Helalia Johannes made it 3 Spar Grand Prix victories in a row alongside 3 new national records as the Nedbank running club green dream team athlete stormed to victory yesterday in Durban in dominant fashion.
The 38-year-old athlete from Namibia has been in fine form this year, setting national records each time she has stepped onto the road, from 10km through to the marathon. Staring it perfect conditions, Johannes was already out in front after 1km, with teammate Teshome Nare, a junior still at 17 running as hard as she could to stay on the Namibians heels. At this stage, Irvette Van Zyl was 15 meters back, still flying at that point.
2km was reached in 6:15 and it was just before 3km that Johannes slightly injected more pace to drop Nare as she went through in 9:18. With Coleen De Reuck’s long-standing course record of 31:38 from 2000, talk was already heated as to not if she would break the record, but by how far the record would be broken.
Halfway was reached in 15:26 and once Johannes made her way past the Kingsmead cricket stadium heading to the finish, many were eager to see if she could dip under 31:00. With 1km to go, Johannes had to dig deep, entering the Kings Park outer fields in a flat out sprint, crossing the line with her hands in the air in 30:59. It was the fastest time ever run by a female on the roads over 10km in the Country.
Behind her, Nare held on for 2nd in 32:36 with Van Zyl 3rd in 32:57 making it a 1-2-3 for the Nedbank team. In the grandmasters category, Olga Howard from Nedbank Western Province took a convincing win in her category in a fast 44:54.
Over 15 000 women took to the streets in what is dubbed as the most beautiful road race in the World. With her victory, Johannes now has a commanding lead in the overall Spar grand prix series and the question now is not who can beat her, but how much faster she can go!