10 July 2022
01 Oct 2022

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Seen here (from left to right):  Julien Wanders and Joshua Cheptegei in action at the 2018 ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on Sunday, 14 October 2018.  

Photo Credit:  Tobias Ginsberg

Swiss sensation, Julien Wanders smashed Mo Farah’s 10km record (set in 2010) at the 2nd annual ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on Sunday, 14 October 2018,making him the fastest European of all time over 10km.

When Julien Wanders crossed the finish line on the promenade of Durban in 2nd place (behind Ugandan, Joshua Cheptegei) at the second running of the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, he punched the air in ecstasy as the diminutive Swiss sensation had obliterated his best ever time over 10km and had not only dipped under 28 minutes, but had smashed that mark as well. Wanders was timed at 27:32, an improvement of 30 seconds. Little did he know that he was now also the fastest European of all time over 10km. His 27:32 is in fact not only a new Swiss National Record, but also a European Record.

The previous record of 27:44 has stood behind the name of Mo Farah since 2010. Farah ran the time in London on 31 May at the Bupa London Road Race.

“I am so happy with my run today. I knew something good was in my legs, because the training was really good, but doing it today was really special,” said Wanders after his race.

Wanders was brought to the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN in October 2017 as part of a group of athletes that included the then 10 000m World Championships silver medallist, Joshua Cheptegei. He reduced his lifetime best and the Swiss National record by finishing in 3rd clocking 28:13.

Coming into the race his best time was 28:02 run in France in December 2017. During the 2018 track and early road season, Wanders had started to push some boundaries, setting personal best after personal best. It started with a scintillating run in the Barcelona Half Marathon where the young Swiss finished 2nd smashing his previous best of 61:43 by over 90 seconds, bringing his best right down to 60:09. A string of PB’s then followed on the track. Wanders twice improved his 1500m time (3:44.24 – Bern, 16 June and 3:43.39 – Zoffingen, 14 July). His 3000m best was also lowered to 7:50.35 in July (Bellinzona, 18 July), before Wanders took his 5000m best time down from 13:27.72 to 13:24.79.

All this boded well for his return to Durban on 14 October. All the signs were there, that Julien Wanders was going to make an emphatic statement at the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN. At the pre-race press conference on Friday, 12 October, Wanders oozed confidence. He was calmly talking about breaking 28 minutes for the first time. When an athlete feels good it is evident in how they carry themselves, how they talk and how they seem to dominate the room. While Wanders was sharing the stage with Joshua Cheptegei who was expected to go even faster than his best from 2017 (27:28), Wanders made it clear he was not there to make up the numbers and there was a distinct presence around him.

On race day, Wanders was the only athlete to be able to hold onto the awe inspiring pace set by Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei.  5km went by in 13:53. Only at the 8km, covered in 21:51, did Wanders start to falter. But by then it was clear something special was on the cards. And as Wanders crossed the finish line the clock read 27:32 and history was made. His average pace per kilometre amounted to 2:43!

“I am very grateful to Joshua as he pulled me and even tried to keep me running with him in those final kilometres. This is really big for me. I know this is not the end, and that I can go even faster,” said Wanders.

Wanders’ European and Swiss records capped a day full of records, further establishing the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN as the destination for athletes to post big times.

*Other records that were broken on race day were: Men SA All comers record – Joshua Cheptegei, 27:16 (also a Uganda National record and the second fastest time in the world in 2018); Uganda Women’s National Record 31:14, Stella Chesang.


Celebrating its 2nd anniversary in 2018, the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN granted 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 also highlighted 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 was proudly hosted by KZN Athletics. 

CHARITY SUPPORTWhen entering online runners (and walkers) could 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 boasted with a whopping Prize Purse of R250 000 in 2018.  Prize Money was 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 was also 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, participated 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, was brought to SA to inspire runners to bring their best to the event.

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