“I had a good race in Port Elizabeth and I was very pleased with my time. It made me believe that I can run even better in Cape Town,” said Elroy Gelant. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Elroy Gelant is not thinking about a particular placing at the Cape Town Marathon, which will also double up the Athletics South Africa 42.2km Championships.

Instead, the Boxer Athletic Club superstar has his sights set on running a particular time and will be happy to achieve that, his positioning in the race notwithstanding.

“I have set my own target time. I want to run 2:08 or 2:09 on the day, and see where that time is going to put me in terms of position,” Gelant said as he looked ahead to the 15 September race.

Achieve his target and Gelant will most probably be in the top 10 if not win the race, which has a current course record of a 2hr 8min 31sec (2:08.31) set by Stephen Mokoka last year.

The defending champion will sit this one out as he will be at the world championships in Doha representing South Africa.

In Mokoka’s absence, SA’s hopes of glory rest squarely on Gelant’s shoulders – and the athlete is fine with carrying such huge expectations.

After all, he proved his worth recently when he ran Mokoka close at the ASA Half Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth.

Gelant came in a close second, a mere five seconds behind Mokoka, who broke SA’s long-standing 21.1km record at the weekend.

“I had a good race in Port Elizabeth and I was very pleased with my time. It made me believe that I can run even better in Cape Town. So yes, I think I will be able to fill Stephen’s shoes,” said Gelant.

He is currently putting the final touches to his preparations for Africa’s sole IAAF Gold Label Status race in the serene surrounds of Potchefstroom – the quaint little town in North West that is popular with many athletes – even international ones.

“I like Potch because it is nice and quiet. I get a lot of oxygen, especially during the morning run.”

The Star