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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'Its great for young athletes' - Mokoka welcomes Absa RYC TSHWANE 10K

As a vehement supporter of the need to provide quality racing opportunities to up and coming elite athletes, Stephen Mokoka has welcomed the news that the Absa RUN YOUR CITY series is extending its footprint to include the nation's capital. Yesterday, the Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K was officially launched at the Premier Hotel on the foothills of the Union Buildings, where South Africa's second fastest (27:38) 10km athlete of all time praised organisers for this new race and what it will do for local runners.

"Running in the city is great for me as an athlete because I'm based here. But not just for me. This is also good for local runners and social runners because I believe that Tshwane is one of the biggest cities in the country in terms of runners. So what we saw in Joburg last year with 10 000 runners, I think we will also see here with something amazing and something big," said the man who hails from the North West Province but has called Tshwane home since 2009.

The start of the 2022 Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K. Mokoka is expecting just many thousands to take on the inaugural Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K on 27 August and says if the course is as tough as the Absa Joburg 10K then it gives local and younger athletes a chance to do well. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote

Comparing the Absa TSHWANE 10K with the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K which took place on September 24 2022 doesn't end with the multitudes of social runners that will paint the cities streets red. As Mokoka sees it, the fact that both cities are at altitude (1500m above sea level and higher) where the races takes place on hilly courses, levels the playing fields giving South African athletes are chance to win against the East Africans who dominate the flat and fast Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series races run in the coastal cities of Gqeberha, Durban and Cape Town.

"We have three at the coast and now we have two inland. It's great because it balances. The one in Joburg is very tough and the one here in Pretoria will also be tough. So the series accommodates both types of runners - the tough runners and the fast runners. Its not nice to always race the fast guys on fast courses, sometimes they must be invited to run on tough courses because it will be great for a young athlete to find themselves in front of a big name athlete because the race is tough. Fast runners have a tendency of not surviving in tough races," he giggled.

From left to right: Michael Meyer (Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series), Mr Hendrick Mokganyetsi (President of Athletics Gauteng North), Boxer Elite Athletes Stephen Mokoka and Glenrose Xaba with Jolene Grobler (Absa Regional Segment Head, Premium) and Tshepo Rakgahla (City of Tshwane Director: Sport and Recreation). Photo Credit: Charles Ndou.

With the route for the inaugural Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K yet to be unveiled, runners wait with bated breath to see what awaits them on 27 August. Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series, Michael Meyer who was speaking at the official Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K launch function yesterday said the new route would be revealed in the weeks to come but hinted the The Union Buildings would be a great place to start and finish.

"Our aim is to create an unforgettable experience that transcends traditional road runs, inspiring a passion for athletics and sparking a culture of health and well-being. With its scenic routes and inclusive atmosphere, the Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K will not only showcase the beauty of its host city, but also provide a platform for athletes to showcase their talent and compete at the highest level.We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to both the City of Tshwane and Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) for their invaluable support in making this event a reality."

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