Stephen Mokoka to race Cape Town 10K as prep for Paris Olympic Games

Legendary South African distance runner Stephen Mokoka during a press conference

The Hollywood Athletics Club star Stephen Mokoka failed to finish the 56km Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon, but now turns his attention to the Absa Run Your City Cape Town 10k. Picture supplied.

Published Apr 17, 2024


For a man who was not only expected to win the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon but to break Thompson Magawana’s long standing record too, Stephen Mokoka’s debut in the race would have left his legions of fans disappointed.

The Hollywood Athletics Club star failed to finish the 56km race as he dropped out with just four kilometres to go. But Mokoka had said prior to the race that he was using the ultra as part of his preparations for the Paris Olympic Games where he will race the marathon on what is expected to be a hilly, testing route.

And having put in that long run and climbed both Chapmans’s Peak and Constantia Nek, the three-time Olympian’s legs should be ready to traverse the hilly Paris course in a bid to complete the Games marathon for the first time. Mokoka failed to finish in Tokyo three years ago.

“I’m grateful that I got a chance to race against the guys that I usually see on TV while getting used to the distance. It was a great experience for me,” the man who once held the world 50km record said this week.

Need for speed

The hills and long run done, Mokoka returns to speedwork and has decided to include the popular Absa Run Your City Cape Town 10K set for National Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 12 - into his schedule.

“I’ve signed up for the Absa Run Your City Cape Town 10K. I’ll be there. I’m okay and have no pain. I stopped (at Two Oceans) earlier than the long runs that I’ve been doing. It’s just the pace that was a little bit different. When I resume on the track, we’ll see from there,” the 39-year-old explained “I’m excited to be back, the series has been good for us and it’s always a pleasure to line up on race day.”

With a 27:38 Personal Best in the 10km, Mokoka’s presence in Cape Town is sure to raise the standard of the second race in the series after the season-opening Abaa Run Your City Gqeberha 10K failed to produce fireworks as had been predicted.

National 10km record-holder Precious Mashele, elder statesman Elroy Gelant and local (Gqeberha) boy Thabang Mosiako did not live up to their promise of dipping under the 28 minutes with victory going to Kenyan Vincent Largat.

Mokoka’s presence in Cape Town next month is sure to help up the ante and see the race being much hotter.

Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Series Founder is delighted that the legendary road runner has signed up: "Stephen's exceptional athleticism and his continued support of the series have been truly phenomenal. His participation not only adds to the excitement of the event but also highlights the high caliber of athletes attracted to the Absa Run Your City Series. We’re excited to welcome him to Absa Run Your City Cape Town 10K and are honoured to be part of his journey to the 2024 Olympic Games.”


IOL Sport