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Molotsane impresses with solid run as SPAR Grand Prix returns

Kesa Molotsane announced her return from injury with a credible fourth place finish at the first SPAR Grand Prix race of 2021 yesterday. After Covid19 induced delays, the much loved 10km series got underway in Maritzburg where 250 athletes received invitations to run over a three-kilometre course, described by the runners as challenging. Starting three minutes before the category runners, the open race was dominated by twenty-year old Tadu Nare of Ethiopia (32:22) who destroyed the field to win by over a minute from Glenrose Xaba as Tayla Kavanagh took third. But it was Molotsane's 34:43 that raised a few eyebrows.


Kesa Molotsance annouced her comeback from injury with a solid performance during the opening leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series. Photo Credit: Rogan Ward.

"I'm really proud of myself for what I achieved this weekend. It has been a tough journey for me, it hasn't been easy," she told #TheTopRunner. The 2017 SPAR Grand Prix champion has been struggling to shake off a knee injury since last year. But at a time when racing opportunities are few and far between, Molotsane thinks the paucity of events may have been the blessing in disguise she needed to get back to her best.


"It's been a rollercoaster ride with me and injuries over the past few years. I had one last year that really needed my attention. I managed it really well and the lockdown bought me some time. But it resurfaced earlier this year and we are now monitoring the progress and keeping our health as the priority at the moment with my coach. That's how we got to where we are now with the races and I'm really excited," explained The Murray & Roberts Running Club athlete.


Tadu Nare and Glenrose Xaba go head to head during the early kilometres of yesterday's race in Pietermaritzburg. Photo Credit: Rogan Ward.

Perhaps what was more uplifting than her encouraging individual performance though, was the return of the country's most popular women's road running series after a two-year hiatus. "It was an amazing feeling and a very exciting experience to be back on the SPAR Women's 10km series. The last road race that I competed in was the 2019 Johannesburg SPAR Women's race so it was a little bit overwhelming for me to start racing again after such a long time. But I'm excited and really looking forward to the season ahead," she said.


In addition to Molotsane, Charne Bosman was also good value for her 36:47 as she won the veteran's age category, while legendary runners such as Blanche Moila and Grace de Oliviera were also in action in Pietermaritzburg. The next stop on the Grand Prix Series is Cape Town on the 4th of September.

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