Elroy Gelant rolls back the years to win Nelson Mandela Bay, ASA Half Marathon

Elroy Gelant, front, won the Nelson Mandela Bay, ASA half-marathon. Picture: Supplied

Elroy Gelant, front, won the Nelson Mandela Bay, ASA half-marathon. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 1, 2024


Elroy Gelant, you legend!

How else would you describe a man who continues to defy not only age, but the elements as well? As a legend, right?

Under very tough rainy and windy conditions in Gqeberha on Saturday morning, the 37-year-old rolled back the years to win the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon for the second time in its decade-long history.

In the process, the man who was victorious in the inaugural race back in 2014 also bagged the ASA National Half Marathon Championships race which was incorporated into the event.

Gelant now holds both the half and full marathon national titles, a massive feat after the Central North West Athletics runner was crowned the South African champion of the 42.2km distance at the Durban International Marathon back in April.

Gelant is having an incredible season. The man from Pacalstdorp in George began with that fantastic personal best 2:08:56 run at the Sevilla Marathon and a 5,000m silver medal at the ASA track and field championships.

On Saturday morning he beat a quality field that included defending champion and course record holder Thabang Mosiako of Eastern Province, whom he dropped at the hairpin bend around the 18km mark and never looked back.

Mosiako and his teammate half marathon debutant Nicholas Seoposenwe had appeared to be “ganging up” on the “old man” when the trio broke away from the rest of the bunch. But Gelant was hardly bothered and his experience shone through as he stuck to his race plan to win virtually unchallenged in a time of 63:54. He bagged the massive R100,000 winners' cheque.

In the end even Moaiako, who was an impressive winner last year, lost out on a podium finish for the Open race as he ended up in fifth place.

Lesotho's Namakhoe Nkhasi of Nedbank Running Club was a runner up ahead of Central Gauteng's Precious Mashele, who had started like a house on fire in the first one and a half kilometers.

Another Lesotho athlete Kamohelo Mofolo of Maxed Elite was positioned fourth.

In the women's race, Ethiopia's Tadu Nare won with ease ahead of her junior compatriot and Nedbank teammate Diniya Abaraya while Lesotho's Blandina Makatisi in the colorus of Maxed Elite completed the podium places.

Athletics Gautebg North's Glenrose Xaba took fourth place to retain her national title ahead of Central Gauteng's Cacisile Sosibo in fifth. Irvette van Zyl (Gaunteng North) was third in the Championships but ninth overall.

The big story of the morning though was about the incredibly in-form Gelant who continues to hang on to the hope that he will make it to the Paris Olympics having missed out on automatic qualification.

Such is his form that you would expect Athletics South Africa (ASA) and SASCOC to do their best to ensure he makes it to Paris 2024.