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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Records tumble as Gelant and Njoki win Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K

South African long distance sensation Elroy Gelant put on a tactical masterclass on his way to setting a new lifetime best time of 27: 47 to win the iconic Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on Sunday 7 July. "It's great to get my first win Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series win. It took a lot of strength in the last part of the race but I'm happy I managed to hold on to the end. It also a combination of discipline and hard work in training. To win is crucial in terms of building the confidence leading up to the Olympics," said an elated Gelant who will represent the country in the Olympic Marathon on August 10.

After winning his first Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series race, Elroy Gelant says he is ready for the Olympic Marathon. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote.

Controlling the race from start to finish, Gelant dipped under 28 minutes for only the second time following a 27:54 clocking for second place at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K in May. He was followed home by defending champion Kabelo Mulaudzi (27:53), while Thabang Mosiako grabbed the last podium position in 27:54. In all, five men broke the 28 minute barrier, four of whom were South African as three-time Olympian Stephen Mokoka ran 27:56 for fifth place.

In the women’s race Christine Nalimo Njoki lead from gun to tape to set a new SA All Comes Record. The Kenyan stopped the clock in 30:37, which was also the fastest 10km time of her career. The 24-year-old was please with her performance in her very first race on SA soil. “This was my first time running in South Africa. I’m so happy to be here today. It was a surprise to me because I didn’t expect this time here.”

Christine Nalimo Njoki celebrates a personal best and SA-All Comers Record at the 2024 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote.

In addition to the SA All-Comers record, there were two more records run in the, women’s race. Glenrose Xaba dug deep to finish in 31:12, only one second inside the 31:12 national record set by the great Elana Meyer back in October 2001, while Lesotho’s Neheng Khatala finished in 32:01 to set a new national record for The Mountain Kingdom. "I’m happy that I have finally run the record. Since a young age, Elana Meyer told me that one day I'll own the record because I'm strong. She is my mentor as I always look at the times she ran in the past. So to see it finally happening, I'm very happy. I also want want to thank Caster Semenya and Violet for believing in me," said Xaba.

"Congratulations to Elroy Gelant and Christine Njoki for winning the 2024 edition of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K, and Glenrose Xaba and Neheng Khatala for setting new national records. Your performances were truly inspiring. With four SA men going under 28-minutes, today will be remembered as one of the best 10km races run in the country and on the African continent. A massive thank you to the 10,000 runners who joined us on this incredible day—you are the heartbeat of this event," said Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Series Founder.

Over 10 000 runners enjoying the streets of Durban at the 2024 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Wade Howard.

"Witnessing individuals, driven by diverse motivations, achieve personal milestones has been truly inspiring. We commend all participants of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K for their participation and efforts to help us pledge R1 for every kilometer run or walked by a Team Absa member on Strava. Your stories have deeply moved us and ignited a flame of motivation within our team. We extend our sincere appreciation to our colleagues, volunteers, partner sponsors, and organisers, whose steadfast support has made this event exceptional once again." said Jabulile Nsibanyoni, Absa’s Head of Sponsorships, Brand, and Marketing.

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