After running fast times in the Absa Durban 10km, Nedbank running club athletes Anthony Timoteus and Irvette Van Zyl lead the Nedbank RC team heading into Sunday’s Absa Cape Town 12km which is run along a fast point to point course, starting in Milnerton and finishing in the Cape Town CBD.
Timoteus has not only been having an amazing 2021 season but comes into Sunday’s race fresh off a quick 28:46 which saw him finish 7th at the Absa Durban 10km which also doubled up as the South African National Championships. 2 months earlier the local Cape Town athlete also picked up a bronze medal in the South African Cross-Country Championships, finishing 3rd in the men’s 4km.
“Covid19 definitely played a big part in the way I have run this year,” says Timoteus. “Over the past 18 months and with the lockdowns, I managed to train full time like a pro because all my studies were done online and not in the classrooms.” Nearly every time Timoteus has laced his Nike racing shoes this year, it has resulted in new PB’s. “Since the Durban 10km my recovery has been great, and I have managed to put in some good sessions. I am looking for a good showing on Sunday and to run fast. I will be happy to run a time of under 35:00.”
Joining Timoteus in the men’s race is teammate and local Cape Town athlete Brucelynn Damons as well as Andre Afrika. On Monday evening in Stellenbosch, Damons won the Academy Invitational track series 5000m in a quick 14:17. A natural front runner who loves to push the pace, Damons will be looking to stay with the lead bunch for as long as possible in a race that not only includes South Africa’s best, but 2 world class Kenyan athletes who will be descending on Cape Town with the aim of running a new World Best time.
In the ladies’ race, Van Zyl leads the Nedbank running club charge with teammates and local Cape Town athletes Anel Terblanche, Kobie Griffiths and Rolandi Schutte in tow. Van Zyl is running herself back into top form after an injury derailed her Olympic Marathon back in August.
Coached by Nedbank running club national team manager Nick Bester, Van Zyl has had an amazing 2021. She started off by smashing her marathon best, running 2:28:40 to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. In May, Van Zyl also set a new World best over 50km when she ran 3:04:23 at the Nedbank Breaking Barriers 50km in Gqeberha.
“I am looking forward to the race because it is an unusual distance,” said Van Zyl from her home in Pretoria. “You race it like it is a 10km and then go into survival mode for the last 2km.”
Her most recent showing was a 5th place in the Absa Durban 10km running a time of 33:39. Expect Van Zyl to be upfront on Sunday with the leaders, as she navigates her way back to the top of the podium.
“Training has been like a roller coaster coming back from injury. The shape I was in before the injury was mind blowing and I want to keep comparing that shape to now but its no realistic to do that. Each week I am improving in training and I am starting to get the times I was getting before my marathon I ran this year so its just a matter of time until I am back in that form.”
Also in action on Sunday will be inspirational runner, Ipeleng Khunou. The Pretoria based athlete is known as the crutch runner and was born with septo-optic dysplasia, a rare brain condition that causes loss of balance and affects eyesight. Not letting this define him, Khunou is a regular feature at races, crutches in hands and motivating everyone around him.