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Both the men’s and women’s defending champions (Joshua Cheptegei and Mercyline Chelangat) are looking to retain their titles at the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on Sunday, 14 October 2018.  Seen here:  (back from left to right):  Joshua Cheptegei, Julien Wanders, Irvette van Zyl, Elroy Gelant and Thabang Mosiako, (front from left to right):  Glenrose Xaba, Stella Chesang and Mercyline Chelangat. 

Photo Credit:  Rogan Ward

A loaded field and time bonuses will ensure that fast times are on the cards at the final ABSA Run Your City Series race on Sunday, 14 October 2018, as both the men’s and women’s defending champions (Joshua Cheptegei and Mercyline Chelangat) are looking to retain their titles at the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.

Add in some lucrative time bonuses for the South African athletes and a flat route and you have all the ingredients for an explosive and fast 10k finale for Durban.

Once again a classy field of both international and local athletes have been secured to deliver what is expected to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, 10km race ever seen on SA soil. Heading the list is men’s defending champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

In 2017, the then 21-year-old screamed to a 27:28 victory; for the fourth fastest time in the world that year and the fastest ever run on South African soil, giving Cheptegei the SA All Comers record. It was also a Ugandan National Record. Cheptegei started 2018 in fine form, winning both the men’s 5000m and 10 000m titles at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in April. A knee injury saw him miss four months of racing, but if anybody thought he would not be in devastating form come 14 October to defend his title, they would be sadly mistaken. On 23 September, Cheptegei smashed a 45:15 for 10 miles (16km). That is the 23rd fastest time ever recorded and the fastest since September, 2017.

“The knee is fine now and I am keen to race again,” said Cheptegei after his race on 23 September at Zaandam in Holland. “This was a test for me and I am really happy with the result and my fitness, so Durban will be exciting – I want to beat my time from last year. I think a 27:20 or better is very possible if the conditions play along.”

Cheptegei will be joined by last years’ runner up and third placed finishers, Stephen Kissa and Julien Wanders. Both were dragged to PB’s – 28:05 and 28:12 respectively. For Wanders that was also a new Swiss National Record (he has gone on to lower that time to 28:02). Wanders too is keen to return, looking to dip under 28 minutes for the first time in his career. After a season in 2018 where he posted PB’s in the 1500m (twice), 3000m, 5000m and half marathon, Wanders has every reason to believe he is capable of breaking the 28 minute mark.

With the introduction of some “South African athlete only” time bonuses, expect fireworks from the likes of Elroy Gelant, Thabang Mosiako and the ever improving Ryan Mphahlele. Gelant has been on the comeback trail since April after a hernia operation and has since then finished second at the SA Half Marathon Championships (61:48 – his second best ever performance over the distance) and third at the SA 10km Championships (29:48 Season Best). Mosiako had suffered a debilitating attack in February this year as he was preparing for the Africa Cross Country Championships. Mosiako was attacked and left in a coma that not only nearly cost him his career, but also his life. He fought back and is now almost back to his best, finishing second at the recent SA 10km Championships in a sprint finish behind Precious Mashele, clocking 29:46 – three seconds off the win. Ryan Mphahlele is targeting a sub 29 minute time. His current best is 30:13 run in 2016. After his 5000m effort on 22 September where he soloed to a 14:00.09 win, there is a very good chance he will be able to do just that, run under 29 minutes. All three could cash in handsomely if they deliver their best on race day.

On the women’s front, Mercyline Chelangat of Uganda ran the second fastest time ever on South African soil when she won the 2017 ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, clocking 31:38. That was only her third ever run over the distance and she took a whopping 1’39” off her previous best. Now more mature (she was still a junior), wiser and stronger, Chelangat is confident of going even faster. And she may have to if she is hoping to retain her title. Country woman and 2018 Commonwealth Games 10 000m champion, Stella Chesang has been preparing hard for this race and recently took 10 seconds off her 10km PB. Chesang finished third in the Tilburg 10km race in Holland on 02 September, clocking 31:44 and showing that she is coming into shape at just the right time. “I am excited to be back in Durban. I had a really good race last year and I want to keep my title and go faster. Training shows me that I am in really good shape and should be able to go better. With Stella (Chesang) there, I know it will be a tough race and she will make it hard for me to defend my title,” said Chelangat.

The recent announcement of incentives for South African athletes only, has in particular two women very excited, Irvette van Zyl and Gerda Steyn. Van Zyl has been eyeing the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN for some time now with a view to breaking 32 minutes for the first time in her career. Should she do it, she stands to win an additional R30 000 to whatever prize money she makes for placing in the top ten women.

