DURBAN, South Africa, Oct 14 – World leader Sheila Chepkirui lived up to her billing as race favourite for the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on Sunday, taking four seconds off the African all-comers’ record to win the IAAF Bronze Label road race in 30:55.
The gusting winds didn’t deter Chepkirui, who earlier this year moved to second on the world all-time list for 10km with her 29:57 victory in Prague.
Chepkirui and compatriots Evaline Chirchir and Beatrice Mutai went straight to the front of the race to dictate the pace. Ethiopia’s Tadu Nare went with the Kenyan trio, but was only able to stick with them for three kilometres
Chepkirui stayed behind Mutai and Chirchir for most of the race, passing through half way in 15:26, and first made her presence felt just after seven kilometres, moving between Chirchir and Mutai.
Chepkirui threw in another surge at about 8.5km and Mutai started to fade, but it was only in the final 500 metres that Chepkirui was able to edge ahead of Chirchir, eventually crossing the line in 30:55 to finish two seconds ahead of Chirchir. Mutai was third in 31:01.
“I am really happy with my performance, especially the fast time, as this is my first road race in South Africa,” said Chepkirui. “I usually stay at the back in the beginning and then make my move closer to the race finish.”