PORT ELIZABETH (PE) — Zimbabwe’s Rutendo Nyahora has her sights set on defending her title in the Port Elizabeth leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge at Pollok Beach tomorrow.
“It won’t be easy as I am often my own worst enemy,” she said.
“Once you have won a race, you place pressure on yourself to do it again.
“All eyes are on you to succeed again, so this year’s race will not only be a physical challenge, but a psychological one too.”
The 25-year-old Nedbank Running Club athlete admitted that the pressure got to her when she failed to defend her title at the Cape Town leg earlier this month. She placed fourth in 33mins 30secs.
“I lost focus and didn’t know how fast my competitors were going to be.
“Last year, I just ran the race without any pressure.”
She said she had been training very hard and had made it her goal to win the PE race — and improve on last year’s time of 33:09.
“This race suits me as there are no major up or downhills. It is also very well organised, the people are friendly and the support along the course motivates you.”
Although Nyahora was born and raised in Zimbabwe, she spends most of her time in Pretoria to focus on her running career.
“I decided to run in South Africa because there are not many organised races in my home country and it is difficult to get noticed if you have talent.
“Over here you have a lot of scope to prove you have what it takes.”
Nyahora, who has been running competitively since 2004, said she currently focuses on 10 and 21km races, but her dream was to compete in the marathon at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Last year Nyahora romped home in 33mins 6secs to win the 10 kilometre race, hot on the heels of her success in the Cape Town leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge.
The athlete is a top female long and middle-distance Zimbabwean runner.