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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'We’ve got a lot of young and talented athletes' - All systems go for fast and flat Gallopers 15km

After hosting a successful dry run this weekend, it's all systems go for the Gallopers 15km Road Race on Sunday 7 July. The event which takes place at the Alston Primary School in Leondale, Germiston celebrates a decade of existence this year after starting out as an 8km Fun Run back in 2013 before becoming a fully fledged 15km race the following year. Gallopers’ Athletic Club’s Rethabile Qekisi says they started the race in order to support the club’s talent identification and development programme.

Nurtured by the likes of Cape Town Marathon gold medalist and Club Chairman Lucky Miya as well as three-time SA 10 000m champion Mpho Mabuza, the Ekhurhuleni-based club has produced a number of promising youngsters who frequently grace the podiums of junior cross country, track and road races. Qekisi says a portion of the proceeds from the Gallopers 15km road race will go to supporting these talented youngsters on their journeys to success.

The start of the 2019 Gallopers 15km where runners and walkers are most welcome to participate. Photo Credit: Gallopers AC.

"The reason why we decided to host this race is because we’ve got a lot of young and talented athletes - our development athletes. The likes of Chris Mhlanga come from our development stable and they are really showing a lot of potential," he explained.

With an elevation of a little under 80m of elevation, the course is fast and flat and has therefore attracted some of the country’s best road runners. In 2020 Paris Olympics bound Cian Oldknow took part in the race, while the 2019 men’s race produced fireworks as Olympian and multiple SA champion Sibusiso Nzima triumphed over another multiple Champion Lucky Mohale in a titanic battle to set a then course record of 46:13. Qekisi believes that runners love the race because it is run on a PB course.

The Gallopers AC Development Squad pose with their medals after taking part in the 2019 Thembisa Mile. Photo Credit: Gallopers AC.

"We are looking forward to faster times compared to the previous years. The list of past winners includes the likes of Gladwin Mzazi who set the course record of 46:11 in 2020. Namakoe Nkhasi is also a past winner and he won it for two years in succession. Mzazi has confirmed that he is coming back to defend his title and possibly run another record," he told #TheTopRunner.

But if you’re not running to break records then you are still welcome to come and enjoy the day. Runners can expect a festive atmosphere both along the route and at the finish line at the Alston Primary School where there will also be some post-race entertainment. Organisers have catered for 1200 athletes with less than 500 of those remaining. Click HERE to enter.

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