Words of a Comrades Winner

A Good Race

I have been running for some years now, and the 2009 South Coast Marathon is one race that stands out in my memory. There are many but this one came to mind.
I had won my first Comrades Marathon that year and had taken a couple of months off to recover. If I remember correctly the race was in October and I really wasn’t in any great shape, ad I had done little or no running since Comrades. But as I was still in Durban with the team, the Coach wanted us to attend this race as start of my preparations for 2010 Comrades.
The race started in Scottbrough, South Coast Kwazulu Natal, and goes up the coast towards Durban, finishing in Amamzimtoti. Its not the easiest course to run as all the way up the coast is rolling undulating hills, but as you pretty much run along the coast line it has great scenery.
I started this race not expecting much, but I did want to have a good showing as this was the first race with my new sponsor Nike. As I was Comrades Champion the guys in the front of the race were putting on the surges early and I have to admit I was struggling to keep up. At the 15km point I had dropped off the lead pack and was about 2 minutes behind. The thought did cross my mind to just pull out.
I came past my coach at about 17km and I saw his face, and he was not impressed with what was going on. As I came past to collect an energy drink, he said to me “Muzhingi are you running the mens race or the women’s race, because the women are going to beat you, move your A…..”
This made me angry and I then put aside all the negative thoughts and just put the hammer down, and it was like something just switched on inside me. I thought I would win this race or die trying. I started to catch the guys and within the next 8km I was with the front pack again, and then just carried on pushing to get away. I was surprised that the guys didn’t come with me. But then I was in front and I made use of the lead car to pace me, as it always stays slightly ahead of you, so I didn’t have to concentrate on the pace making. So much for pacing is not allowed, but lets be honest the officials of the race actually do it for you anyway, with the lead vehicle.
I did finish in first place in a time of 2H25 (I think) so it wasn’t very fast, but a win is a win. I now sometimes think back on this race when I am running other races as it helps me know that even if I am feeling tired, if I just hang in there and push through it, I can still run at my best and get a good result, as this is what I did here.
Nike were happy with the win as it was my first race in their shoes so it also justified their signing me, and winning Comrades wasn’t just a one off thing! Coach was happy and so was my Agent, as this was also my first race with him so I had to get a good result.
All worked out just great!


April 12, 2011 - Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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