Seen here (from left to right): Joshua Cheptegei, Paskalia Chepkorir and Morris Gachaga at the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN media conference at the FNB Acacia House, Umhlanga Rocks. Photo Credit: Rogan Ward
Sunday, 08 October will see history in the making when an attempt on the fastest time in the world over 10km for 2017 is made at the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.
To ensure that this objective is achieved, and possibly a South African record, a stellar field that has never before been seen in South Africa has been assembled.
Spearheading the men’s line up is World Championship 10 000m silver medallist, Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda and the fastest man ever over 12km, Morris Gachaga. Both have indicated that they are interested in a fast time. The fastest in the world this year for 10km for the men is 27:10 run in Prague on 9 September by Bernard Kimeli. Gachaga has even hinted at running under 27 minutes. Only one athlete has ever achieved this feat, that being Leonard Patrick Komon, when he clocked 26:44 in Utrecht in 2010.
“My training and time trials show that a sub 27 is possible. If the guys go with the pace, I think we can do it. But I want to run fast. So the race will be fast,” said Gachaga.
The 22-year-old Kenyan already has the world’s fastest time ever run over 12km behind his name when he won the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN in May in a time of 33:27 – taking four seconds off the previous best.
Cheptegei showed that he is not afraid to take the race to his rivals when he opened a huge gap at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda in March this year. Spurred on by the vocal home crowd, Cheptegei opened a 12 second lead over his main rival, Geoffrey Kamworor, before he hit the wall in spectacular fashion within the final 500m. He ended up 30th, a huge disappointment which only served to spur him on even more.
Joshua Cheptegei made up for his disappointment at the World Cross Country Championships by pushing Mo Farah, arguably the current greatest middle distance athlete, in the men’s 10 000m final at the World Championships in August this year. He may have had to settle for the silver medal, but Joshua Cheptegei gave Farah a real scare and in the process went under 27 minutes for the 10 000m.
“I learnt a lot from Kampala (the World Cross Country Championships). I know Morris is a strong, aggressive runner. His attacking style suits me, as I also like to attack the race. I believe that between the two of us and the challenge from the likes of Stephen Mokoka, we can do something special here in Durban,” said Cheptegei. “Mokoka is dangerous. You should never write him off. I also expect that somebody like Elroy Gelant will also want to show just how good he is in front of the ‘home crowd’.”
Mokoka has indicated that he is keen to break his own SA 10km Record which currently stands at 27:38, run in Manchester in 2015. “This is a quality field. I owe the South African public a record on home soil, and this is just the race in which to do it. With Joshua (Cheptegei) and Morris (Gachaga) in the line-up, you know it will be fast. I know Elroy (Gelant) is looking for a fast race and he is the fastest South African this year. So I can promise you that we will be leaving everything out there on Sunday,” said Mokoka. “Races like this are exactly what we need here at home to raise our standard and build our confidence. We are very grateful to Stillwater Sports and KZN Athletics for hosting this race. If conditions suit, it will be the fastest race ever seen in South Africa.”
While the men’s race has certainly proven to be a huge talking point, the women’s race is also guaranteed to be a mouth-watering affair. Four athletes have gone under 31 minutes for the 10km with two being on the road, and two on the track.
Paskalia Chepkorir seems to be the race favourite at this time with her 31:07 run in 2012. Kenya’s Veronica Nyaruai has also gone under 32 minutes on the road with her best time of 31:55. South Africa’s Dominique Scott-Efurd has clocked 31:51.47, while 19-year-old Mercyline Chelangat was timed at 31:40.48 in Rio last year when she finished 13th in the women’s 10 000m final at the Olympic Games. Chelangat also has a 15:09.45 time behind her in the 5000m making her a very dangerous contender, especially after her recent win in the Dam-tot-Dam 10 Mile race in Amsterdam on 17 September. Her confidence will be sky high after destroying a quality field and running a personal best.
“I cannot wait to run in front of what I see as my home crowd. I will definitely be feeding off of the excitement from the crowd,” said Scott-Efurd. “This is a quality field and I know we will be doing something spectacular on Sunday. My kick is really good, so if it comes down to a sprint finish, I know I will be right in it. I do not think the gap between the top 6 will be a big one.”
“FNB Business is looking forward to the inaugural FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN this Sunday, it forms part of the Run Your City Series which includes FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN and FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN. The race attracts some of the top athletes over the 10km distance, however, we hope that as the race grows, participants come to also love the race for the beautiful sites that it provides of Durban city. The run is not just a race, it is a platform that we hope becomes an event that captures the magic of the city and its people,” says Michael Honeywell, from FNB Business in KZN.
The FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN is the final leg in the 2017 ‘RUN YOUR CITY’ Series and promises to be a spectacle not yet seen on South African soil.
EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN
|Date:||Sunday, 8 October 2017|
|Start Venue:||Masabalala Yengwa Street, in front of Moses Mabhida Stadium|
|Finish Venue:||Beachfront Precinct adjacent to Moses Mabhida Stadium|
The FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN is proudly hosted by KZN Athletics.
Charity Support: When entering online, runners can choose to support The Reach For A Dream Foundation, TREE and/or the SPCA Durban.
Follow us on Twitter: @Durban10k
Follow us on Instagram: @Durban10k
About the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN sponsorship:
FNB Business is proud to be the title sponsor of the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN. This 10km road running race seeks to bring experienced and novice runners from the city of Durban and surrounds together, through the common goal of road-running, recreation, sports and fun. This sponsorship forms part of our ongoing strategy to support local and community events that focus on a healthy lifestyle, family involvement and impact the communities they operate in positively. It allows us to engage with our clients and the broader community through the memorable experience created by the event. At the core of our strategy is to also support an event like this that contributes towards the rejuvenation, cleaning and revival of the city-center. As a proudly South African bank, we are proud to be part of a run that celebrates everything about the city of Durban and its diverse cultures.
ISSUED BY: Newsport Media