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Seen here:  Sheila Chepkirui in action. 

Photo Credit:  RunCzech

The organisers of the 2019 ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN today announced the biggest coup to date with the confirmation of 2019 World 10km list leader (and second fastest ever) Sheila Chepkirui.

Chepkirui flew to a 29:57 clocking at the 2019 Birell Grand Prix 10km Road Race in Prague on 07 September 2019. With that time Chepkirui is the second fastest woman over 10km. Only Joyciline Jepkosgei has ever gone faster (29:43) run on the very same course in 2018.

“To be able to sign up this year’s best 10km athlete and the second fastest ever is a big coup for us,” says Michael Meyer Managing Director, Stillwater Sports.  “It shows just how serious the international field is taking the event.  The ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN has been awarded the Bronze Label status by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).  This is no small feat for an event that is currently in its third year.  It is testament to the hard work that was needed to ensure that we host a world class event.”

Chepkirui blitzed halfway in 14:46 before edging Dorcas Kimeli on the line in Prague, when she set the 2019 World’s fastest time.  Both were awarded the same finishing time of 29:57, but Chepkirui was given the nod for the win. Prague was a big breakthrough for Chepkirui. Coming into the race she had recorded best times of 30:28 (Prague, 2017) for 10km, 14:54.05 (London, 2017 – 7th at the World Championships) in the 5000m and 32:35.0 for the 10 000m; the latter run in Nairobi (1795m).

Chepkirui has raced sparingly on the roads. Despite Prague being only her third effort on the roads she took her best down from 30:28 by 31 seconds. This good form bodes well for the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.

Defending Champion, Stella Chesang was until the signing of Chepkirui, the race favorite.  With both Chesang and Chepkirui in the line-up, the chances of a sub 31 in Durban have just jumped exponentially.

“I am looking forward to Durban,” said Chepkirui. “I am in very good shape after Prague and I feel fresh.  I’ve just returned to the racing scene after becoming a mother for the first time and giving birth to a baby girl in the earlier part of 2018.  I have heard from my manager how fast the course in Durban is, so I am very excited to close my short 2019 season in Durban.”

“It will be good to race against Stella (Chesang). We know she ran a personal best in Durban and that she is improving all the time. So I know that I am going to have to be close to my very best if I want to win.”

The two have never met before on the roads which should make the tussle an intriguing one. Chesang’s 31:14 course record and fastest ever time on South African soil is very much in danger of being obliterated and bodes well for the South African athletes who are looking to run fast times.

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.


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