JOHANNESBURG – Gift Kelehe begins his preparations for an assault on the seemingly elusive Comrades Marathon Down Run title this weekend.
The 2015 champion will participate in the inaugural Fat Cats Athletic Club’s 10km race at the Mall of Africa in Waterfall Park, Gauteng on Sunday.
A 10km race to prepare for the 90.2km monster that is Comrades?
“Of course we do run short distances even though our speciality is the ultra-marathon,” he said. “Short races are good to build up speed. I know that people look at is and think we only run Comrades and maybe Two Oceans. But we do all sorts of distances. We also do track, from 200m through 800m and 1 500m to 3 000m. They all help to build speed.”
On Sunday, the six time Comrades gold medallist will be looking to see just how well-rested he is following a bout of flu recently.
“I was not well in the last few weeks but I am Ok now and running 10 kilometres will be a good way for me to get back into fitness. I am looking to do the race in about 35 minutes.”
Sunday’s route is pretty tough with some steep inclines on both the R101 and the R55 and a 35 minute run could well see Kelehe in the top 20 if not 10.
Kelehe’s teammate Gordon Lesetedi, a two-time Comrades gold medallist will also be running.
Ever since he won the Comrades in 2015, Kelehe has been making attempts in vain to add a second title, the Down Run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in particular.
Fat Cats AC chairperson Refiloe Rakwena expressed the club’s delight at having attracted such revered runners to their race: “We are especially honoured to be hosting elite athletes such as Gift Kelehe and Gordon Lesetedi. It is humbling for the club that on our debut showing, they are affording us the same respect as some of the more experienced race organisers. Our intention of offering a competitive prize pool was so we can recognise and highlight the hard work these athletes put in training to compete.”
The Fat Cats race is scheduled for a 7am start and there is also a 5km fun run as well as races for kiddies.
Registration is still open online until tomorrow midday at :
Manual entries will be accepted at club’s gazebo at the Mall of Africa on Friday and Saturday from noon to 6pm as well as on the morning of the race between 5am and 6.45am.
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