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Gachaga back to defend ONERUN title in Cape Town

Gachaga

It’s official, the fastest man ever over 12 kilometres will return to defend his title at the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN on Sunday.

Morris Gachaga, 23, stormed to a 33min 27sec win at last year’s event to set the fastest time ever recorded over the 12km distance.

The Kenyan is in even better shape than before. On 9 February this year, he finished fifth in the RAK Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, clocking 59:36. That was followed up with a third-place finish in Lisbon where he covered the 21.1km in 60:17 on 11 March, before heading off to London as pacemaker to Eliud Kipchoge, who won the 2018 edition of the London Marathon.

The 59:36 (in the RAK Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon) places Gachaga eighth in the world this year over the half marathon and it’s a personal best for him over the distance by more than a minute (1:02) from his previous best of 60:38 run in Paris in March last year.

Clearly, he will be coming into the race on 20 May in the best shape of his life and could potentially challenge his own ‘record’ time if the rest of the field go with the required pace.

‘I’m looking forward to coming back to Cape Town to defend my title,’ says Gachaga. ‘I have good memories of that race and want to do well. I am in great shape. If things go well, maybe I can better my 33:27 and lower the world best.’

This will be Gachaga’s third visit to South Africa and his second to Cape Town since running that world best. Injury curtailed his chances to challenge Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei at the inaugural FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN in 2017 where he had to settle for 10th in a season’s best 29:47.

Mathew Kiprotich Kimutai of Kenya will be making his debut appearance at Sunday’s run. He’ll add depth to an already impressive men’s lineup. His 43:48 for 15km run in Kabarak, Kenya last year shows he’s no slouch and will be ignored at the rest of the field’s peril.

The 12km is a non-standard race and hence the time is ratified as a world best, not a world record. The starting point is at Woodbridge Island, Milnerton and will finish in Bree Street in the Cape Town CBD.

Photo: Gachaga wins last year’s event, by Tobias Ginsberg


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