'This is a great platform for us ladies to be noticed' - Broodryk takes 10th at Cape Town SPAR 10km
While Ethiopia's Tadu Nare secured a second successive SPAR Grand Prix title by winning the final race in Cape Town yesterday (31:53), there was an encouraging performance from someone better known for running distances much longer than 10km. Adele Broodryk who was third in her debut Comrades Marathon in August, took tenth place overall in The Mother City and her time of 35:11 was less than 30 seconds off her personal best.
"It's great for speed training," she told journalists after the Joburg leg of the SPAR Grand Prix. "Where I come from there's not a lot of competition or assistance in my training. So I really make an effort come down and continue with all the SPAR races because the competition is really great and it's an even playing field," she explained.
The Murray and Roberts Running Club top runner's success in 2022 has been hard earned. Forced to balance a busy life as a mother, wife and Health Sciences senior lecturer at the North West University in Potchefstroom, the 32-year-old has had to do most of her training on her own. So she treated the SPAR Grand Prix races as quality speed sessions where she benefitted from using faster 10km and 21km specialists to pace herself. That's precisely what happened when she clocked her 34:49 personal best in Durban just two months before that sensational 90km run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.
"There's not just the top contenders and the low contenders, there's really a middle field for everyone. And since competing in this series, I could really see big improvements in my speed times and that definitely carries over into marathons and ultra marathons. So for me this is really a great platform to work on my weak points, which was my speed and that's really getting to be one of my strengths now," she revealed.
Moreover, Broodryk believes the fact that the SPAR Grand Prix is a women's only race is good for competition. She argues that in mixed races, men end up pacing women but in women's only races those in the middle of the pack especially, can benefit from trying to chase a higher finishing position without the aid of male pacers, which will make them better athletes in the long run.
"In your head you are always doing calculations to see where are you lying in the pack and to chase, chase, chase. At the end of the day that helps with your speed, endurance ability. So when gents are running alongside us, there's definitely pacing going on but also you don't know where precisely are you lying position wise. So I really think that this is such a great platform for us as ladies to be noticed and our national times are getting so much better compared to the international times," she concluded.