The gloves are off for Sunday 17 May at the inaugural FNB Cape Town 12 One Run. Emmanuel Bett, Moses Kipsiro, Moses Masai, Timothy Toroitich and Daniel Salel are the athletes that Gladwin Mzazi, Elroy Gelant, Lusapho April and the rest of South Africa’s elite middle distance athletes will be facing. And South Africa’s top athletes are literally chomping at the bit to show the international contingent what they are made of.
Mzazi says: ‘This is our territory. We can’t just let these runners come here and rule.’ Elroy Gelant echoes his compatriots’ sentiments, saying: ‘They have to be respected, after all there are two sub-27 minute 10 000 metre athletes in the field, but that does mean we are going to roll over and let them walk all over us. This will be a fight to the finish.’ Likewise the ladies race should provide fireworks.
Lebo Phalula in particular is in great shape after having won the Spar Ladies 10km in Port Elizabeth recently in 32:57. This was her second best time in her career (PB 32:27, PE). She says: ‘It is great for us to have the international athletes here. My sister and I are in great shape. When we race together we push other to fast times and we want to run fast. So we are hoping that Vivian (Cheriuyot) and Doris (Changeywo) are in the mood to race fast.’
The FNB Cape Town 12 One Run has attracted a field never before seen in South Africa at a road race. Organiser Michael Meyer says: ‘We have contracted the top ten men and women over 10km in South Africa and are expecting them to run fast. This is a fast route and a great place to run fast times. By bringing out Moses Masai, Moses Kipsiro, Emmanuel Bett, Vivian Cheruiyot and Doris Changeywo and others, we want to give out South Africans a real opportunity to race top class international athletes on home soil. By bringing together this calibre of athlete we are hoping to set the bench mark of good, fast road running and racing in South Africa.’ With weather conditions looking to be perfect (17 degrees at race start) and a slight south westerly blowing there is no reason why athletes should be wearing gloves, so the gloves will be off come race day, literally and figuratively.
Photo credit: Mark Sampson|THRIBE