KISSA HUNTING SUB 27 AT FNB DURBAN 10K CITYSURFRUN
23 September 2019
Running in the shadow of his more famous countryman Joshua Cheptegei, a two-time winner of the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, Stephen Kissa is looking to stamp his mark on the 2019 edition of the fast Durban race on Sunday 13 October.
Kissa may not have the titles of his countryman who is the current World Cross Country Champion and the Commonwealth Games 5000m and 10 000m Champion, but he is the Ugandan 10k record holder and he has every intention of lowering his mark of 27:13 on 13 October.
“I am looking forward to running in Durban again,” said Kissa who has finished second and fourth at the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN and is hoping to make it a third time lucky. “I love coming to this race. It is fast and flat and I am in good shape, so I want to break my own National 10k record.” Kissa even hinted that a sub 27 could be in the cards. “I have twice lowered my best time this year. So I know I can do something special. Who knows, maybe even break 27 minutes.”
Kissa went from a 27:47 (his time in Durban in 2018) to a 27:24 in Valencia in January this year and then to 27:13 in Laredo (Texas) in March. That time places him 4th in the 2019 ranking list. Kissa will line up in the men’s 5000m at the World Athletics Championships on the first day of the global showpiece (27 September), with the final on 30 September. That will give Kissa exactly two weeks for his final sharpening for the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.
While Kissa does have the pedigree to take line honours on 13 October, it is by no means a given that he will cross the finish line first in Durban. South Africa’s Elroy Gelant and Stephen Mokoka are itching to have a go at the international contingent, which in itself is a strong one.
The latest addition to the men’s field, that already includes Yohans Kifle and Alfred Ngeno, is Ethiopia’s Agunafr Bekele. The 23-year-old has a 5000m best of 13:21.93 from 2018. His sole venture onto the road in 2015 saw him clock a 28:20 for 10km in Laredo in 2015. Kifle at age 19 comes in with a best of 13:27.06 in the 5000m. Durban will be his second outing on the road after having clocked 28:31 in Houilles in France in December last year. Alfred Ngeno finished 4th at the 2019 FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN in May and is not to be discounted either.
But the favourite mantle rests firmly on the shoulders of Stephen Kissa and if Durban delivers the near perfect conditions it has in the first two years of the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, then a sub 27 min is not out of reach. Should Kissa break the 27-minute barrier, he would become only the third athlete to ever achieve this feat. This would go a long way to securing IAAF Gold Label Status for the event.
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. 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: 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
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