10 July 2022
01 Oct 2022

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Seen here:  Ethiopia’s Bone Cheluke.

Ethiopia’s Bone Cheluke and Kenya’s Polline Wanjiku are the final two athletes to be added to an already impressive field at this coming Sunday’s ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.

All roads lead to Durban on 13 October as arguably the strongest ever women’s road running field in the history of South African road running has been assembled for the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.

A total of four of the women who will toe the start line have broken 32 minutes for the 10km, with one of them, Sheila Chepkirui, even breaking 30 minutes.

Defending Champion, Stella Chesang has gone 31:14 on the Durban course; Evaline Chirchir has run 30:43 for the 8th fastest time this year and now added to that “sub 32 club” is Ethiopia’s Bone Cheluke.

The 21-year-old clocked 31:48 on 8 June at the Oelder Sparkassen Citylauf in Germany to finish second in her first ever 10km run on the roads. Cheluke emerged on the running scene in 2016 and showed some potential. But she raced sparingly, running a solitary 800m in Assela, Ethiopia in 2016. Her time of 2:05.8 would not have raised any eyebrows had it not come at an altitude of 2430m!

Two 1500m races followed in 2017 with three more in 2018. It was clear though that Cheluke seemed more at home on the roads. Her road debut came on 8 June in Germany this year, where she clocked her 31:48. Although she won the Wiezoloop Wierden in the Netherlands on 22 June, she was never really tested and therefore ‘cruised home’ to a 33:23 win. Not much should be read into that winning time. Rather the fact that she went 56:17 over 10 miles (16km) in the Dam tot Damloop on 22 September for fourth, should make one sit up and take notice.

“Bone is a young athlete with very little experience,” says Manager Jurrie van der Velden of Global Sports Communication, her managing company. “But to debut with a 31 high for 10km does show she has immense potential when she learns how to run the distance. We are confident that she will go a low 31 in Durban”.

The final addition to the women’s line up is Kenya’s Polline Wanjiku. Also 21-years-old, Wanjiku’s 54:59 for 10 miles run in Portsmouth in 2014 and her 68:20 half marathon (Paris 2018) speak of pedigree and contradict her 32:10 10km PB.

With such a strong line up set for Sunday 13 October, expect some of South Africa’s top women to also make their presence known.  The field has a total of four sub 32 minute athletes, four sub 33 minute athletes and one who should surely break 33 minutes on race day. The sub 33 minute athletes being Wanjiku, Tadu Nare (32:26 – Ethiopia), Glenrose Xaba (South Africa – 32:59), Irvette van Zyl (32:06 – South Africa) and Gerda Steyn, who has been improving with every race in 2019. 

That this is the best ever field assembled for a woman’s 10km in South Africa is an understatement.

The ABSA Run Your City Series consists of four events:  the ABSA Cape Town 12 ONERUN (5th anniversary in 2019), ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN (4th anniversary in 2019), ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN (3rd anniversary in 2019) and ABSA Maputo 10K CITYRUN (inaugural event on 10 November 2019).

Exhilarating mass participation road races, each event celebrates the splendour of its host city.  Runners (and walkers) will be treated to a journey that will highlight iconic landmarks and feature lively performances on route. 

Over the short period of 5 years, the series has grown to over 40 000 runners in the three cities and has attained IAAF Bronze Label Status in two events (ABSA Cape Town 12 ONERUN and ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN).   The Durban race is now chasing Gold Label Status. The significance of that cannot be underestimated. Label Status means that the ABSA Run Your City Series will attract some of the best athletes in the world, which means that South Africa’s top athletes get to race the best on home soil.  As a result, fast times will be recorded on the African Continent.

Over the past 5 years the series has delivered compelling racing and fast times which will now be shared with the world through the process of a Livestream. The ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will be livestreamed as was the Cape Town leg of the ABSA Run Your City Series.


Date: Sunday 13 October 2019
Venue: Start – Blue Lagoon (Athlone Drive) / Finish – Beachfront Precinct (near The Bike and Bean
Charities:  When entering online runners can choose to support one (or all five) of the event’s charities 1. The Reach For A Dream Foundation, 2. TREE, 3. Durban & Coast SPCA, 4. LIV Village and 5. iThemba Lethu.
Prize Purse:  R250 000 / View the entire Prize Purse Breakdown here:   http://bit.ly/2MHQ4fd
Website:  www.durban10k.com

IN THE NEWS:  The ABSA Run Your City Series has implemented a Single-Use Plastic (SUP) Management Campaign that aims to drastically reduce the usage of single-use plastics by 85% at all three events.  “The aim of the ABSA Run Your City Series’ SUP Management Campaign is to drastically reduce the usage of single-use plastics by 85% at all three events.  Our ultimate goal is to host a mass participation road running series that is plastic free,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director Stillwater Sports.  

About the ABSA Run Your City Series:

ABSA is proud to once again bring you the ABSA Run Your City Series which  comprises of three unique mass participation events that integrate business involvement, family, diversity, investment in community, world class achievement and fun for all participants, both individuals and businesses alike.

Each of the races are developed to take participants through the historical routes around each city, thereby adding a tourism element to each race, making it more than a race but an economic opportunity for each community.

The ABSA Run Your City Series is made up of three races around South Africa, namely, the ABSA Cape Town 12 ONERUN, the ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN and the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.

For further information please visit www.runyourcityseries.com