Cape Town - Some of the world’s best long distance runners are in South Africa to take part in the inaugural Cape Town 12 ONERUN on Sunday.
The race is expected to attract over 10 000 runners across all categories, though the main focus will be on who wins the R40 000 winner’s cheque in the men’s and women’s categories.
Ugandan Moses Kipsiro (2014, 2010 Commonwealth Games 10 000m gold medallist) is the favourite in a men’s race that also includes Kenyans Emmanuel Bett (World’s fastest 10 000m time in 2012) and Moses Mosai (2009 World Championship 10 000m bronze medallist).
South African Elroy Gelant will head up the local charge in the men’s race.
2012 Olympic medallist (5000m silver, 10 000m bronze) Vivian Cheruiyot is the favourite in the women’s run, though she will have to contend with fellow Kenyan Doris Changeywo (2010 Commonwealth Games 10 000m silver) as well as South Africans Mpaseka Makhanya and the Phalula sisters – Lebo and Lebogang.
“I don’t view myself as the favourite. Anybody can win it on the day,” Kipsiro said in Cape Town on Friday.
“Some other people are saying I am the favourite. But the Kenyans are very strong and the South Africans will also put up a challenge.”
Cheruiyot is expected to be the women to beat, but the fact that 12km is such a random distance does give the race an element of uncertainty.
“I have never done a 12km race before, this is my first one, so at least I know that whatever happens this will be my personal best,” she joked.
One lady who clearly doesn’t fear the Kenyan influence is Lebogang Phalula.
“Kenyans are Kenyans and Ethiopians are Ethiopians – I want to run like a South African,” she said.
“I wish one day Kenyans will say ‘I want to run like Lebogang Phalula’ so I’m not going to say I want to run like anyone. If I can beat that them I’ll beat them and if I can’t, I can’t, but I’ll run my own race.”
The Cape Town 12 ONERUN starts at 09:00 on Sunday. The race will start at Woodbridge Island in Milnerton and end in the CBD at the FNB Portside building