Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei will defend his title at the 2nd edition of the Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN that will be held on Sunday, 14 October in Durban, South Africa.
Cheptegei ran the fastest time ever on South African soil over the 10km in 2017, clocking 27:28 to smash the previous all-comers record of 27:55 that was set by Andrew Limo from Kenya in 2009. Cheptegei made the decisive break in 2017 just after the 6km mark when he forged ahead of team mate Stephen Kissa and Swiss sensation, Julien Wanders. Only a strong headwind in the second half of the race prevented Cheptegei from coming close to the low end of the 27 minute mark.
Cheptegei got his 2018 campaign off to a flying start by winning both the 5000m and 10 000m titles at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in April and was all set to compete at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond Leaque event in Oregon before a knee injury saw him withdraw the rest of the season.
“I picked up a knee injury just before I came to South Africa for the Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Meeting in March while preparing for the Commonwealth Games. It wasn’t too bad in March and I was supposed to only do the 5000m in Brisbane, but the Uganda Federation asked me to do the 10 000m too. Winning both the 5000m and 10 000m was very important for me as representing my country means a lot to me. But it did mean that I had to sit out the rest of the track season as we did not want to make the injury worse,” said Cheptegei.
“It was a precautionary measure,” confirms Cheptegei’s agent, Jurrie van der Velden of Global Sports Communication. “We have big plans for Joshua, which will culminate in 2020, so we thought it prudent that he heals completely and focusses on the road season towards the end of the year. He is now fully healed and is looking forward to defending his title in Durban on 14 October.”
Cheptegei is keen to defend his title in Durban. “I have been away from racing for far too long and cannot wait to run in Durban. I want to keep my title and believe I can run a really fast time in Durban, now that I know the route. South Africa has been a happy hunting ground for me in my last two visits,” said Cheptegei. The 22-year-old is looking to improve on his 27:28 which is also a lifetime best. “My training has been good. The injury is now healed. I know the route. I know the conditions and am expecting a good race. My time from last year is in danger as I want to go around 27:20 or better, so over the next six weeks I will be sharpening up for Durban.”
Joshua Cheptegei has one race leading up to the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, the Dam tot Damloop in Zaadam, a 10 miler (16km) race on 23 September. “That will be my final tune up for Durban. I am excited about the rest of the year and my visit to Durban again.”
Cheptegei won the silver medal at the World Championships in the 10 000m in 2017 before going on to do the track double at the Commonwealth Games.
He also came within three seconds of the 15km World Record (41:13 – Leonard Patrick Komon, 21 November 2010) at the Zevenheuvelenloop in Holland on 19 November 2017. Cheptegei clocked 41:16. Having dealt with his injury, the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will be the perfect way to end his 2018 campaign.