If there were any doubts that road running is back in South Africa and once again at the highest level, then these were surely put to bed with the announcement that the fastest man to ever race over 12km is back in the Mother City, Cape Town in an attempt to break his own World Best Time. Morris Munene Gachaga ran a blistering 33:27 for the 12km at the Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN on 21 May 2017 and the 26-year-old is eager to return to his happy hunting ground and have another crack at his own best time come Sunday 21 November.
Three times Gachaga has come to compete in the race, and three times he has emerged triumphant. In 2017, at his first attempt, Gachaga ran a scorching 33:27 to set a new World Best for the 12km distance, covering the final 2km in a blistering 4:52. He was back again a year later to defend his title before making it a hattrick of wins in 2019.
Since those days, Gachaga has continued improving. In 2018 be broke 60min for the half marathon for the first, clocking 59:36 at the RAK Half Marathon in the UAE. A year later and Gachaga would bring that time down to 59:22 at the very same race. His Marathon time to has been steadily improving. On his debut, Gachaga was timed at 2:07.46 in Paris in April of 2019. In October that year at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, Gachaga took a minute and 22seconds off that time.
2020 proved to be a difficult year for Gachaga as he was only able to compete in one race due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. An unhappy and out of sorts Gachaga finished 47th at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, running 62:30, and for a sub 60min half marathoner in a race that saw the top ten dip the 60min mark, that was not the race he would have wanted. But Gachaga bounced back in 2021. On 17 October this year Morris Gachaga lowered his Marathon best time to 2:05.09 at the Paris Marathon.
Now he hopes to end off his 2021 campaign with a bang and a new World Best. “I love running in Cape Town,” said Gachaga. “It is where things really started to go well for me, and I would like nothing more than to come back and break my own World Best time for the 12km. I know there will be good athletes and the race will be fast, so I am looking forward to racing in Cape Town again.”
And fast it will be. Already confirmed is Kenya’s Daniel Simiu Ebenyo who first made it known he was targeting the 12km World Best. Ebenyo is no stranger to South Africa, having qualified for the Olympic Games 5000m here in South Africa when he ran 13:12.26 in very windy conditions that made running down the back straight a challenge on its own. Before heading for Tokyo, Ebenyo would go on to clock 12:55.88 at the Spitzen Leichtathletik Meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.
But the two Kenya’s will not have it all their own way. After winning the Absa DURBAN 10K CITYRUN on 31 October, and in the process defending his National 10km Title, Precious Mashele in the post-race interview made it very clear he was heading to Cape Town too, and with only one thing in mind, a fast time. “I’m coming to Cape Town,” said a smiling Mashele after his win in Durban. “I know there will be fast athletes and that they want to break the 12km Best time. So I will be there and want to race against these guys. It will be fast.”
Mashele is confident, and why should he not be? In spite of the challenges of the Pandemic, he has had a breakthrough season, breaking his 5000m and 10 000m Personal Bests on the way to qualifying for the Olympics. Two weeks before his win in Durban, Mashele took 24seconds off his Half Marathon best when he finished 4th in the Poznan Half Marathon in Poland. In handing his friend and rival, Stephen Mokoka, his third defeat of 2021, he beat Mokoka in a 5000m race in Stellenbosch in March and then at the National Half Marathon Championships in Gqeberha in May, Mashele shaved 15sec off his 10km best. He is peaking at just the right time.
It is shaping up to be yet another outstanding race with World Athletics Label Athletes converging on Cape Town on November 21 as the Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN paints the streets of the Mother City red.
EVENT INFORMATION: 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 225.00Temporary License: R 40.00|
CHARITY SUPPORT: When entering the 2021 Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN online runners can choose to support five local charities: Die Burger Kinderfonds, Cape of Good Hope SPCA, Cotlands, help2read and Reach for a Dream.
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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/