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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'There is no time to relax' - Glenrose Xaba reflects on new SA 10km Record and shares future plans

In what has already been a wonderful season, Glenrose Xaba took to another level when she ran a scintillating 31:12 to break the long-standing South African 10km record by one second at yesterday's (7 July) iconic Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K. The previous of 31:13 belonged to legendary Olympic silver medalist Elana Meyer, who set the the incredible time back in October 2001. Xaba who finished in fourth overall behind winner Christine Nalimo Njoka (30:37) of Kenya, Ethiopia's Debash Desta (31:00) and Judith Kiyeng (31:10). Speaking afterwards, Xaba, who has been coached by Olympian Caster Semenya and her partner Ledile Semenya since 2021, says she knew that the she was in the right shape to break the record.

"Yesterday (Saturday) I told the Phalula twins (Lebo and Lebogang) that tomorrow I'm going for the SA record. I said I don't want to break it by much, even a few seconds would make me happy," said a delighted Xaba who pockets a total of R145 000 for her efforts. R50 000 for breaking the record; R80 000 for dipping under 31:30 plus R15 000 for taking fourth position in the race. Xaba admits that she had to dig deep over the last few metres to ensure that she achieved her goal.

Xaba on the way to eclipsing the 23-year-old SA 10km Record at the 2024 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote.

"When I was like 50 meters away from the finish line, I saw on the clock that the time is 30 minutes something. My legs were locked but I pushed as much as I can and I'm glad I managed to run under 31:15 mark. I'm excited to break one of SA records held by Elana Meyer. She told me from a very young age while I was still part of her Endurocard Academy that I'm strong and have the ability to go far. It also shows that one day I'll be fast in the half marathon and aarathon too. I'm feeling very excited and just want to thank my team, coaches Violet and Caster Semenya for organizing this race for me. I also want to thank Michael Meyer for inviting me into the race," she said.

Yesterday was only the third time in her career that the Boxer Athletic Club top runner managed to dip under 32 minutes with all those times having been achieved in Durban. Now 29-year-old Xaba believes its time to work hard again as she has set her sights on running under 30 minutes in the future.

2024 has been excellent for Xaba who ran 31:57 to grab second place at the Durban leg of the SPAR Grand Prix on 23 June. Photo Credit: Darren Stewart.

"You can be a record holder, Olympian or World Champion but the important thing is to stay humble. Plus you must know that there are upcoming athletes who are pushing hard and look up to you. There is no time to relax. It's time to focus going forward and working hard. So I wish I can break the record again by running sub 31 minutes. I would be so excited if I run 30 minutes or 31 minutes flat."

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