First big win for Oldknow as Mulaudzi makes it three out of three at Hollywoodbets Durban 10k
Updated: Sep 14
When Hollywood Athletic Club top runner Collen Mulaudzi boldly announced during Friday's pre-race press conference that the title would be staying at home, he was right. The only mistake was for those who listened while gazing over the Indian Ocean from the 18th floor at the regal Blue Waters hotel to assume that he was talking about the men's race. Because in the end it was Cian Oldknow who registered the first major victory of her road running career when she won yesterday's Hollywoodbets Durban 10km to ensure that a purple runner was first across the finish line at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium.
"I feel amazing. I'm on cloud nine right now," she giggled moments after winning the richest 10km race in South Africa. Oldknow completed the lightening fast course just one second ahead of the fast finishing Ethiopian Debash Desta, while Lesotho's Blandina Makatisi took third. "It's my first big win. At about 6km I went into the lead, which is quite early for me. But we did it."
The 26-year old's winning time of 32:17 represents yet another personal best from an athlete that has enjoyed tremendous improvement over the last two years. Oldknow took 31 seconds off her previous lifetime best and credits her consistency in training and the wisdom of her coach George Bradley saying the work they have been doing to get ready for the World Half Marathon Championships in Latvia at the end of the month paid off handsomely.
"So the preparation has gone well the last few weeks in training. So I was excited to see how training was gonna show up in racing because sometimes training can go well but it doesn't always translate to the race. I was hoping to run at least 32:20. So it's translating so well. We've been doing a lot of half marathon work also, so with my 10km times coming down, I'm really hoping for a great time at the World Half Marathon Championships," she said.
In the men's race Kabelo Mulaudzi underlined his red hot form by making it three wins from three 10km starts. In fact had it not been for the heavy grass underfoot during the final 400m, the Boxer Athletic Club top runner may have broken the 28 minute barrier as he did at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K in July. In the end he was good value for his 28:01 victory. Elroy Gelant produced a well deserved personal best to take second place in 28:04 just three seconds behind Mulaudzi, while Thabang Mosiako continues to impress. The Nedbank Running Club man ran 28:07 for third position. Mulaudzi was lost for words saying he is so happy with the way his career has turned around.
"I'm so happy. I'm speechless. I'd just really like to thank Hollywood for inviting me here to run this race, where I could produce a fast time. I knew in the last kilometre that I was going to win the race. I'm very happy because I really struggled with injury last year so it shows that there is progress. The main thing is for me to remain consistent. Thank you as well to my coach and training partner Marko Bucarizza for the hard work."