Fresh off a personal best in Cape Town a week ago, Lesotho’s Namakoe Nkhasi showed the big names a clean pair of heels in the inaugural FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN on Saturday, 24 September.
The 23-year-old crossed the finish line at Mary Fitzgerald Square in 29:48 ahead of Kenya’s Edwin Koech. It was billed as the showdown between arch rivals Stephen Mokoka and Elroy Gelant, with fellow Olympian Sibusiso Nzima also in the mix, but it was Namakoe who had too much firepower on the day. As expected, the front-running Nzima – who finished second in Cape Town behind Namakoe – went straight to the front, pushing the pace. Within 2km the lead pack had been whittled down to 10 men, including Nzima, still driving the bus, Mokoka, Gelant, Namakoe, Koech, Joel Mmone and Phillimon Mathiba. The 3km mark was obliterated in 8:15. Once the leading men turned down Bertram Road and made their way up to the Johannesburg Stadium, Namakoe came to the fore pushing the pace. At the 5km mark he opened a gap, with only Edwin Koech being able to follow. Nkhasi made a big push up at the bottom of Rissik Street leading into Joubert, breaking the Kenyan, Koech. From there it was plain sailing as the man from Lesotho was able to enjoy his win over a top notch field. Second across the line was Edwin Koech (30:07) with Sibusiso Nzima claiming the final spot on the podium. The FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN kicked off at FNB Bank City Johannesburg. Runners, walkers, fitness enthusiasts and fun-seekers were granted the unique opportunity to celebrate Johannesburg’s rich heritage by exploring their city before crossing the finish line at Mary Fitzgerald Square Newtown. Iconic landmarks on route included: the Nelson Mandela Bridge, FNB Bank City, Constitution Hill, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Wits University, Neighbourgoods Market and Ellis Park Stadium to mention just a few.
For full results visit www.joburg10k.com.