Elvis (64) sets his sights on new record

2016-03-23 06:00
Elvis Gagela is at the age of 64 the third fastest athlete in the country in his age category. Photo: WERNER HILLS

Elvis Gagela is at the age of 64 the third fastest athlete in the country in his age category. Photo: WERNER HILLS

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THE Bay’s fastest long-distance athlete in the Masters category has set his sights on setting a new record in the Two Oceans Ultra marathon over 56 km.

Elvis Gagela (64) is going to go all out to win his category when he competes in the marathon this Easter weekend.

This member of the Madibaz Road Running Club is the third fastest runner in the country in the standard marathon in the age group for 60 years and older with a time of 3 hours and 16 minutes.

“I am hoping to break the record of 4 hours and 35 minutes in this age category in the Two Oceans. I want to complete it in 4 hours and 15 minutes.

“But this will not happen this year. For now I am going to do my best and next year I will attempt to set a new record.

Gagela is also the number one athlete in Port Elizabeth in the 10 km, 15 km, 21 km, 27 km, 50 km and 52 km in the category for grand masters.

He is originally from Grahams Town and has already competed 5 times in the Comrades.

In 1997 – while being in his forties – he competed in his first Comrades and won a silver medal for veterans. He is planning to take part in this marathon again next year.

The late Michael Scout, EP-athlete and former UPE Road Running Club member, who died in 2006, is his inspiration.

“I promised Michael a long time ago that I will run for his club. I gain strength from the example that he had set.”

Gagela, who depends on a state grant and race prize money, starting participating in road races in 1992..

Derrick Hoshe, chairman of the Madibaz-Club, approached Gagela last year when he saw him running at the beachfront.

“He joined the club and we are trying to assist him in living his dream.

“Although his running career started late in life, Elvis is an exceptional athlete. He set his fatest time in January this year. We hope that he will do just as well in the Two Oceans,” said Hoshe.

According to Hoshe, a total of 29 athletes of the club will be participating in this year’s Two Oceans.

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