The inaugural Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQBERHA 10K that took place in ‘The Friendly City” today (Sunday 02 April 2023) could not have asked for a better debut as near perfect conditions greeted the 3000 plus runners, with the elites taking full advantage of the opportunity to run some spectacular times.
Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo is making it a habit to win in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series after consecutive wins in Cape Town in 2021 and 2022. True to form, the Kenyan opened a gap from the gun and was never headed. His aggressive front running style has seen him set some scintillating times in his career (26:58 PB) and today was no different. By 2km the Kenyan had dropped the rest of a very deep field that included the likes of Uganda’s Isaac Kibet (27:41 PB) and Kenya’s Asbel Rutto (27:55) as well as South Africa’s SA 10km and Half Marathon Record Holder, Stephen Mokoka and multiple SA 10km Champion, Precious Mashele.
5km came and went in 13:11 for an average speed of 2:39/km. That early pace cost him as he slowed down for an average 2:45/km in the second half. Nevertheless, that meant he had opened a gap of 20sec over the chasing duo of Precious Mashele and Thabang Mosiako who were having the run of their lives, going through halfway in 13:31 (average speed of 2:43/km).
Ebenyo was chasing the SA Allcomers Record of 27:16 run by Joshua Cheptegei in 2018 but had to settle for his best time on South African soil, crossing the line in 27:23.
“I’m not happy with my time. I wanted a Personal Best. But it is early in the year, so I still have some work to do,” said Ebenyo.
Behind him Precious Mashele was having the race of his life as he flew across the line in 27:35 to break the 8-year-old SA Record of Stephen Mokoka who ran 27:38 in 2015. Mashele dragged Thabang Mosiako to a massive personal best of 27:52, setting a new Eastern Province Record.
Mashele’s previous best time was 28:11 run in 2022, while Mosiako took a whopping 34sec off his previous best of 28:26.
“I knew I was in shape after the World Cross Country Championships (Mashele equalled his best performance by finishing 16th), so I wanted to chase the SA Record,” said Mashele. “I know I have gone to another level now, so I am excited about what is to come, especially in the rest of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series in 2023”.
Mosiako broke the 24-year-old provincial record of Abner Chipu (28:13 – 1999) with his 27:52.
Mashele and Mosiako breaking 28minutes means that South Africa now boast four athletes who have dipped under the 28min mark in the last 8 year. Mashele, Mosiako and Maxime Chaumeton (27:58 – 2022 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K) are part of a new generation who are taking the sport into a new era. They are also the only three who have run under 28min on South African soil, Mokoka having set the former SA Record in Manchester in 2015.
Diana Chesang who finished second at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K in 2022, running 31:55, was expected to dominate the women’s race, but a niggly knee meant she had to give way to the hard running Fridah Ndinda who set the pace from the front. Ndinda went through 5km in 15:09, with Bekelech Teku Wariyo (Ethiopia) and Docus Ajok (Uganda) crossing the halfway mark some 30sec later (15:39). Also in that group were South Africa’s Glenrose Xaba and Lesotho’s Neheng Khatala.
Ndinda’s early pace cost her in the second half as she was passed Bekelech Teku Wariyo in the final kilometer, the Ethiopian winning in 31:36 with Ndinda coming in second (31:41). Uganda’s Docus Ajok rounded out the podium (32:15).
Glenrose Xaba smashed her personal best by almost 30seconds as she settled for fourth, clocking 32:23 (previous PB 32:45).
“I am so happy,” said Xaba. “I am back in 2018 shape now.” Xaba was unstoppable in South Africa in 2018. She battled with injury and form for a few years but has clearly shown she is back to her best.
“Well done to everyone who participated in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K and joined Team Absa Walk Run on Strava. A huge congratulations to all the winners. It was inspiring to see so many people come together to push themselves to achieve their goals,” said Sydney Mbhele, Absa’s Group Chief Marketing and Corporate Affairs Officer.
“I’d like to commend the community of Gqeberha for allowing us into their beautiful city. We believe in the power of a united community and what can be achieved when we are working towards a common goal. Their support and commitment is a true display of what our campaign, Together we can do more, Siyabangena stands for. Their determination and dedication to pushing the limits are truly inspiring.
Thank you to all the volunteers, partner sponsors and organisers who made this event possible. We can’t wait to come back next year.”
“Today we were treated to a fantastic start to the series,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series. “Congratulations to Daniel Ebenyo and Bekelech Teku Wariyo for putting on world class performances. You have set the bar for the remaining four cities in the series. Thank you to each and every runner and walker, our sponsors and partners, Easter Province Athletics and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, for the invaluable role that you played in hosting the inaugural Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K. We can’t wait to return to the friendly city, or to quote Bassie Kamana (Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality MMC: Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture), ‘The City of Action’ in 2024.”
EVENT INFORMATION: 2023 Absa RUN YOUR CITY SERIES
|1. Sunday 02 April 2023||Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10KStart & Finish Venue: Kings Beach PrecinctStart Time: 07:00|
|2. Sunday 14 May 2023||Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K|
|3. Sunday 09 July 2023||Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K|
|4. Sunday 27 August 2023||Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K|
|5. Sunday 24 September 2023||Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K|
CHARITY SUPPORT: The Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K proudly supports two local charities: the Reach For A Dream Gqeberha and Garden Region and the Animal Anti-Cruelty League Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha. When entering the event online runners could choose to support either or both worthy causes.
WIN A CHERY TIGGO 4 PRO URBAN VEHICLE: Debbie Grobbelaar was the lucky entrant that went home as the owner of a brand-new Chery Tiggo 4 Pro Urban Vehicle valued at over R289 000.00 compliments of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series and event partners Chery South Africa and Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance. To be in the running to win this fantastic prize the following three boxes had to be ticked: runners needed to enter the event, collect their race number and be on the start line on event day.
PRIZE PURSE: The Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series boasts an impressive, combined Prize Purse of R 1 560 000.00 in 2023. Each of the five events will be assigned R312 000.00 in prize money of which R252 000.00 will be allocated towards the Open Category (R126 000.00 going to Top 10 Open Men’s and R126 000.00 to Top 10 Open Women’s), and R60 000 towards Age Categories (Junior, 40 – 49, 50 – 59, 60 – 69 and 70+ Age Categories). To view the prize purse breakdown please visit https://runyourcityseries.com/
Hashtag: #RunYourCity #AbsaRunYourCity
Absa Group is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups.
Absa Group offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance.
Absa operates in fourteen countries. The Group owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Absa Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia and has insurance operations in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia. Absa also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria, and securities entities in the United Kingdom and the United States.
For further information about Absa Group Limited, please visit www.absa.africa
About the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series
A proudly South African mass participation road running series, the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series has been revolutionizing the sport since 2015. A road running celebration like no other, the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series comprises five unique events namely the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K (launched in 2023), Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K (launched in 2015), the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K (launched in 2017), Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K (launched in 2023) and the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K (launched in 2016).
A diverse road running series, the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series integrates businesses, families, investment in community, world class achievement and fun for all participants.
For further information please visit https://runyourcityseries.com/