelwa Simoe 36:55; 2 Janene Carey (Boxer) 38:56; 3 Ronel Thomas (Boxer) 39:10

1 Judy Bird (KPMG) 39:09; 2 Grace De Oliveira 43:11 (Boxer); 3 Gail Babich (Savages Athletic Club) 45:21

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