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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Galaletsang Mekgoe wins Skosana 10km Race and is ready for Nedbank 50km - entries close 15 January

After her breakthrough run at the 2022 Comrades Marathon that saw her take fifth place for a maiden gold medal, Galaletsang Mekgoe is an ultramarathon runner on the rise. And her growing confidence is reflected in recent results. That's because despite struggling with injury the 27-year-old from the township of Luka in Rustenburg was a comfortable victor at the Nedbank Running Club Skosana Race which took place in Centurion this morning. Mekgoe stopped the clock in 37:55 to win by over two minutes.

"I'm feeling glad," she told #TheTopRunner. "Especially because I'm from an injury. This week I was struggling with my groin and was put on rest. I couldn't believe that I could perform like this. I was doubtful. Even the first kilometre, I couldn't really go fast. So I'm glad," she said of her performance which drew praise from her coach Dave Adams who watched enthusiastically at the finish.

Nedbank Running Club top runner Galaletsang Mekgoe on top of the podium after winning the Skosana Race (37:55), with Mitsie van der Westhuizen in second (40:24) and Tebogo Mokgosinyane in third (41:16). Photo Credit: SMacPix.

Adams believes that his young charge who only started seriously in 2019 when she moved from Luka to live with him just outside Rustenburg, is capable of running at least a minute faster - if not more. But having nevertheless sliced 44 seconds off her previous 10km personal best, the woman who took seventh place (3:30:24) at last year's Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km is ready to take on the race again on 26 February in Gqberha.

"Although it's not a satisfying time, as I'm preparing for the 50km there is a lot of mileage. Big mileage. I'm planning to improve my time and the position. I want to do my best, that's why we started training early. I'm using my experience now," she explained. By we, she means reigning Comrades champion Tete Dijana and three-time Comrades gold medalist Edward Mothibi who finished second and third behind Stephen Mokoka's record-breaking run.

Mekgoe on her way to claiming seventh place at the 2022 Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km. Photo Credit: Richard Pearce.

Dijana and Mothibi are also coached by Adams and made the trip from the North West province to the nation's capital this morning to test their pre-Runified fitness. The diminutive Dijana was forced to settle for an impressive third (1:08:10) against marathon and half marathon specialists. Mercurial Mokoka looked comfortable for his 1:06:44 victory as his training partner Collen Muluadzi of Hollywoodbets Athletic Club was second in 1:07:43.

In the men's 10km race, it was another win for the Boxer Athletic Club as Gladwin Mzazi got the better of Mothibi. Mzazi (30:33) and Mothibi (30:50) were the only men to break 31 minutes as veteran Charles Soza (32:15) took third place. Those results suggest that both Dijana and Mothibi are ready for the third edition of the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km which returns to Nelson Mandela Bay on 26 February 2023. Entries for the event close on Sunday, 15 January. Click HERE to enter.

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