Some of the fastest women in the world will be lining up for the inaugural FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on Sunday, October 8.
The accomplished Kenyan duo of Paskalia Chepkorir and Veronica Nyaruai have now also confirmed their entry into the race that will be run over a particularly fast and flat route through the streets of Durban.
Fans are already salivating at the prospect of seeing SA 10km record holder, Stephen Mokoka battle it out in the men's race with the World Championship 10 000m silver medallist, Joshua Cheptegei, and his compatriot from Kenya, Morris Gachaga - the worlds' fastest 12km runner.
SA record holder, Dominique Scott-Efurd and junior sensation, Mercyline Chelangat , will also be up for the challenge.
Scott-Efurd will be hopeful to break 32 minutes for the first time over 10km. Chelangat too will be entering new territory. Her best time for 10km (33:17) on the road is nowhere near a reflection of what she is capable of over the popular distance. Her best time on the track (31:40.48 for 10 000m and 15:09.45 for 5 000m) indicates she should easily be able to break 32 minutes on the road.
Chepkorir and Nyaruai who have already gone sub 32, have now been added to the star studded field. The 28-year-old Chepkorir has to be regarded as one of the favourites.
The Kenyan boasts a 30:57 for the 10km on the road - by far the fastest in the field. That time may have been run in Santos, Brazil in 2012, but Chepkorir's recent 32:08 run in Ottawa (27 May, 2017) shows she is once again coming close to those lofty heights of 2012.
Chepkorir finished seventh in the recent Copenhagen Half Marathon on September 17, clocking a season's best of 68:23.
However, Nyaruai has also shown just how dangerous she could be. Her best 10km on the road is 31:55, run in San Juan on February 28, 2016. But it is the 67:58 half marathon run on January 15 in Houston, Texas this year that has caught the eye. At the time a World lead, it still ranks in the top 25 fastest times of 2017.
In addition, Nyaruai has also clocked 32:11 in the 10km in New York in April this year.
"I have been told this is going to be a fast course and that weather conditions at this time of the year are near perfect," said Chepkorir.
"I know Veronica (Nyaruai). She likes to run hard and is not scared to go out fast from the gun. So this race will be fast. I certainly believe this race will be run faster than 32 minutes."
Nyaruai echoed Chepkorir's sentiments.
"I am close to breaking 32minutes again in the 10km. So I am looking forward to racing in Durban. Women's road racing has improved so dramatically in the last two years, that if we want to remain close to the top in the World, we need to be running under 32 minutes, if not under 31. I will be doing my best to get close to, if not to beating my PB (31:55)".
Throw in the likes of Nazret Weldu of Eritrea who boasts a best of 15:33.28 over 5 000m run at Carquefou in France on July23 this year and Dorcas Tuitoek who is also a sub 33minute 10km runner, and you have all the ingredients to see the fastest ever 10km women's road race on South African soil.
For more information on the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN visit www.durban10k.com