Annie Bothma shows a clean pair of heels in racing to victory in the Totalsports Women’s 10km Race in Cape Town. Photo: Stephen Granger

Nedbank athlete, Annie Bothma, celebrated Women’s Day in style by racing to victory at the Totalsports Women’s 10km Race at the Grand Parade in Cape Town ahead of 7000 runners.

The 23-year-old Bothma retained the title she won last year, shortly after her return from the USA, where she qualified with a Masters degree in Personal Training, running 30 seconds faster than last year.  Bothma clocked 34 min 52 sec – 2:14 clear of her closest rival, Zintle Xiniwe, who took the runners-up berth for the second year in succession.

A mass of pink down Darling Street brought colour and rhythm to the City Centre on Women’s Day. Photo: Stephen Granger

Twenty-three thousand took part in a series of Women’s Day 5km and 10km races around the country, with the winner of the Durban event, Jenet Mbhele, running the fastest time of the day, just pipping Bothma’s effort by one second in winning in 34:51. Glenrose Xaba took the honours in Johannesburg in 35:04.

The Cape Town race started under the watchful gaze of Nelson Mandela’s statue on the City Hall balcony and followed the traditional route through the City and District Six.

“It’s fantastic to be able to run together with so many women,” said Bothma. “It isn’t always safe to run alone, although I do most of my training on my own.  But today was fantastic and a celebration of women’s running.  And I am passionate about Pink Drive (the race beneficiary) as I have had first-hand experience of significant medical challenges and costs.”

This group of colourfully adorned runners were part of the 7000 runners finishing the 5 and 10km races. Photo: Stephen Granger

Bothma went to the front from the start, immediately opening a gap on the rest of the field.  The diminutive Nedbank athlete never let up, maintaining her pace to the finish to take the honours.  Ziniwe, still feeling the effects of illness leading up to the race, stayed in contention for the first kilometre, before dropping back.

Talented Beetrice Themane, from the Athletes’ Academy, ran strongly to take the junior’s prize, finishing third overall, with K-Way VOB runner, Christiane Adriaanse edging our Bulelwa Simae to take the masters prize for athletes over forty years, while Pixie Sparg of Celtics ran strongly to secure the masters award for athletes over seventy, clocking an impressive 57:36.

IOL Sport