Elroy Gelant chases Kenya’s Vincent Langat all the way in Cape Town 10km

After winning in Gqeberha, Kenya’s Vincent Langat also came out victorious in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Cape Town 10km race. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg

After winning in Gqeberha, Kenya’s Vincent Langat also came out victorious in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Cape Town 10km race. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg

Published May 12, 2024


It just keeps getting better for Elroy Gelant. The stalwart South African athlete produced yet another stellar run with a 10km personal best in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Cape Town 10km on Sunday morning.

Though his 27:54 was not good enough for victory - that honour going to Kenya’s Vincent Langat (27:51) - the 37-year-old finished an impressive second in a strong elite start list teeming with east Africans.

It was a similar one-two from the season’s inaugural race of the popular series, Langat and Gelant having also occupied the top-two podium spots in Gqeberha in April.

Gelant ran a very brave race as he rushed to the front, leaving many to wonder if he would be able to hold on until the end in a highly-competitive race that was made even more difficult by the strong headwind. But his vast experience came through, as the Boxer Athletic Club “veteran” staying in the lead until late in the race when Langat pounced.

Delighted with his second place, which he dedicated to his mother Yvonne for Mother’s Day, the man from Pacaltsdorp out in George explained that the purple patch he’s been enjoying since the start of the year has all to do with discipline.

“Tomorrow when I go back (to his base in Potchefstroom), I have to do my long run, and even when we came back from Pietermaritzburg (SA track and field championships), I got home at 2am and I went for my morning run. That’s the consistency I have and the discipline I’ve instilled in myself to actually be this new and confident Elroy again.”

In a field boasting no less than four east Africans, the likes of national 10km record holder Precious Mashele, the revered Stephen Mokoka, national marathon championships silver medallist Matthews Leeto, as well Kabelo Mulaudzi, who won three of the five Absa RUN YOUR CITY series events last year, it was hard to tell who would come out tops.

But Gelant took the bull by its horns from the outset, the strong head-wind notwithstanding: “I just told myself that as a skipper on the boat, if the wind is blowing you just change the sails and that’s what I did - I just had to change the angle of my run.”

The wind factor dealt with, Gelant then focused on is pre-race plan of chasing after Mashele’s national record of 27:35.

“I set my watch on SA record and the estimated time was 27:30 and that’s the time I ran for although I knew the wind was going to be a factor. But still, my mind was set on that time. I knew I was not going get it, but in terms of my attitude, I focused on the SA record. I did not get it but still I am happy with the results.”

He would be even happier if he was to make to the Paris Olympics based on the World Athletics rankings having narrowly missed out on the 2:08:10 marathon time when he won the ASA Marathon Championships in 2:09:32 during the Durban International Marathon a fortnight ago.

“Today is the announcement of the final list according to the World Athletics rankings and I will wait for that. But if I am not in the team, I will continue with my (training) structure and keep training for a marathon, maybe late in the year to see if I can get close to that 2:06 mark.”

Francis Abong Koumwa of Kenya finished in third place.

In the women’s race, Kenya also ruled supreme with Diana Chepkorir crossing the line first just as she did in Gqeberha, this time in 31:47, nearly 30 seconds ahead of Lesotho’s Neheng Khathala, while Ethiopian Getenesh Sase Agafew completed the podium standings with her 32:48.

Cacisile Sosibo was the best-placed South African in fourth place in 34 minutes flat.

The next Absa RUN YOUR CITY race will take place in Durban on July 7.


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