Phalula finished fourth in the 10km Challenge in Durban on Sunday, but her dominant performance in the first two races of the year kept her in the lead.
She won the opening races in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, where she achieved the maximum log points by winning both events in record times, giving her a total of 77 points.
Phalula’s twin sister, Lebogang, won the Durban race after she and Diana-Lebo had led for most of the way.
With about two kilometres to go, Diana-Lebo, who had a hamstring strain, told her sister to go without her and Lebogang raced away to win her first Challenge title since 2008.
While Diana-Lebo has at least one hand on the Grand Prix title, the race for second place was hotting up.
Three-times Grand Prix winner, Rene Kalmer, who came third in Durban, was currently in second place on 50 points, just one ahead of last year’s overall winner, Mapaseka Makhanya.
Lebogang Phalula’s win on Sunday has moved her from sixth to fourth position on the log, with 39 points, nine ahead of Nolene Conrad and Christine Kalmer, with 30 points each.
The top runners will all be in action at Saturday’s race in Pretoria and with just one race left after that in Johannesburg, they will be going all out to accumulate as many points as possible.
Irvette van Zyl, two-times Grand Prix winner, had a disappointing run in Durban, finishing in fifth place after a scintillating run in Stellenbosch earlier in August, where she won the Totalsports women’s 10km in 32:20 minutes.
She has won the Pretoria race on several occasions, while the Phalula twins were also both determined to win.
Rene Kalmer can never be ruled out, while last year’s winner, Makhanya, has a point to prove.