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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Scott targets Mo Farah's national record as Mashele aims for victory at Absa RYC DURBAN 10K

Better known for exploits on the track, Marc Scott is hoping to use the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K to make a name for himself as a world class road runner. Having joined the famed NN team earlier this year, the man from Great Britain & Northern Ireland who holds an impressive 27:10.41 10 000m personal best is in the process of transitioning from a track to the road athlete. And he believes that one of the best ways to announce himself to the global road running public would be to eclipse Mo Farah and Emile Cairess' joint national 10km record of 27:44 on Sunday.

"Training has been going well and I'm in good shape," he told #TheTopRunner moments after the official press conference during which he admitted that his 10km personal best of 28:03 is due for revision. "That's why I came to Durban so that I can run fast. I know that it's a quick course with a fast finish. Julian Wanders (27:32 in 2018 RYC) ran quick here, so hopefully I can get that national record and I think if I can get a time similar to that then I can probably get the win as well."

In order to win the race though, Scott will need to fend off the challenge of a number of top runners including Kenya's Asbel Kiprop Rutto who ran a personal best 27:55 on the same course in the City of Ethekwini last year. But having won the last two races he took part in, the 7:36.08 3000m man says he knows how to take on the East Africans as he showed when he won the bronze medal in the 3000m against a quality field at the 2022 World Indoor Championships.

"I just control what I can control and make sure that I'm in the best shape possible. For example during that race indoors against the Ethiopians, I knew that I was in good shape because I had run under 13 minutes for the 5k. So I trusted my own ability and didn't let their tactics distract me."

Asbel Kiprop Rutto (Kenya), Marc Scott (United Kingdom), Stephen Mokoka (South Africa) and Precious Mashele (South Africa) will add excitement to the Elite Men’s race on Sunday. Photo Credit: Rogan Ward.

This time around though it looks like the East Africans will be the least of Scott's worries as an in-form Precious Mashele lines up alongside him. The Boxer Athletic Club top runner has been a consistent performer throughout the 2023 Absa RUN YOUR CITY series with two podium finishes and a 27:35 national record behind Kenya's Daniel Ebenyo at the inaugural Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K in April. With all eyes on him, Mashele says he is prepared to run a fast race.

"The fact that the guys will be watching me doesn't affect me because if you want to be on top you have to perform. So I'm going to run my own race - an intelligent race. But I prefer for the race to be fast because I perform better in faster races. So if the race is slow then I'll have to push the pace according to what my body allows so I can run 27 high or even a personal best if possible."

And if Mashele, Mokoka and their countrymen can manage to run under 28 minutes then they will be rewarded handsomely thanks to the time bonuses for SA athletes on offer at the 2023 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K. This year's incentive structure will see South African men rewarded with bonuses for running faster than 28:30, culminating in a bonus of R 200 000,00 for a time under 27 minutes. So if for example, Mashele can break 27:30 on 9 July then he will run away with a handsome R120 000.

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