Seen here: Precious ‘Machine’ Mashele and Tayla Kavanagh.
Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg
The weather god smiled on Precious ‘Machine’ Mashele and home girl, Tayla Kavanagh at the inaugural Absa Durban 10K CITYRUN incorporating the ASA 10km National Championships in Ethekwini on Sunday 31 October in near perfect conditions.
Mashele defended his National Title in fine style and Kavanagh made a big breakthrough with her win, claiming the National Title in only her first year as a Senior Athlete. In the build-up to the Absa Durban 10K CITYRUN, all the talk was of a tactical race, but the athletes had other ideas.
With Covid 19 regulations in place, the women’s elite field of 75 athletes got underway first at 06h00 just outside the Kings Park Swimming Pool on the two lap 5km course. Kavanagh was immediately in the front of the bunch driving the pace. The 20-year-old was running only her fourth race of the season and was the favourite after her 32:51 run in Gqeberha on 9 October, and she duly lived up to that name. She led the early charge and took all the favourites with her, including Glenrose Xaba, the defending champion, current SA Cross Country Champion, Kesa Molotsane, stalwart and Olympian, Irvette van Zyl and Lesotho’s Neheng Khatala. But by 6km, the relentless drive of Kavanagh had dropped all but Molotsane and Khatala, before Molotsane too succumbed to Kavanagh’s relentless onslaught.
With less than 1km to go, even the experienced, Khatala was unable to keep up with the young legs of Kavanagh who came flying home in a massive personal best time of 32:10.
Kavanagh’s relentless pace saw three athletes dragged under 33 minutes, Khatala finishing second in 32:18 and Molotsane in third with a time of 32:51. Fourth across the line was Glenrose Xaba with a time of 33:32. Molotsane and Xaba were the silver and bronze medallists respectively in the National Championships, as second place Khatala hails from Lesotho and is thus not eligible for National Titles in South Africa.
“It was a great race for me,” said Kavanagh after her win. “Winning the National Title at the Absa Durban 10K CITYRUN, is a big honour for me.” Kavanagh was not in the least fazed by her favourite mantle. “I just ran my own race. I was under strict instructions from my coach and the plan worked out perfectly.”
The men’s race saw drama from the gun as CGA’s Maxine Chaumeton stole a march on the pack and immediately opened up a gap of around 20meters. Chaumeton was hauled in by 5km, but his early pace ensured that the race was not going to be a tactical one as 5km went by 14:06 and a potential sub 28min race was on the cards. With 3km to go there was only Stephen Mokoka who had won the last Absa DURBAN 10K CITYRUN held here in Durban in 2019, the defending National 10km Champion, Precious Mashele, a resurgent Collen Mulaudzi, Maxine Chaumeton and Regan Magwai. At exactly the 9km mark, Mashele put in a surge that only Mokoka could respond to, but even he had to give way to the strength and speed of Mashele who claimed his second victory of the year over Mokoka and went on to win in a new Personal Best time of 28:11. Mokoka finished second (28.15) with Collen Mulaudzi announcing his return to form finishing third (28.26).
“I am happy to have retained my National title and win the Absa DURBAN 10K CITYRUN”, said a smiling Mashele after the race. “It has been a difficult year for all of us, but for me this has still been a good year and after today, I am in good shape for the Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN and am looking forward to running there. We know they are bringing out the best so I am excited to see how I can do there.”
MD of Stillwater Sports, Michael Meyer, announced during the Live Television Broadcast that the World’s Best ever 12km runner, Morris Gachaga will be returning to chase his 33:27 time set in Cape Town in 2017. Kenya’s Daniel Simiu Ebenyo will also be on the start line with the explicit objective of chasing that World Best time.
“The 2021 Absa DURBAN 10K CITYRUN was a great start to our four-year partnership with the RUN YOUR CITY Series running events in South Africa,” said Keketso Motsoene, Absa Managing Executive, Relationship Banking KZN and Mpumalanga. “After a challenging time in our country, it’s become even more evident the role sport plays in boosting the nation’s morale and encouraging our people to live healthy, active lifestyles. This race has provided us with a platform to get even closer to our customers and communities. We thank our valued partners and the KwaZulu Natal community for coming out in their numbers and painting the city red. Congratulations to all the winners and to everyone that participated. We look forward to seeing even more people taking part in the Absa Cape Town 12K CITYRUN.”
“It’s been a very beautiful day of coastal running,” said James Moloi the President of Athletics South Africa. “We have new champions and a bright future of this beautiful 10k which forms part of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series. One sees road running as a celebration of an athlete’s training. In many instances when you are running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the field, or last, because there is a lot more satisfaction in saying I have finished. Races are won or lost at key moments. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever giving up, which is what we witnessed today.
“Success in athletics is about enduring suffering. It’s about being willing to try your best and not giving up when you have a bad day, because in competition you win some and you lose some. Congratulations to the winners Precious Mashele and Tayla Kavanagh. We also congratulate their coaches, provinces and support staff for the day’s success. We also take the opportunity to thank the host province KwaZulu-Natal Athletics, sponsors Absa and the rest of the organisers for a successful outcome.”
“It was an absolute pleasure welcoming runners to the start line in Durban today ready to #RunTheirCity,” said Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the RUN YOUR CITY Series. “We firmly believe that the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series will continue to set the standard for international level events in Africa, welcoming not only thousands of runners across South Africa to the starting line but also world class athletes from around the world hoping to break records on African soil. Now we prepare to paint the streets of Cape Town red on Sunday 21 November 2021 at one of the Mother’s City’s most iconic mass participating road run events, the Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN.”
NEXT UP: Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN
|Date:||Sunday 21 November 2021|
|Start Venue:||Woodbridge Island, Milnerton|
|Finish Venue:||Lower Long Street, Cape Town CBD|
|Entry Fee:||· Standard (Licensed Runner): R 225.00
· Temporary License: R 40.00
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 three unique events namely the Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN (launched in 2015), the Absa DURBAN 10K CITYRUN (launched in 2017) and the Absa JOBURG 10K CITYRUN (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/