Precious Mashele confirms his attendance for Absa Run Your City Gqeberha

Precious Mashele was one of the first elite runners to confirm their participation for the Absa Run Your City year opener in Gqeberha. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg

Precious Mashele was one of the first elite runners to confirm their participation for the Absa Run Your City year opener in Gqeberha. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg

Published Mar 7, 2024


Precious Mashele’s love for running in Gqeberha is understandable. The Boxer Athletic Club star always has great runs in the Windy City.

It is thus not surprising that he is among the first elites to confirm his participation at the Absa Run Your City year opener in the Eastern Cape city next month.

After all, it was there that he ran the fastest 10km by a South African, Mashele clocking a fantastic 27:35 for the national record during the inaugural Gqeberha race of the popular series last year.

With the organisers having put up massive incentives for the local athletes, the athlete from Ga-Maraba village outside Polokwane in Limpopo has intentions to improve on that time.

“I love the atmosphere of the Absa Run Your City Series. There are lots of top runners and social runners who encourage us when we run. I have good memories because I won in Durban in 2021 and I ran a national record in Gqeberha last year. The plan is to run faster than last year.”

Do that on Sunday, April 7 and Mashele could well swell his bank account by a massive R250 000 – at least – in incentives.

Stillwater Sports and Absa have put up a R50 000 bonus for any runner who breaks the national record at any of the five races of the series and there is also a R200 000 incentive for any local male runner who dips under the 27 minute mark. This is in addition to the winner’s prize of R30 000.

Mashele’s record stands at 27:35 and given he will be using the event as part of his preparations for his 5000m event at the All Africa Games in Ghana in a tilt for a spot in Team South Africa for the Paris Olympics in July/August, there is every reason to expect the man trained by the revered Hendrik Ramaala to be firing in Gqeberha.

“These races help us to run fast times. We’re happy because the series is here again in 2024, and we are looking forward to running personal bests. If I qualify for the Olympics it will give me an advantage when I run the Absa races,” Mashele explained.

Meanwhile the Series has once again attracted internationals, with Kenya’s Nancy Sang confirmed to be on the start line on Beach Road.

“I feel happy and glad to be part of the race. Although it will be my first time, I know it’s an important event in Africa where good performances have been made in past years.”

Sang is more renowned as a steeplechase specialist with an impressive personal best of 9:56.0 set at altitude in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in 2018. She intends to use the 2024 Absa Run Your City Series to launch her international career as a road runner.

“I feel it is the right time to venture into road running. I had a good 10km debut of 31:09 but now I want more. I am preparing well for the Absa Run Your City Gqeberha 10K. If conditions are good, the goal is to break the 31-minute barrier.”

The Gqeberha race is the opener for this year’s five race series, with the others set to take place in Cape Town on May 12, Durban on July 7, Tshwane on August 25 and Johannesburg on September 24.


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