JOHANNESBURG - Irvette van Zyl won two major 10-km titles a day and 1400 kilometres apart, racing to victory in Cape Town before crossing the line first at the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN on Monday.
Van Zyl clocked the second fastest time of her career, clocking 32:48 at Sunday’s 10km race at the Cape Town Marathon, just three months after giving birth to her second child. Showing off her sublime form, Van Zyl was in a class of her own beating defending champion Glenrose Xaba in a new course record of 33:51 chopping 1min 40 off the previous mark set in 2016. She dragged the top-four finishers below the previous course record.
“I must be fitter than I thought. To run two really good times back to back like this means that I am reaching another level in my running,” Van Zyl said. “I had no idea where the other ladies were so I just kept on pushing. But I had no idea I was on record pace, so that is a pleasant surprise.”
Van Zyl had already opened daylight between her and the chasing pack which included Xaba and Kenyan Susy Chebet at the halfway mark. Chebet finished in second place with a time of 34:30 with 2018 Comrades Marathon second-place finisher Gerda Steyn bagging bronze in 35:01.
In the men’s race, Eritrean Filmon Ande led the top three men below the previous race record, breaking the tape in 29:27, chopping 22 seconds off the previous mark. Ande and Uganda’s Mande Buschendich took the race by the scruff of the neck with two previous winners in the mix.
The previous course record holder Namakoe Nkhasi, defending champion Thabang Mosiako and Elroy Gelant joined them in front. Going through 5km the pack was reduced to five with Ande, Bushendich, Mosiako, Nkhasi and Jobo Khatoane still in the hunt.
It turned into a two-horse race with two kiolmetres to go, with Ande and Buschendich going toe-to-toe. Ande made the break in the final kilometre to claim the victory, with Buschendich finishing in second place clocking 29:37 with Nkhasi finishing third in 29:40.