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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Gelant and Mashele to tackle 10 000m at Cape Milers/Endurocad Invitational tonight

One of the longest standing records on track in South Africa is the 27:29.94 run by Hendrick Ramaala for 10 000m way back in 1999. In February, that mark which was set in Port Elizabeth was officially 24 years old. But if the weather plays along and the pacing is spot on, then that record call fall in Cape Town tonight. That is because organisers of the Cape Milers/Endurocad Invitational have assembled a strong field to take on 25 laps of the track at the Green Point Stadium.

SA 10km record holder (27:36) Precious Mashele and SA 5000m record holder (13:04.88) Elroy Gelant will line up in The Mother City tonight. Gelant's 27:41.30 personal best ranks him fifth on the SA All-Time 10 000m list behind Ramaala, Adriaan Wildschutt, Xolile Yawa and Stephen Mokoka. Speaking last year ahead of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K, Gelant was adamant that Ramaala's record must go.

Gelant leading during the 5000m at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Gelant reached the final of the 5000m. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

"I've also got my goals like everyone else. I told myself that this year (2022) I really want to go for that 10 000m record. I didn't get to it this year, so definitely next year (2023) because I didn't qualify for World Champs. I'm still there mixing it up with the young guys and I want to retire with an SA Track and Field record and that will definitely be the 10 000m record," said the 36-year-old.

If anyone can do it, then it's the Boxer Athletic Club top runner who boasts an incredible range from 1:47.74 over 800m to a 2:10:31 marathon clocking. In 2023 Gelant has produced 3:48.07 for 1500m, while finishing second at the Totalsports Two Oceans Half Marathon in 1:04:05. And if for any reason Gelant is unable to go all the way, then his experience from the 3km to the 6km could be invaluable in pacing the likes of Mashele to the record. 60:51 21km man Collen Mulaudzi who is the training partner of Stephen Mokoka will also be in the race to shoulder some of the pacing responsibility and possibly go beyond his 28:48.32 10 000m which is due for revision.

Mashele celebrates after breaking the SA 10km record at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K. Photo Credit: Stillwater Sports/Tobias Ginsberg.

Having broken Stephen Mokoka's national 10km record at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K on 2 April, Mashele is in great form to attempt the mark set by the man who now coaches him. On the day Ramaala ran that record he beat Enoch Skosana by almost thirty seconds, yet that 27:57.47 run by Skosana for second place remains ninth on the SA All-Time list. Mashele's lifetime best of 27:55.87 run in 2021 suggests that he could run much faster given his current shape.

Also on the programme for tonight's third and final Cape Milers/Endurocad Invitational meet is the Dream Mile where Ryan Mphahlele is expected to shine after his trilling 1500m race against Tshepo Tshite last week. Fresh from their personal bests over the 3000m and 5000m, Carina Viljoen and Kyla Jacobs will go head to head in the women's mile, while Ashley Smith tackles his specialist event - the 3000m steeplechase. Catch the action on SuperSport channel 216 from 6pm.

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