Top field aim for PBs on flat Durban 10km course
If Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei has his way‚ he will cover six metres every second as he pounds the Durban tarmac on Sunday.
And if he does‚ he will not only run 10km in his fastest time ever‚ but also obliterate the fastest time ever run over the distance in South Africa.
“I am really super-excited‚” said Cheptegei‚ the 10‚000m and 5‚000m 2018 Commonwealth Games champion.
He was speaking at the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN elite athlete’s press conference in Durban on Friday morning ahead of Sunday’s race.
At last year’s event‚ Cheptegei stormed to victory in a time of 27 minutes and 29 seconds‚ his personal best over 10km on the road and the fastest 10km time on South African soil.
But this year‚ he said‚ he wanted to smash that time.
“I want to do a 27:20 … or even much quicker‚” he said.
To put that into perspective‚ he would be running at an average speed of 21.95km/h‚ covering 6.09m every second‚ or 1‚200 feet every minute.
If this is possible anywhere‚ the Durban 10k is the place it is likely to happen.
Not only is the route “flat and fast” – and deliberately so‚ according to organisers – it also runs through parts of the city where loud crowds are expected to spur runners on to their blisteringly fast bests.
And with an excellent elite athletes field – which includes Swiss 10km record holder Julien Wanders and top South African runners Thabang Mosiako and Elroy Gelant – Cheptegei believes fast times are possible.
“My plan is always to run a fast race. There will be motivation and cheers...to go fast‚” he said.
“If my colleagues can come up together and we push‚ that’ll be good.”
“I feel in good shape‚ so I want to fight with these guys‚” he said of Galant‚ Mosiako and Cheptegei‚ who were sitting alongside him.
“We can push together and try get a fast time. For sure‚ I want to compete for the win.”
Galant‚ however‚ was more jovial about his chances of victory.
“Joshua said he wants to go 27:20‚ so I want to go 27:19‚” he laughed.
More seriously‚ though‚ he said his goal was to improve on his time from the 2017 event.
“I’d love to go below 29 [minutes]‚” he said.
Mosiako had a similar target.
“I’ve been preparing hard for this race. I want to just go with the guys‚ to go with the flow‚ up until the end. I want to dip below 29; I’m looking for a 28‚” he said.
The Durban 10K takes place on Sunday‚ and forms part of the FNB “Run Your City” series‚ which also has events in Cape Town (over 12km) and Johannesburg (over 10km).