“Since I started running again after the birth of my second son in July, I have been really excited about how well I have been performing and feel that a sub 32 is on the cards for me. These time bonuses make it even more of a target for me. And with the two Ugandan’s in the field, I know that a fast race will be very likely,” said Van Zyl who has been unbeatable over 10km since returning to racing post pregnancy. Telling of the shape that she is in is her 33:52 run on the tough ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN on 24 September. Her winning time took almost 2 minutes off the previous record. But van Zyl will need to be wary of her biggest rival in 2018, Glenrose Xaba. The 23-year-old ran 33:21 in Port Elizabeth in April for a massive PB. While van Zyl has had the upper hand in the last few races, with so much at stake, van Zyl will be aware of Xaba’s presence come race day.

Two Oceans winner, Gerda Steyn too is having the year of her life. In her last two 10km races she clocked 35:03 and 34:57 on tough courses. All off Marathon training – she is preparing for the New York Marathon on 04 November. But her performances and her training have her believing a sub 33 is well within her reach. A performance that will result in a R20 000 bonus.

Durban on the 14 October will be special indeed as close to 6 500 runners will line up with some of the best athletes in the world. Expect fireworks.

Herewith a summary of the SA Athletes Incentive Scheme that was announced on Monday, 08 October 2018:

Incentive Scheme:  SA Men

29m30 – 29m59 R    3000.00 Not cumulative
29m00 – 29m29 R    6000.00 Not cumulative
28m30 – 28m59 R12 000.00 Not cumulative
28m00 – 28m29 R20 000.00 Not cumulative
27m38 – 27m59 R30 000.00 Not cumulative
Sub 27m38 R50 000.00 Not cumulative

Incentive Scheme:  SA Women

34m30 – 33m29  R          3 000 Not cumulative
33m28 – 33m00  R          6 000 Not cumulative
32m59 – 32m30  R        12 000 Not cumulative
32m29 – 32m00  R        20 000 Not cumulative
31m59 – 31m13  R        30 000 Not cumulative
31m12 or quicker (SA record)  R        50 000 Not cumulative


Celebrating its 2nd anniversary in 2018, the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN grants entrants the unique opportunity to explore their city on foot.  In addition to lively on-route entertainment and rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best middle distance runners, the 2018 ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN route will also highlight a number of Durban’s iconic landmarks.

Date: Sunday, 14 October 2018
Start Time: 07:00
Start Venue: Blue Lagoon (Athlone Drive)
Finish Venue: Beachfront Precinct (near The Bike and Bean)

The ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN is proudly hosted by KZN Athletics.  

CHARITY SUPPORTWhen entering online runners (and walkers) can support one of five Durban based charities:  1. The Reach For A Dream Foundation, 2. TREE, 3. Durban & Coast SPCA, 4. LIV Village and/or 5. iThemba Lethu.

PRIZE PURSEThe ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will boast a whopping Prize Purse of R250000 in 2018.  Prize Money will be awarded to the top ten men’s and women’s finishers in the open category with the overall winners each taking home R30 000.  Prize money has also been allocated to the top three finishers in the junior, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70+ age group categories.

EXCITING NEWSWilson Kipketer, former 800m world record holder, will participate in the 2018 ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on Sunday, 14 October 2018.  Kipketer who is employed by race sponsor, PUMA and won gold at three successive World Championships, has been brought to SA to inspire runners to bring their best to the event.

You can join Wilson Kipketer for a 5km warm up run on Friday, 12 October  starting at 5pm from Race Pack Collection or meet him at a signing session at Race Pack Collection on Saturday, 13 October. After running the race on Sunday he will also be handing over the PUMA Beat Bolt cheque at prize giving.

“PUMA is excited to bring a true legend of athletics to the 2018 ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN to inspire runners to achieve their personal best,” said Brett Bellinger, Marketing Director PUMA South Africa.

Facebook:  Durban10k

Twitter:  @Durban10k

Instagram:  @Durban10k

Official hashtag:  #ABSARunYourCity

Website:  www.durban10k.com

About the ABSA Run Your City Series:

ABSA is proud to bring you the ABSA Run Your City Series. The series encompasses three unique mass races namely the ABSA Cape Town 12 ONERUN, ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN and the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN. The three races are about inclusivity for all as well as encouraging business involvement, family, world class achievement and fun for all participants.

ABSA’s strategy is to engage with our clients and non-clients through healthy lifestyle activities, where we sponsor selected sporting events that allow us relationship building opportunities, ensuring that we enrich the communities and the lives of those around us. Through the runs, we encourage runners to run their city their way. We invite all runners back to the city to experience the rejuvenation, revival and renewed city centres.

For further information please visit www.runyourcityseries.com


ISSUED BY:                                             Newsport Media

ON BEHALF OF:                                    ABSA Run Your City Series a Stillwater Sports Initiative