Titleholders Return to Durban Run
Pics Tobias Ginsberg, Anthony Grotes & Rogan Ward
Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei will return to Durban on Sunday, 14 October 2018 to defend his title at the 2nd annual FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.
In 2017 Cheptegei ran the fastest time ever on South African soil over the 10km, clocking 27:28 to break the previous all-comers record of 27:55 set by Kenya’s Andrew Limo in Port Elizabeth in 2009. Cheptegei made the decisive break in 2017 just after the 6km mark when he forged ahead of team mate Stephen Kissa and Swiss sensation, Julien Wanders. Only a strong headwind in the second half of the race prevented Cheptegei from coming close to the low end of the 27 minute mark.
Cheptegei got his 2018 campaign off to a flying start by winning both the 5000m and 10 000m titles at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in April and was all set to compete at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond Leaque event in Oregon before a knee injury saw him withdraw from the rest of the track and field season.
“I picked up a knee injury just before I came to South Africa for the Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Meeting in March while preparing for the Commonwealth Games. It wasn’t too bad in March and I was supposed to only do the 5000m in Brisbane, but the Uganda Federation asked me to do the 10 000m too. Winning both the 5000m and 10 000m was very important for me as representing my country means a lot to me. But it did mean that I had to sit out the rest of the track season as we did not want to make the injury worse,” said Cheptegei.
“It was a precautionary measure,” confirms Cheptegei’s agent, Jurrie van der Velden of Global Sports Communication. “We have big plans for Joshua, which will culminate in 2020, so we thought it prudent that he heals completely and focusses on the road season towards the end of the year. He is now fully healed and is looking forward to defending his title in Durban on 14 October.”
Cheptegei is keen to defend his title in Durban. “I have been away from racing for far too long and cannot wait to run in Durban. I want to keep my title and believe I can run a really fast time in Durban, now that I know the route. South Africa has been a happy hunting ground for me in my last two visits,” said Cheptegei. The 22-year-old is looking to improve on his 27:28 which is also a lifetime best. “My training has been good. The injury is now healed. I know the route. I know the conditions and am expecting a good race. My time from last year is in danger as I want to go around 27:20 or better, so over the next six weeks I will be sharpening up for Durban.”
Joshua Cheptegei has one race leading up to the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, the Dam tot Damloop in Zaadam, a 10 miler (16km) race on 23 September. “That will be my final tune up for Durban. I am excited about the rest of the year and my visit to Durban again.”
Cheptegei won the silver medal at the World Championships in the 10 000m in 2017 before going on to do the track double at the Commonwealth Games. He also came within three seconds of the 15km World Record (41:13 - Leonard Patrick Komon, 21 November 2010) at the Zevenheuvelenloop in Holland on 19 November 2017. Cheptegei clocked 41:16. Having dealt with his injury, the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will be the perfect way to end his 2018 campaign.
Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei wins 2017 FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN
In the women’s event defending champion, Mercyline Chelangat (main pic above) will have a big bullseye on her back.
In 2017 at the mere age of 20 Chelangat had showed some promise as an athlete, but with the likes of the experienced Dorcas Tuitoek, Paskalia Chepkorir and Veronica Nyaruai in the line-up, Chelangat was not expected to podium, never mind win. In the end she not only won, but also shattered her best ever 10km time by just under 2 minutes, bringing her time down from 33:17 to 31:38 in only her second ever 10km on the road.
Returning to Durban to defend her title on 14 October, Chelangat anticipates a faster time than what she raced in 2017.
“I know the course now and I think I can go faster. I have prepared very hard for this race and if conditions are good, I want to push the pace,’” said Chelangat from her training base in Kapchorwa, Uganda. Chelangat picked up the bronze medal in the 10 000m at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in April this year and has since then raced only in a 3000m at the Osaka Golden Grand Prix on 20 May where she set her personal best of 9:09.28.
“My main focus for 2018 was the Commonwealth Games on the track, so that is why I didn’t race much after that, other than the run in Osaka. So I am really hungry to race in Durban again.”
Chelangat is not concerned about the favourite tag. “I can only do my best. I know what I am capable of and will run accordingly. If someone is better than me on the day, then so be it.”
Chelangat is the latest name to be announced for the Durban race with compatriot, Joshua Cheptegei, the 2017 men’s winner, already confirmed. Cheptegei ran an All-comers record of 27:28 in Durban and Chelangat clocked the second fastest time ever on South African soil for her win. Her 31:38 was a mere 5 seconds off the fastest time run by Elana van Zyl-Meyer and if she is looking to go faster than her best, then we could witness the fastest ever time run over 10km in South Africa.
In 2017, the initial race pace was almost suicidal as the first 2km were run in 6:02, before calming down. With the knowledge gained from 2017 and the desire to run faster, there is no doubt that Chelangat will have a pacing strategy in mind. But if 2017 is anything to go by, then the 2018 race will certainly be a nail-biting event to watch.
EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN
Celebrating its 2nd anniversary in 2018, the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN grants entrants the unique opportunity to explore their city on foot. In addition to lively on-route entertainment and rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best middle distance runners, the 2018 FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN route will also highlight a number of Durban’s iconic landmarks.
DATE: Sunday, 14 October 2018
Standard Entry: R170 (licensed) / R190 (unlicensed)
Gold Package Entry: R850 (licensed) / R870 (unlicensed)
Instore: Totalsports - Gateway, Westville Pavilion, Musgrave, West Street, Pinetown, The Bluff, Bridge City, City View and Chatsworth
Instore Entries Close: Monday, 24 September 2018
Online Entries Close: Monday, 01 October 2018
The FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN is proudly hosted by KZN Athletics.
When entering online runners (and walkers) can support one of five Durban based charities:
1. The Reach For A Dream Foundation, 2. TREE, 3. Durban & Coast SPCA, 4. LIV Village and/or 5. iThemba Lethu.
The FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will boast a whopping Prize Purse of R250000 in 2018. Prize Money will be awarded to the top ten men’s and women’s finishers in the open category with the overall winners each taking home R30 000. Prize money has also been allocated to the top three finishers in the junior, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70+ age group categories.
Exciting On Rute Activation
PUMA South Africa has thrown down the gauntlet challenging runners to ‘Beat Bolt’ at the 2nd annual FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN. The ‘Beat Bolt’ Sprint requires speed. Be prepared to give your all over a 100m sprint. This section of the route will be timed. The runner (male and female) to clock the fastest time over the 100m will be rewarded with a PUMA shopping voucher to the value of R10 000.
Official hashtag: #FNBRunYourCity
About the FNB Run Your City Series:
The series encompasses three unique mass races namely the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN, FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN and the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN. The three races are about inclusivity for all as well as encouraging business involvement, family, world class achievement and fun for all participants.
For further information please visit www.runyourcityseries.com