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Local aces take on global greats in Cape Town 12km
- Updated: May 15, 2015
Close on 10,000 runners will line up for the inaugural FNB Cape Town 12 One Run on Sunday, among them some of the world’s elite invited athletes, writes Mark Etheridge.
Contested over 12 kilometres from Milnerton to Cape Town’s lower central business district, the very distance has the elite athletes chatting.
Said Kenyan Olympic middle distance track medallist Viven Cheruiyot: ‘It’s definitely an unusual distance for me to run. It’s actually my first ever 12km race on the road so no matter how I go, it will still be a personal best for me.’
Local running ace Mapaseka Makhanya, recently back from Germany where she ran a personal best at the Hannover Marathon said there’d been no change to her training. ‘Although it’s an unusual distance I have’t done anything different because it’s not that much of a big deal. I’m just glad to have another opportunity of racing against international opposition on home turf.’
And for cross-country and track 3000m ace Elroy Gelant it’s also the experience that counts. ‘Just having the opportunity of racing against some of the top guys here means more than the R40,000 first prize. The battle on the road is more important.’ His thoughts were echoed by Gladwin Mzazi: ‘It’s just such a great opportunity having them here on home soil.’
Said race organiser Michael Meyer: ‘This is a unique event in more ways than one, its a brand new route and is a point to point event which also pretty unique for Cape Town. The finish has a very Boston Marathon feel to it .. on a street with a fast downhill finish.
‘It’s a fantastic distance and the way to go for road running. In the United States 85% of runners take part in distances of 10km or less whereas in South Africa the focus is still very much towards the ultra-marathon races.’