Mokoka is preparing for an onslaught
South African 10km record holder Stephen Mokoka will be one of the runners headlining the FNB Joburg 10km CityRun on September 24.
Athletics commentator Manfred Seidler told City Press this week that Mokoka is one of the favourites to win the race.
“Without a doubt, Stephen is by far the best middle-distance athlete in South Africa at the moment,” said Seidler.
He said the Olympian was preparing for an onslaught on his own national 10km record of 27 minutes and 38 seconds, which he set in Manchester, England, in 2015. The race is part of his preparation for the Durban 10km CitySurfRun, and will be a good test for him to see what shape he is in.
Mokoka regularly participates in the Run Your City series – he claimed gold at last year’s Cape Town 12 OneRun, and finished seventh in the Joburg 10km.
He relishes the opportunity to race against the best in the world on home soil.
“We need to show South Africans how good we are. It is very important to do that at home,” said Mokoka.
“It helps grow the sport by encouraging more people to run, and also inspires our youngsters to believe that they can compete with the best.”
Among the participants are South African 10km cross-country women’s new champion Glenrose Xaba, and mountain biker Ariane Lüthi, a two-time Swiss marathon champion.
Xaba beat then Athletics SA defending champion Kesa Molotsane, who earned a silver medal last Sunday at North-West University’s Pukke Sports Fields in Potchefstroom.
The race will begin at FNB Bank City at 8am, with the route going past iconic landmarks including the Nelson Mandela Bridge, Constitution Hill, Wits University, the Neighbourgoods Market and Ellis Park Stadium. It ends at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.
The total prize of R212 000 will be split among the top finishers in all categories. The male and female winners of the open category will take home a deserved total of R25 000 each. The rest of the purse has been allocated to the rest of the open category’s top 10, as well as the top three male and female finishers in the five age-group categories.
When entering online, runners were able to choose to support the event’s charities – the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation, the Johannesburg Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Reach For A Dream Foundation.
In its inaugural year, the race attracted 11 000 runners.
The final FNB race will be staged in Durban on October 8.
Racing at home helps grow the sport. It encourages more people to run and inspires youngsters to believe that they can compete with the best