22 Sep 2022
After the highs of 2021 that saw him qualify for a maiden Olympic Games, national 5000m champion Precious Mashele struggled to recreate that form in 2022. Plagued by injury from the outset, the 31-year-old could only defend his title on the track as he finished second behind Melikhaya Frans at the ASA Half Marathon Championships and didn't compete in the 10km champs. But just as questions were being asked about his form, the Boxer Athletic Club top runner responded with a timely win as he bested Frans by ten seconds to take the Outsurance Gun Run 10km race in 28:25 on Sunday.
"I'm very happy to have them host me again because I know I didn't run well in Durban, but I'm happy they have given me another chance to be part of the Joburg 10km," he said during an online broadcast ahead of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10k which will be run on sections of the M1 and M2 highways on 24 September. "So I'm looking forward to making them happy because when people make you happy, you must make them happy."
Mashele poses with runner-up Ikhamva AC top runner and Wolrd Championship marathoner Melikhaya Frans as well as third placed Reghen Magwai of Hollywoodbets AC after winning the Outsurance Gun Run 10km race in Cape Town on Sunday. Photo Credit: Outsurance Gun Run.
Having missed out on the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10k in May due to illness, much was expected from Mashele when he lined up for the star-studded Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k. But the five-time national champion could only produce 28:43 for 15th place as his Zoo Lake Group training partner Maxime Chaumeton made history in becoming the first South African to run a sub 28 minute 10km on home soil. Reflecting on the challenging year he has had with coach Hendrick Ramaala, the man who represented SA at the World Championships in Oregon in July says they have learnt from their mistakes.
"I think me and my coach and my training partners were pushing the training too much before Durban, especially me because I never rested since last year. I was pushing too much. So this time around, my coach just told me to reduce the high intensity and volume so I think now my body is recovered and I'm also feeling good mentally. I'm looking forward to be on the podium so I can finish the year well," said the Puma Ambassador.
Ending off the year well will mean winning a race on a hilly route that includes the likes of Elroy Gelant, reigning SA 10 000m champion Mbuleli Mathanga as well as Frans himself and his training partner Thabang Mosiako. Mashele is relying on his training partners who include Nicolas Seoposengwe (runner-up at the SA 10km champs in August) and Kabelo Seboko who claimed third place in the men's 10km race at the recent SA Cross Country Championships.
"Our race tactics are still on. We have been practising in training during our tempo runs where we take turns to lead the pace. So we are gonna help each other so that at least one of us can be on the podium. I think that would be a good thing for one of the group to be on the podium," he said.
Disclaimer: "Original article was first published by The Top Runner"