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Words of a Comrades Winner

Two Oceans 2010 Part 2

Ok, so now we in Cape Town and the race is only 3 days away, and am starting to feel a little pre race nerves, which is not entirely a bad thing, but I know that I am well prepared, and that’s all anyone can ask for.

The expo / registration was great, I never imagined that so many people would recognise me, and want to talk to me, it was an awesome experience to say the least. After all this was my first real big race since winning Comrades in 2009. With all the well wishes from everyone it really boosted my confidence, and got me “fired up” to run hard.

The Press conference was good, with many journalists attending and all the big names were there, except for the Mr.Price team, which was frowned upon by many in attendance. Joseph Ikaneng, Team Manager Bonitas, had the fighting talk going which was refreshing as it wasn’t the regular talk, “we going to try hard, and see what happens on the day.” It was actually pretty entertaining. We had Collen Makaza with us who later in 2010 went on to win the World 50Km race and become World 50km Champion.  I was always hesitant of speaking in public, as I am pretty shy, but with some coaching and pointers from my Agent, I feel that I am a lot more confident doing these type of things. But I have to say I am starting to enjoy it a bit more.

I Have to add this, as runners most of us are superstitious and want to eat what we are used to. Hotel management had said that we could make use of their facilities to cook our food each night, but we decided that we would go with the tried and tested. So each night the guys and I would gather in the parking lot of the Hotel and cook our meals there, with using the gas cylinder and stove top. It must have been a sight, to see 10 athletes in the parking lot cooking and eating! Reminds me of the story when Willie Mtolo won New York Marathon, the night before the race he cooked his PAP in his room, and set off the fire alarm! That’s why we did this outside.

Race Morning: Woke up at 3am, and had a very hot shower and then went for a 30 minute jog with Craig (My agent)to get the body loose, (he was running his first Ultra). We ran past a night club and people were still partying, it was strange to see that.  Ate breakfast, Future Life of course, and then we headed to the start. It was overcast and drizzling on and off, so this would mean we were in for fast race, as conditions were almost perfect.  The start was delayed by a few minutes, but nevertheless we got away.

Collen Makaza and Myself were to run together with one of the guys, Munya, doing the pace setting for us in the early stages. All the big guns were there in the main pack and you can always feel that everyone is sizing each other up, “how is he running, or breathing, leg speed etc.” The first half was good, with some of the guys surging from time to time, to try and split the bunch. But as we got around to where the real racing starts, the guys from Lesotho started giving us a hard time. We climbed Chapmans, and the bunch split up, and these guys from Lesotho were very strong. Makaza fell off and then I knew that I was on my own. I tried really hard to catch up but I just didn’t have the leg speed, but I knew I had the strength.

Coming down to the finish with 1km to go, I was in 5th position, and I pushed as hard as I could, and as I turned into the Stadium, I put everything I had left in me, and went passed one runner and ultimately finished in 4th place.

I was happy with the result, as I was the first person home from that of the Comrades runners and I now felt that my legs were ready for Comrades in a few weeks time. I have to give credit to the 1st and 2nd place guys, as they ran a very good race and deserved the result. I won’t lie to you, it was very tough.

So its just a case of try harder in 2011, and who knows if I am the best prepared athlete on the day, then there should be no reason that I shouldn’t win.

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February 24, 2011 - Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized

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