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Another Kenyan clean sweep at Absa Gqeberha 10K

Another race, another Kenyan clean sweep! What’s new as the East Africans continue to show their dominance in road running circles with displays that leave their opponents wondering just what it is they should do to catch up?

Nothing really, except that some South African runners were left lamenting the presence of their adversaries from the east despite their having earlier welcomed it as good for competition.

Vincent Largat and Diana Chepkorir reigned supreme in the men and women’s races respectively to be crowned champions of the Absa Run Your City Gqeberha 10K in windy conditions on Sunday morning.

It was a result similar to the one from the inaugural race in the Friendly City last year in which the Kenyan duo of Daniel Ebenyo and Fridah Nedina reigned victorious.

While Chepkorir started the race as favourite given her stellar PB of 29:56 ran in Castellon, Spain in February, Largat came out of left field to stun a confident group of South African runners who were out to run fast times.

Chepkorir ran home in a fairly good time of 31:15 ahead of Nancy Sang (31:39) and Ethiopian Selam Gebre (31:42) – with the three runners swelling their bank accounts by R30 000, R25 000 and R20 000 respectively.

The first South African woman home was Glenrose Xaba who finished way back in sixth place in a time of 33:04.Ahead of her in fifth place was Maxed elite Running Club’s Blandina Makatisi who broke Lesotho’s national record by a mere second in running a 32:05.

Such had been the low profile kept by Largat that he was not part of the elite men’s pre-race conference on Friday – so much so that the locals lamented the absence of the east Africans.

They did not know what hit them though as Largat pulled the proverbial rug from underneath their feat in a race that was tight until about the sixth kilometre when the top four – Largat, Elroy Gelant, Precious Mashele and Thabang Mosiako – broke away from the rest.

Fast finish

Largat proved to have a better kick at the end to breast the finish tape in a time of 28:01. National record holder Mashele appeared set for yet another runners-up berth as he did last year when he set the 27:35 mark only to be pipped at the finish by his Boxer Athletic Club teammate Gelant – the duo finishing just two seconds apart in 28:17 and 28:19.

Local boy Mosiako, who had been billed as the favourite, was fourth in 28:30 and surprisingly lamented the windy conditions as not being conducive to a good run. And to think there had been talk of him being at an advantage given he knows the route and is used to the conditions of his homeground.

The ‘slow’ race ensured that none of the local runners got to bank any of the incentives put aside for them for either breaking the national record or dipping under particular fast times.

All is not lost though, with the series still having four more races to go. Next up is the Run Your City Cape Town 10K on Sunday, May 12.

(04/07/2024) Views: 343 ⚡AMP
Gqeberha 10K

Gqeberha 10K

The Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K will treat all runners, elite and social, to a fantastic on route experience from start to finish! Boasting an exciting route that incorporates iconic landmarks and lively on route entertainment compliments of local entertainers and performance groups, runners (and walkers) can expect to see world class performances in the city that is well...

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