JOHANNESBURG – Elroy Gelant is racing against time to be fit in time for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in September.
The Boxer Athletic Club athlete made his marathon debut in the continent’s only IAAF Gold Label Status last year and finished fifth as the first South African home.
Yet hopes of him bettering that great run of 2:12:49 hangs in the balance, Gelant struggling with a groin injury sustained at the World Half Marathon in March and for which he recently had an operation.
“The operation was a success. I am ready to race again. I hope that it (the injury) will not come back as it will force me out of the race in September,” Gelant told Independent Media.
He is slowly getting back to the road but cannot say for certain whether he will compete in Cape Town on September 23 where Stephen Mokoka and Desmond Mokgobu are expected to carry the South African flag high.
“I ran my first 10km in George recently and I am happy I ran well without any pain. It was a good race for my recovery. I am getting better with each day.
We will see how the training goes. We will have a clear indication of my fitness by the end of August. I might not go to the race if I am not fit,” he explained.
While he is keen to race in his home province, the South African 5000m record holder is more focused on preparing himself for the Olympics.
“I do not want to do a lot of marathons because I want to be ready for the Olympics. So I will probably only run just two marathons before the Olympics.”
Should he run in Cape Town though, the 31-year-old from George would love to do better than in his maiden race.
“I would like to see myself running a sub 2 hours 10 minutes times if I do go,” he said, admitting that the east Africans will once again be the men to beat. “Their advantage is that they always run in groups whereas we run as individuals and that’s what is killing us.”
That said though, he is of the view the Ethiopians and Kenyans are not as invincible as some think them to be.
“I have seen they can beaten. I have beaten some in the track and field. But it takes a lot of hard work and commitment.”
* Independent Media are the official media partners of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon