5000m men

The FNB Cape Town One Run that kicks off in the morning hours on Sunday promises to deliver fast times. The best South African long distance stars Stephen Mokoka, Elroy Gelant, Sibusizo Nzima and Gladwin Mzazi will look to runaway from their African compatriots Emmanuel Bett, Daniel Salel and Timothy Toroitich, whilst the in-form Irvette van Zyl is looking forward to tackle the long-standing national record set by the legendary Elana Meyer.

After missing the 12km world record by a mere one second at last year’s One Run, Emmanuel Bett has the right to walk brag to say he is one of the best over this distance. However, tenth place finisher at this year’s World Half Marathon Championships, Stephen Mokoka, and 13min20sec 5000m specialist, Elroy Gelant, want to prove to the world that if South African athletes work together like their East African competitors, they can be beaten. The world record of 31:31 is on the cards in Cape Town tomorrow morning!

The women’s race, on the other hand, does not include any international women, so the comeback-queen of middle/long distance running in South Africa, will most likely steal the limelight again. Van Zyl has proven to be in a class of her own in 2016 by winning races ranging from the 3000m to the marathon; however, does she have it in her to break Elana Meyer’s long-standing 12km national record of 38:49? We will have to wait and see, because having already qualified for the Rio Olympic Games, she has shown the country what versatile running means. Hot on the heals of Van Zyl will be former South African Sports Woman of the year Mapaseka Makhanya, the Phalula twins and the Kalmer sisters. Will these strong women turn the tables around in their favour or is Irvette too strong?

R40 000 is up-for-grabs for the men’s and the women’s fields and a R10 000 will be added if a record is broken. This great initiative from the organisers could become one of the biggest races in the country, just over shorter distances like 12km and 10km. We are looking forward to great times in both the men’s and women’s races.

Written by Reggie Hufkie