DURBAN – Tomorrow’s final leg of the Run Your City Series sees a classy and explosive field descending on Durban for the CitySurfRun.
The race will feature both the men’s and women’s defending champions, Joshua Cheptegei and Mercyline Chelangat, who will be keen on retaining their titles.
Durban’s flat course, that begins in the shadow of the 2010 World Cup stadium, Moses Mabhida, is the perfect playground for some top-class international and South African athletes to try and set a super-fast 10km time.
Uganda’s Cheptegei is one runner who is worth the price of admission alone to watch, as the 22-year-old won last year’s edition in 27:28; for the fourth fastest time in the world that year and the fastest ever run on South African soil.
While that was last year, Cheptegei has been in fine form in 2018, form, winning both the men’s 5 000m and 10 000m titles at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in April. However, a knee injury has kept him out of action for four months.
“The knee is fine now and I am keen to race again,” said Cheptegei.
“This was a test for me and I am really happy with the result and my fitness, so Durban will be exciting – I want to beat my time from last year.
“I think a 27:20 or better is very possible if the conditions play along.”
In the women’s race, it is another Ugandan who is the one to watch as Chelangat’s winning time last year of 31:38 was the second fastest ever on South African soil.
“I am excited to be back in Durban.
“I had a really good race last year and I want to keep my title and go faster. Training shows me that I am in really good shape and should be able to go better.
“With Stella (Chesang) there, I know it will be a tough race and she will make it hard for me to defend my title,” said Chelangat.
There are also two well-known South African female athletes who will be taking to the Durban course looking to impress – Irvette van Zyl and Two Oceans winner Gerda Steyn.
“Since I started running again after the birth of my second son in July, I have been really excited about how well I have been performing and feel that a sub-32 is on the cards for me,” Van Zyl said.
“These time bonuses make it even more of a target for me. And with the two Ugandans in the field, I know that a fast race will be very likely.”@DarrynJack216
Independent On Saturday