Mlambo cruises to victory
Poppy Mlambo (Bidvest Running Club) cruised through the finish line in top position on Sunday in the Weekend Witness Women's 10/5km in a time of 35.38 in a record entry field of 3 321.
This is the third time that Mlambo has won the Weekend Witness 10km race in the last four years, having had a break due to injury last year.
Both Mlambo and Maxwell didn't compete in the 2011 race and made a welcome return dominating proceedings.
It was a four horse race in the first 2km, with Makhosazana Mhlongo (Hammarsadale), Puseletso Dladla (Botha's Hill), Mlambo (Protea Glen, Gauteng), and Hillcrest's Tanith Maxwell, leaving the field behind.
Going up past the City Cemetrey, Maxwell and Mlambo broke away with Mhlongo keeping them just in her sights.
Dladla dropped off and was not able to keep up with the trio who were upping the pace at the front of race.
Poppy had a slight advantage on Tanith as they turned down the hill, going through the 3km mark. Mlambo and Maxwell opened up the gap to 100m.
Makhosazana flew down the hill, clawing her way back towards the leaders.
Mlambo ran her fastest split in an impressive 3.25.59 as she dashed down the hill crossing the Dusi Bridge, raising the tempo of the race.
“I loved the hills in this race; I had to dig deep as I strode up the inclines.”
The gap slowly opened up between Mlambo and Maxwell going through the 5km mark as they went past the Alexandra Swimming Baths, but at the 6km mark, she doubled her lead as the race rounded into College Road.
“I was stiff to begin with as I ran the SA Cross Country on Saturday but I enjoy running with Tanith, we help each other and work in synergy.” Malmbo commented.
Maxwell, who also took part in the SA Cross Country Championships on Saturday came second overall and first in her age category, “My ankles didn't enjoy the race, it has been years since I ran cross country and the transition back to road the next day was extremely difficult. I died on the hills.”
This is the second road race that Maxwell has competed in since returning from the 2012 London Olympics, “I am still coming back down to earth after the high of running in London, and the adjustment is taking a while.”