The streets of Johannesburg and Durban resembled a ‘sea of pink’ on Wednesday 09 August 2023 with runners and walkers coming out in their masses to participate in the iconic Totalsports Women’s Race, South Africa’s largest Women’s Day celebration. Irvette Van Zyl was the athlete to beat in Johannesburg, while Cacisile Sosibo showed the ladies a clean pair of heels in Durban.
Running in the colours of Hollywood Athletics Club, Irvette Van Zyl (Pretoria East) claimed her 6 th Totalsports Women’s Race Johannesburg victory on the day (having won in 2017 and 2007 – 2010), in a deserving time of 34 minutes 58 seconds. Rutendo Nyahora came in second, with Lebo Phalula finishing third.
“I loved this race last year, so I had to come back and just try to be the best that I could be,” says Van Zyl. “Coming into the race I wanted to be tactical, take it easy on the downhills, so that I could be ok on the uphills. We stayed together until about the 5km mark, and then the break happened. I knew that the second half of the route was quite difficult and that if I could just maintain until then I could push through until the end. I am chuffed with today’s race. I had a rough start to the year due to injury, so being here today, being healthy and fit and able to enjoy running again is awesome. I’m happy to come away with the win. I really enjoyed the event. The atmosphere was great as always. It’s awesome to be here on Women’s Day, celebrating women together.”
In Durban Cacisile Sosibo (Soweto) was leaving nothing to chance. She entered the Totalsports Women’s Race Durban because of the fast, flat course and took full advantage of it claiming her first Totalsports Women’s Race victory in an impressive time of 33 minutes 31 seconds. Reigning Totalsports Women’s Race Durban Champion Tayla Kavanagh had to settle for second place on the day, with Jenet Mbhele rounding off the podium.
“I run for the Boxer Athletics Club. With the event taking place in more than one province, we had to spread our runners out between the events,” says Sosibo. “I specifically entered the Totalsports Women’s Race Durban because the course is flat, and the turns aren’t complicated. I enjoy this event because it’s for women and there aren’t any men that you need to compete against. So, I could just run my best and prove that women can also run. I am so happy to win today. I feel powerful! I’m a winner!”
“We had a fantastic time celebrating National Women's Day with a sea of enthusiastic runners and walkers, all dressed in pink, symbolising unity across two vibrant cities,” says Jonathan Stein, Head of Totalsports. “Each city boasted an electrifying energy and incredible vibe. A heartfelt congratulations goes out to Irvette Van Zyl and Cacisile Sosibo for their outstanding achievements, claiming gold in the Totalsports Women's Race 10km in Johannesburg, and Durban, respectively. Watching your incredible performances was truly awe-inspiring." Stein adds: "We would like to thank each and every participant and spectator who joined us today; your unwavering support makes this event possible. A special shout out goes to our incredible event charity, PinkDrive, your dedication to making a difference and assisting those in need is truly remarkable. We are proud to know that together, we are able to make a meaningful impact on the lives of many."
EVENT INFORMATION: 2023 Totalsports Women’s Race
Date: Wednesday, 09 August 2023 / National Women’s Day
Event: Cape Town: cancelled due to the Taxi Strikes in the Western
Start & Finish: Marks Park, Emmerentia
Start: Masabalala Yengwa Ave
Finish: Kings Park Athletics Track
Start Time: 08:00 / 10km
08:10 / 5km
Elite ladies in action during the Totalsports Women’s Race in Joburg. PHOTO CREDIT: Tobias Ginsberg