The 41-year-old Kekana won the 50km race last season in 2:50:39, with three members of the Bonitas club finishing among the top four in the men’s event. “I’ll try my best to do well in the race,” Kekana said this week.
“I’ll be happy if I run a better time than I did last year, but even if I don’t defend my title, we have a strong team and hopefully one of us will do it and make our sponsor proud.”
Kekana spent the last five weeks in a training camp with some of his club-mates, including Vusi Malobola, who finished third last year, and Hermans Mokgadi, who was fourth.
And though he believed he could win again, he felt he might be a little past his prime to outclass against a quality field in a 50km race.
Kekana, who won the marathon at the 2003 All-Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria, made a successful step up to ultra-distance events this season, finishing eighth in the 56km Two Oceans marathon in Cape Town in March and fifth in the 89km Comrades Marathon in June.
“I’ll definitely run Two Oceans and City to City again next year, but my main focus now is Comrades because of my age. “I believe I can do much better in Comrades than the shorter ultra-distances.”
The organisers of tomorrow’s event confirmed that Tshifhiwa Mundalamo, who won the women’s race last year in 3:28:22, would also return to defend her title against a strong field, including Zimbabwean Lizih Chikore who won in 2011 and was third last year.