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Runners Set To Make 10km History In Durban


The inaugural 10km FNB CITYSURFRUN taking place in Durban on Sunday is shaping up to be the fastest 10km race ever seen on South African soil.

The top class elite field assembled could well be the injection needed for South Africans to make the jump to the next level in road running.

Kenya’s Morris Gachaga ran the fastest 12km world best at the Cape Town 12 ONERUN earlier this year through the streets of the Mother City.

The diminutive 22-year-old is currently in the shape of his life and is looking to emulate this feat by targeting a sub 27 minutes at the inaugural Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on Sunday (October 8).

Gachaga smashed the previous world best over 12km on a point to point course by four seconds in Cape Town on Sunday, May 21. He crossed the line in 33:27 eclipsing the 33:31 of Sammy Kitwara run at the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco in May 2009.

Gachaga smashed the previous world best over 12km on a point to point course by four seconds in Cape Town on Sunday, May 21.  He crossed the line in 33:27 eclipsing the 33:31 of Sammy Kitwara run at the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco in May 2009.

To be able to run  under-27 minutes in Durban would mean running at a pace of 2:42/km or faster if he is to become only the second athlete to ever dip below the magical 27-minute mark.

The only athlete to have ever gone faster than 27 minutes is Kenya’s Leonard Patrick Komon when ran 26:44 in Utrecht in 2010. The fastest time in the world this year is 27:10, run by Bernard Kimeli in Prague on September 9.

“My training has been going well and I believe that a sub 27 is possible,” said Gachaga from Kenya after his last time trial on Wednesday, September 27.

“I have prepared specifically for this race. In May I made history by running the fastest ever 12km (at the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN), and I would like to make history again in Durban on 8 October. I have trained hard and I am ready for it.”

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World U20 Cross Country second place finisher Amdework Tadese and Swiss sensation Julien Wanders will round off the impressive line-up of athletes.

Tadese and Wanders join stars such as Joshua Cheptegei – second in the 10 000m at the World Athletics Championships in August this year.

South Africa’s 10km record holder, Stephen Mokoka and rising star Thabang Mosiako who won the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN two weeks ago, will also be in action.

The Ethiopian, Tadese was a mere three seconds behind the winner of the U20 World Cross Country 8km race held in Kampala in March, and boasts a best of 13:14.52 over 5000m as well as a 28:00.14 over 10 000m – not bad for an 18-year-old.

Wanders has taken the unusual decision to move to Eldoret in Kenya and spends around 8 months of the year at his training base. It seems to be paying dividends as the 21-year-old Swiss does not lack confidence, clearly a product of spending so much time training with the best in the world.

“They only have two legs, just like me,” when asked about the calibre of his opposition.

“I will run my best, hope to improve my PB (28:49 on the road) and will try for a position.”
Wanders is the Swiss National Junior Record Holder in the 5000m, running 13:48.21 in Oordegem in 2015. He has run Personal Best’s for the 1500m (3:44.74 – Zurich, July 22), 5000m (13:37.48 – Oordegem, May 27), 10 000m (28:06.17 – Huelva, April 8) and in the Half Marathon (61:43 – Milano, March 19) in 2017.

Given his consistency this year, there is no reason not to believe that he will break his 10km best time.

“In this field, and if the pace is right, I know I can go below 28 minutes for the 10km,” said Wanders.

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