Cape Town – Kenya clinched a double victory in the inaugural FNB Cape Town 12 One Run in the Mother City on Sunday.
Emmanuel Bett clocked a fast 33:32:00 while Vivian Cheruiyot claimed the women’s race in 38:22:00.
South Africa secured six places across the two categories in the top 10 with Elroy Gelant (fifth in 34:51:00) and Lebo Phalula (39:21:00 in third place) the first locals home.
The race – from Milnerton to the Cape Town CBD – was run in perfect conditions and on a flat course as was reflected by the quick times.
It was a close finish in the men’s race. Bett edged his compatriot Daniel Salel to the finishing tape by the slightest of margins.
The two led the pack that set the pace early on and broke through with 5km to go.
At that point, South Africans Gelant, Gladwin Mzazi and Joel Mmone were chasing a huge gap.
“I needed to press hard from the beginning because it was a strong field,” said Bett after claiming the R40 000 first prize purse, which was the same amount that was bagged by Olympic double medallist Cheruiyot.
Gelant said he was a bit worried coming into the race because he had hardly done any speed work.
He had just recovered from a hamstring injury but assured his followers he is fully recovered and he will run the 5000m at the IAAF World Challenge in Hengelo, Holland, next week, as well as the Diamond League in Eugene, United States, at the end of the month.
The top 10 men
Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) 33:32:00
Daniel Salel (Kenya) 33:32:00
Timothy Toroitich (Uganda) 33:48:00
Moses Kipsiro (Uganda) 34:31:00
Elroy Gelant (South Africa) 34:51:00
Gladwin Mzazi (South Africa) 34:59:00
Lucky Modike (South Africa) 35:27:00
Joel Mmone (South Africa) 35:36:00
Xolisa Tyali (South Africa) 35:39:00
Lungile Gonqa (South Africa) 35:39:00
The top 10 women
Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) 38:22:00
Yenenesh Tilahun (Ethiopia) 39:17:00
Lebo Phalula (South Africa) 39:21:00
Lebogang Phalula (South Africa) 39:34:00
Doris Changeywo (Kenya) 39:48:00
Rutendo Nyahora (Zimbabwe) 40:16:00
Nolene Conrad (South Africa) 40:29:00)
Zintle Xiniwe (South Africa) 41:23:00
Christine Kalmer (South Africa) 41:36:00
Lena Lotter (South Africa) 41:47:00