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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'Respect your time' - Sub 27 minute 10km Ebenyo's advice to social runners aiming for PB's

This time last week Daniel Simiu Ebenyo was celebrating a new 10km personal best. The man who stunned Kenyans when he qualified for their #Tokyo2021 Olympic team ahead of some more illustrious names, ran a sizzling 26:58 to win the 10K Valencia Ibercaja. His first sub 27 minute clocking catapulted the 26-year old to seventh on the world all-time list, just 30 seconds slower than Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei. And while his performance may have surprised many, those who watched the Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN last November will have learnt just what this man is capable of.

"I knew that no one will follow me with that blistering pace so I decided to go," he said shortly after leading from gun to tape to win that 12km race in 34:01 on a windy day in The Mother City. But more impressive than that gutsy solo run, was what he said after the race. Where most athletes declared their 2021 over, Ebenyo announced that he would not rest until he had broken 27 minutes over 10 kilometres.

A confident Ebenyo strides over the finish line after winning the Absa CAPE TOWN 12km CITYRUN. Photo Credit: Mark Sampson.

"2021 has been good but I'm not ready to quit 2021 because it's early," he said 11 months into the year, raising a few eyebrows in the process. "We have 30 virgin days which are yet to be broken in December. So maybe in December I can go overseas and run a 10km where I'm aiming to run under 27 minutes before the end of the year. In 2022 I'll go back to the Diamond Leagues and then after that I'll prepare for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games."

Although he may have missed his own deadline of breaking the 27 minute barrier in December, the fact that he broke it just nine days into the new year teaches us an important lesson about goal-setting as we take on a new year. Because even though a sub 30 minute 10km may be beyond the abilities of most 10km runners, Ebenyo believes that the same principle applies regardless of whether you are trying to qualify for the Olympics or simply finish your first 10k.

"First be disciplined with what you are doing. Respect your time. Then hard work. Self-sacrifice, because if can't sacrifice yourself you produce nothing and if you cannot work hard you will go unrewarded forever. As I always say, hard work is the mother of all success. You cannot expect to go to the mountain while you are kneeling. You have to walk and you have to work hard," he concluded.

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