Seen here: Stephen Kissa in action during the 2018 ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.
Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg
Running in the shadow of his more famous countryman Joshua Cheptegei, a two-time winner of the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, Stephen Kissa is looking to stamp his mark on the 2019 edition of the fast Durban race on Sunday 13 October.
Kissa may not have the titles of his countryman who is the current World Cross Country Champion and the Commonwealth Games 5000m and 10 000m Champion, but he is the Ugandan 10k record holder and he has every intention of lowering his mark of 27:13 on 13 October.
“I am looking forward to running in Durban again,” said Kissa who has finished second and fourth at the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN and is hoping to make it a third time lucky. “I love coming to this race. It is fast and flat and I am in good shape, so I want to break my own National 10k record.” Kissa even hinted that a sub 27 could be in the cards. “I have twice lowered my best time this year. So I know I can do something special. Who knows, maybe even break 27 minutes.”
Kissa went from a 27:47 (his time in Durban in 2018) to a 27:24 in Valencia in January this year and then to 27:13 in Laredo (Texas) in March. That time places him 4th in the 2019 ranking list. Kissa will line up in the men’s 5000m at the World Athletics Championships on the first day of the global showpiece (27 September), with the final on 30 September. That will give Kissa exactly two weeks for his final sharpening for the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.
While Kissa does have the pedigree to take line honours on 13 October, it is by no means a given that he will cross the finish line first in Durban. South Africa’s Elroy Gelant and Stephen Mokoka are itching to have a go at the international contingent, which in itself is a strong one.
The latest addition to the men’s field, that already includes Yohans Kifle and Alfred Ngeno, is Ethiopia’s Agunafr Bekele. The 23-year-old has a 5000m best of 13:21.93 from 2018. His sole venture onto the road in 2015 saw him clock a 28:20 for 10km in Laredo in 2015. Kifle at age 19 comes in with a best of 13:27.06 in the 5000m. Durban will be his second outing on the road after having clocked 28:31 in Houilles in France in December last year. Alfred Ngeno finished 4th at the 2019 ABSA Cape Town 12 ONERUN in May and is not to be discounted either.
But the favourite mantle rests firmly on the shoulders of Stephen Kissa and if Durban delivers the near perfect conditions it has in the first two years of the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, then a sub 27 min is not out of reach. Should Kissa break the 27-minute barrier, he would become only the third athlete to ever achieve this feat. This would go a long way to securing IAAF Gold Label Status for the event.
The ABSA Run Your City Series consists of three events: the ABSA Cape Town 12 ONERUN (5th anniversary in 2019), ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN (4th anniversary in 2019) and ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN (3rd anniversary in 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. 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.
EVENT INFORMATION: ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN
|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|
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