Van Zyl looking to return to form, while Mutai set to challenge at FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN

Seen here:  Irvette van Zyl on her way to a third place finish in the women’s race at the 2018 FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN. 

Photo Credit:  Tobias Ginsberg

The women’s race at the 2019 FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on Sunday 13 October is shaping up to be arguably the most fiercely contested in the three years of the event.

Already confirmed are the defending champion, Stella Chesang and the world’s fastest for 2019 and second fastest ever, Sheila Chepkirui. On the South African front, in form Glenrose Xaba, the darling of South African road running, Gerda Steyn and new Zimbabwe record holder, Fortunate Chidzivo have already been confirmed.

Now 2018’s third place finisher, Irvette van Zyl and Kenya’s Beatrice Mutai have been added to the lineup. For van Zyl, 2019 has not been the easiest year. For years she has struggled to identify an injury that she seemed to be running with that forced her to walk on her long runs. “After copious amounts of tests, we finally figured out that my left iliac artery was trapped by a ligament. My leg would just go numb when I ran really hard or long. In races I ran through it, but in training it was a different story,” says the 32-year-old.

After surgery on 1 July, van Zyl started the long road to recovery. “It hasn’t been easy. My leg had been going numb for seven years, so now with the blood flowing easily I am experiencing cramps. I am still learning to recover properly.”

But van Zyl is already showing signs of getting back to her best. On 18 August, six weeks after surgery, she was back on the roads, finishing 7th in the ladies race in Pietermaritzburg, clocking 34:21 on not the easiest of courses.

“I am looking forward to returning to Durban.  I am of course not in the same kind of shape as I was in 2018 (van Zyl clocked a PB and came desperately close to breaking 32 minutes when she finished in 32:06), but I am optimistic that I will give a good showing of myself. This is such a fantastic race and there are always really good athletes in Durban, so I am excited and am looking for a 32 again.”

Van Zyl is renowned as a tough, hard racer and a fighter with a never say die attitude. She says she still has some time left to hone her form for the big day on 13 October and South Africans can be confident that she will deliver her best come race day.

Joining the illustrious line up is Kenya’s Beatrice Mutai. Like van Zyl, Mutai is 32-years-old, an age that seems to be delivering some scintillating performances. Mutai boasts a 10km best of 31:28, run in Tilden (Texas) in 2017. She finished 4th in Kabarnet, Kenya in the 10km on 24 August this year, clocking 33:46. Kabarnet lies at an altitude of 1800m, showing that Mutai will be in good form come 13 October. “I want to knock off a big chunk from my PB time. I am looking for a sub 30.25 which gives me a shot at the win.”

Sheila Chepkirui has gone 29:57 on 7 September this year, the second fastest time ever and the best of 2019. Chepkirui will be sure to set a fast pace on the fast and flat course of Durban. With the stacked field and with more athletes to be confirmed, the women’s race will be a big showpiece for 2019.

The FNB Run Your City Series consists of three events:  the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN (5th anniversary in 2019), FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN (4th anniversary in 2019) and FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN (3rd anniversary in 2019).

Exhilarating mass participation road races, each event celebrates the splendour of its host city.  Runners (and walkers) will be treated to a journey that will highlight iconic landmarks and feature lively performances on route.

Over the short period of 5 years, the series has grown to over 40 000 runners in the three cities and has attained IAAF Bronze Label Status in two events (FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN and FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN).   The Durban race is now chasing Gold Label Status. The significance of that cannot be underestimated. Label Status means that the FNB Run Your City Series will attract some of the best athletes in the world, which means that South Africa’s top athletes get to race the best on home soil.  As a result, fast times will be recorded on the African Continent.

Over the past 5 years the series has delivered compelling racing and fast times which will now be shared with the world through the process of a Livestream. The FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will be livestreamed as was the Cape Town leg of the FNB Run Your City Series. 

EVENT INFORMATION:  FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN

Date: Sunday 13 October 2019
Venue: Start – Blue Lagoon (Athlone Drive) / Finish – Beachfront Precinct (near The Bike and Bean
Charities:  When entering online runners can choose to support one (or all five) of the event’s charities 1. The Reach For A Dream Foundation, 2. TREE, 3. Durban & Coast SPCA, 4. LIV Village and 5. iThemba Lethu.
Prize Purse:  R250 000 / View the entire Prize Purse Breakdown here:   http://bit.ly/2MHQ4fd
Website:  www.durban10k.com

IN THE NEWS:  The FNB Run Your City Series has implemented a Single-Use Plastic (SUP) Management Campaign that aims to drastically reduce the usage of single-use plastics by 85% at all three events.  “The aim of the FNB Run Your City Series’ SUP Management Campaign is to drastically reduce the usage of single-use plastics by 85% at all three events.  Our ultimate goal is to host a mass participation road running series that is plastic free,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director Stillwater Sports.  

About the FNB Run Your City Series:

FNB is proud to once again bring you the FNB Run Your City Series which  comprises of three unique mass participation events that integrate business involvement, family, diversity, investment in community, world class achievement and fun for all participants, both individuals and businesses alike.

Each of the races are developed to take participants through the historical routes around each city, thereby adding a tourism element to each race, making it more than a race but an economic opportunity for each community.

The FNB Run Your City Series is made up of three races around South Africa, namely, the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN, the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN and the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.

For further information please visit www.runyourcityseries.com

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