It was a morning of course records at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10k Sunday as both the men and women’s best times in the popular race were smashed in the race that attracted about 11 000 runners.
Lesotho’s Namakhoe Nkhasi rolled back the years in style to register a second win at the Jozi event in seven years to set a new course record of 29:07, slicing 35 seconds off the mark set by Nicholas Seoposengwe last year
In the women’s race Ethiopia’s Debashe Desta won in 33:03, her time 47 seconds quicker than Kenyan Emmaculate Achol’s time set in last year’s race.
Nkhasi, who runs for the Nedbank Running Club and is part of the popular Sponge Group of renowned running coach Michael Sponge Seme, was victorious in the same rave back in 2016 and showed immense speed for a specialist in the full marathon distance.
What made the victory all the more special was the fact that Nkhasi managed to beat the on-form Kabelo Mulaudzi of Boxer Athletic Club who was chasing a hat-trick of victories in the series and his fifth successive win in 10km races.
As it was, Mulaudzi appeared to be sauntering to yet another victory to add to his triumphs in Durban and Tshwane with just a kilometer to go. The Alexandra man who also won the Hollywoodbets Durban 10k as well as being champion of the South African Cross Country Championships in his last two races had made a break for it and current form suggested he would be the first to breast the tape.
But it appeared he was still not recovered from those back-to-back races as he slowed down in the last 600 meters and Nkhasi duly took advantage leaving Mulaudzi to ensure he hung on for the runners-up berth with his 29:26 as Matthew Leeto closed in on him.
The trio had broken away from the rest of the bunch at around theseven kilometer mark and made it a three-way fight all the way to the end.
Nkhasi expressed delight at the victory given the struggles he has had with injuries this year: “It was a hard year for me because I had 12 months out injured and my comeback has not been easy. But I was patient in building up my fitness and I am proud to have had such a great day to win this race I am thankful to my coach Sponge who has been helping me and my training partner Stephen Mokoka.”
In the women’s race it was a one-two for Ethiopia as Desta lived up to her billing as hot favourite by winning here following her victory in the Tshwane race last month. Her compatriot Selam Gebre crossed the line just seven seconds later while Irvette van Zyl completed the podium positions.