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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'I would be so happy if I could run Elana Meyer's time' - Glenrose Xaba ready for Absa DURBAN 10K

As one of only three South African women to have broken 32 minutes for 10km, Glenrose Xaba looks set to become the fastest SA woman to ever run the distance. The 29-year-old has been in excellent form this year, producing two promising performances over the distance; first a 32:17 clocking at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K in May and then an eye-catching 31:57 at the Durban leg of the SPAR Grand Prix last week, which was just two seconds shy of the lifetime best 31:55 she ran last year.

Only the great Elana Meyer (31:13) has run faster than Xaba, although Colleen de Reuck who was born in South Africa later became an American citizen, did run a lifetime best of 31:29 during her illustrious career, while Dominique Scott clocked 31:59 in 2022. Xaba then will look to next week's Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K as a realistic opportunity to get closer to Meyer's national record.

Xaba in action at the 2023 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. She has since improved on that PB and is ready to do it again at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on 7 July, 2024. Photo Credit: Action Photo.

"I'm very happy about this season so far as I have been training very hard and have even lost some weight in order to fulfil my goals," she said. Dipping under 32 minutes for only the second time in her career, has left the reigning SA 5000m and 10 000m champion confident that she can go even faster on the streets of Durban on 7 July. Xaba says her desire to dip under 32 minutes again is fuelled by the opportunity of getting her hands on some of the generous monetary time bonus incentives that the race organisers have put in place for local athletes.

"If I manage to run 31 minutes then it shows that I can run 30 minutes soon. I would be glad if I can run a good time like this at the upcoming Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K because there are a lot of incentives in that race. I'm praying for beautiful weather on race day," explains Xaba who stands to pocket at least R60 000 if she can run faster than 32:08, with as much as R200 000 on offer for a time of 30:23 or faster.

The top three at the Cape Town leg of the 2023 SPAR Women's Grand Prix Hiyane Lama, Selam Gebre and Glenrose Xaba pose with Elana Meyer. Photo Credit: Elana van Zyl Meyer.

But more than the money, Xaba is driven by the desire to be counted alongside one of the country's greatest athletes who remains the holder of no less than five national records two decades after she retired. "What Michael Meyer is doing is good for us as South African athletes because those incentives motivate us so we can also reach Elana Meyer's level. I would be so happy if I could run Elana Meyer's time because it has been there for too long now (2001) and I would love to do it in Michael's race because he was coaching her when she ran that record."

"We're thrilled to have Glenrose Xaba competing at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on 7 July, especially after her recent 31:57 finish," says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Series Founder. Glenrose is an exceptional athlete, and we'll be rooting for her to improve her 10km time even further in Durban. We can't wait to witness her performance and see her shine on race day."

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