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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'I would be happy to run 31 again' - Glenrose Xaba excited to line up against World Record holder

Glenrose Xaba says lining up against a World Record holder at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K in Durban is all the encouragement she needs to go beyond her best. Ethiopia's Yalemzerf Yehualaw whose 10km personal best of 29:14 is the fastest time ever run by a woman in a mixed race, has confirmed that she will challenge the women's only World Record of 30:01 when she races for he first time on South African soil on the 9th of July. And SuperCharger says the opportunity to take on the best in the world has her champing at the bit.

"To line up with alongside a world record holder will motivate me a lot," she said ahead of Sunday's exciting race. "Its a big motivation because I will go into the race knowing that she will be chasing another record of 10km women's only which will make me want to give it my best and possibly run a huge personal best so that I can be like a world record holder one day."

Xaba in action during the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K where she finished as the first South African and fourth overall in the new personal best time of 32:23 - taking a whopping 22 seconds off her previous mark. Photo Credit: Rae Trewbrowne.

That Xaba could end Sunday as the fastest South African woman to run 10km is not a far-fetched idea. This year alone the Boxer Athletics Club top runner has improved on her 10km lifetime best three times. Most recently, the 28-year-old broke 32 minutes for the first time when she 31:55 for the third place at the Durban leg of the SPAR Grand Prix. By so doing, the woman who is coached by Caster Semenya became only the fourth SA woman behind Dominique Scott (31:59), Collen De Reuck (31:26) and Elana Meyer (31:13 national record) to run a 31 minute 10km and moved up to third on the All-Time SA 10km list. Back in the Indian Ocean city a fortnight later, she believes this route and the world class field will help her to go sub 32 again.

"When it comes to the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K, I'm expecting to maintain the standard which is to produce another 31, maybe 31 low. I would be happy to repeat that time and run a good race. It will depend on my body and how it feels on race day. I would be very, very happy to run a fast time again on South African soil," said the PUMA Ambassador.

Xaba takes on the East Africans at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon where she took second place in a new personal best of 1:08:37 to leapfrog Collen de Reuck (1:08:38) and move into the top three on the SA All-Time list behind the great Elana Meyer (1:06:44) and Dominique Scott (1:07:32). Photo Credit: Matt & Kyle Pearce Photography.

Should she be able to record the second 31-minute 10km clocking of her career than Xaba could earn as much as R100 000 in time bonuses which have been added by organisers in order to reward SA athletes for running fast times. Born in Mpumalanga and now based in Pretoria, Xaba will lead the local charge against an unprecendented field of international top runners including Yehaulaw hersef, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Stella Chesang of Uganda and Kenya's Edith Jepchumba who is 30:53 10km runner.

"We are excited about the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on 9 July," says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series. "The Elite Women’s Race is guaranteed to steal the show this year. Not only could we see the first ever 10km world record set on SA soil, but with this line up we know that

we could see the deepest and fastest women’s 10km road race in South Africa. It is truly satisfying to witness how the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series is elevating South African road running to international acclaim."

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