Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
20 Jun 2017
7:05 pm

South Africa starts warming to shorter runs

Wesley Botton

National 5000m record holder Elroy Gelant is excited over the new Durban 10k race as it 'boosts' middle-distance running in the country.

Elroy Gelant. Photo: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images.

Organisers have high hopes for the newest leg of the Run Your City series, after launching a 10km road race in Durban.

The Durban 10k CitySurfRun will take place for the first time later this year, adding to existing events in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The Cape Town 12 OneRun was held for the first time in 2015, with the inaugural event attracting global stars which included multiple track world champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya and elite compatriot Emmanual Mutai, while the first edition of the Joburg 10k CityRun last year boasted a full-strength domestic line-up.

“The Durban 10k CitySurfRun route will be fast and flat,” said Michael Meyer, managing director of series organisers Stillwater Sports.

“Add to the mix near-perfect weather conditions, our goal of making this the fastest 10km in the world becomes even more achievable.

“We will be targeting some big-name athletes to race through the streets of Durban in October, and South Africa’s best athletes will have another opportunity to race against the world’s best, ultimately uplifting the standard of South Africa’s distance running.”

With South Africa traditionally focussing on marathons and ultra-distance races, national 5 000m record holder Elroy Gelant felt the Run Your City series offered unique world-class competition on home soil over shorter distances.

“This is exactly what we need to boost middle-distance running in South Africa, opportunities that reward our efforts in terms of prize money and opportunities to compete against the best in the world at home,” said Gelant, who finished second at the Cape Town 12 OneRun contest in May.

“Racing these top guys at home makes us even hungrier.”

The inaugural 10km race in Durban was set to be held on October 8.

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