Mapaseka Makhanya says she will be back to defend the Pretoria leg of Spar Women’s 10 km challenge, which takes place on August 30 in Centurion.
“I’m planning to win this race. I think I’m going through what I went through last year, second, third and a win and hopefully another record,” she said.
“Pretoria is close to home and I love it. It’s beautiful, the atmosphere is great and you’re guaranteed warm weather.
“The 10km course is tough, but the tougher the better because you must be strong mentally and physically and so the race works to my advantage.”
Last year’s Grand Prix champion, Makhanya, won the Pretoria race in spectacular fashion, shaving 73 seconds off the previous course record of 34:50 set two years ago by Rene Kalmer.
She crossed the line in 33 minutes, 37 seconds (33:37). Kalmer finished second, while Irvette Van Zyl followed in third.
“Every year without fail the race is over subscribed and has reached its capacity way before the race day,” Spar North Rand managing director Desmond Borrageiro said in Pretoria on Wednesday.
“The race has grown and improved over the years and has become a way of life among the ladies of Pretoria and surrounding areas.
“There is a very special feel about this race, the turn out, the vibe and the camaraderie among the women. All of this makes it one of the greatest races to take part in Pretoria.”
The popular Pretoria race started in 1999 and over the years, has attracted over 25 000 entrants from around Gauteng.
It features a five and 10km course, which take runners through the streets of Centurion, starting and finishing at SuperSport Park.
The 10km event forms part of the Grand Prix series which mainly attracts the country’s top professional female athletes.
The winner of the annual series is the runner who accumulates the most points in the five Women’s 10km challenge races, held at various venues around the country.
The Pretoria race is the fourth race of the series.
The other races are run in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg.