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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Evergreen Gelant shows no signs of slowing down as Langat and Chepkorir win Absa GQEBERHA 10K

Kenya's Vincent Kibet Langat and Diana Chepkorir claimed top honours in the men’s and women’s races, respectively, at the 2nd annual Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K on Sunday, 7 April 2024. Langat boasted a winning time of 28:01 and Chepkorir 31:15. At the age of 37, veteran South African top runner Elroy Gelant is showing no signs of slowing down. Gelant produced another polished performance clocking 28:17 to take second place on the day. SA 10km national record holder Precious Mashele claimed the third position as he crossed the finish line two seconds behind his countryman.

Speaking moments after the race, Gelant said he had a good race despite the challenging weather conditions. "I knew it was going to be difficult because of the wind. The first 2km we were into the wind, which meant that the race was going to be tactical," explained the Boxer Athletics Club top runner.

Gelant passes Mashele metres before the finish line to claim second place at the Absa GQEBERHA 10K. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg.

"I told myself I want to run a confident race as I wanted to get something out of it. It’s a competitive run. In the last 400m, I nearly gave it to my teammate (Precious Mashele), but I thought no let me go for it as there was something left in me. In the end, it was a very confident run despite the wind," he said after passing Mashele metres from the finish line to claim the runner’s up position.

A mark of just how fast the second half of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K was, is that even though the leading men only passed the halfway mark in 14:47, eleven men ended up breaking the 29-minute barrier. Stillwater Sports MD and Founder of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series Michael Meyer says these results show just how the standard of running in SA has improved since the series began inviting world class athletes to compete in SA over 10km.

Langat wins his first official 10km race outside Kenya. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg.

"We've witnessed a remarkable improvement in the standard of running in South Africa since we started inviting world-class athletes to compete in our 10km events. This has not only raised the level of competition but also inspired local athletes to achieve new heights in their performances," says Meyer.

In the women’s race Kenya’s Diana Chepkorir dominated as she led from gun to tape to win in 31:15 ahead of her compatriot Nancy Sang who crossed the finish line in 31:39, while Ethiopia’s Selam Gebre claimed the final podium position in 31:42. Lesotho’s Blandina Makatisi set a new national record with her fifth place 32:05 finish, while Glenrose Xaba was the highest placed South African after stopping the clock in 33:04 for sixth position.

Chepkorir led from gun to tape to win her first race on South African soil. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg.

“Well done to all that participated in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K and joined Team Absa Walk Run on Strava. A huge congratulations to all the winners. It was inspiring to see so many people come together, with many different reasons for running, push themselves to achieve their individual goals," said Jabulile Nsibanyoni, Head of Sponsorships, Brand, and Marketing. "Your stories have inspired us all, and we are immensely grateful for your contributions to our event. Thank you to our colleagues, volunteers, partner sponsors, and organisers who made this event possible."

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