muzhingi5h23

Words of a Comrades Winner

(reblog) @StephenMuzhingi hits the road with @FedGroup staff! Pictures. Do you recognise yourself? Tag it!

@StephenMuzhingi hits the road with @FedGroup staff! Pictures. Do you recognise yourself? Tag it!.

via @StephenMuzhingi hits the road with @FedGroup staff! Pictures. Do you recognise yourself? Tag it!.

March 1, 2013 Posted by | Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Craigsathletes, FedGroup, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon | Leave a comment

@FedGroup comes on board as major sponsor for 3x Comrades Champ and current 2 Oceans Champ, Shephen Muzhingi

Fedgroup is the largest independent financial services provider in South Africa has come on board as a major sponsor for Stephen Muzhingi, and fits like a glove with Stephen Muzhingi, first and foremost a family man, with two delightful little sons, and his beloved wife Erina, who has this year encouraged him to take the bull by the horns and, after a seriously disappointing and tragic year for the Muzhingi family last year, made contact with Stephen’s former manager, Craig Fry, and as they say in the classics “the rest is history”.

FedGroup came on board after discussions, and realising the talent that Stephen has, and the encouragement and support that has been so badly lacking in the past year, didn’t take long to put together some paperwork, much to the delight – no wrong word – to the ecstatic exuberance of arguably the world’s greatest long distance runner.

Stephen has stated publicly that he is humbled and grateful to his sponsors, and his determination, graciousness and gratitude has spurred him on to wanting to achieve even greater heights.

You go, Stephen, we’re behind you all the way!

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February 27, 2013 Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, craig fry, Craigsathletes, FedGroup, Marathon Running, muzhingi officially running for Toyota Athletics Club, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Toyota Athletics Club, Two Oceans Marathon | 1 Comment

The truth is out! Who is @StephenMuzhingi running for in 2013?

The question we have been asked a thousand times since Stephen arrived in South Africa last week is “Who is he running for?   Who are his sponsors?   Is he running Two Oceans?   What about Comrades?”   I hope this short commentary of his last week in South Africa answers some of those those questions, and gives you a little bit of  insight into the man, husband and father of two, not just the “champ”.

After meeting with the delightful, exuberant and energetic (yes, it’s true) Lucas Mongatane, the Chairman of Toyota Athletics Club, earlier today, we can officially confirm that Stephen Muzhingi, 3 times Comrades winner and current holder of the Two Oceans Title is contracted to Toyota Athletics Club, a mutually beneficial relationship that may well see Toyota win its first Comrades Marathon!  In fact I have very little doubt that Toyota will take this year’s first place in Comrades with the likes of Stephen in their colors, and a very proud and confident FedGroup will have grand reason for celebration..

Stephen leaves for Zimbabwe tomorrow after spending the day with his other major sponsors, FedGroup, and we wish him and his family well, and look forward to seeing him very soon again in preparation for Two Oceans Marathon.

I asked Stephen to say a few words to his sponsors, friends and supporters, and although emotional, he is determined, committed and back to the Stephen we know and love.

“I am humbled and grateful.   I am speechless.   Thank you to my major sponsors Toyota and FedGroup.   Thank you for your faith and belief in me.   This year I plan to defend my Two Oceans Title, gain back my Comrades Title and win the world IAU World 100km sanctioned by the IAAF being held at the end of the year.

Last year was a difficult time for me but your support and encouragement of me has made me even more determined to make you proud of me.  I WILL make you proud.

I thank also my Management Team, Craig Fry Inc, and my social media team, who keep my friends, fans and supporters around the world in touch with what is going on in my world.

I look forward to meeting many of you at the races that are coming up.   Thank you again.   I am very proud to be associated with Toyota and FedGroup, and wear my association with great pride.”

All pictures copyright D E FRY

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February 27, 2013 Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, FedGroup, GedGroup, iau world 100km, Lucas Mongatane, Marathon Running, Media, muzhingi officially running for Toyota Athletics Club, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Touota Athletics Club, Toyota Athletics Club, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized, Zimbabwe | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Comrades champ Muzhingi to compete in Sunshine tour | The Zimbabwean | A Voice For The Voiceless

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http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/sport/athletics/50727/comrades-champ-muzhingi-to-compete.html

 

 

X-HIB-IT Events Management Company are organising the race, which is expected to attract high profile athletes. Two Oceans Marathon winner Marko Mambo is another top athlete expected to compete.

Rebecca Gambiza, the company’s executive director, said a good number of athletes would battle for honours.

“The response has been overwhelming. We are expecting more than 3000 athletes including those outside the country to take part in the race.

The registration deadline is July 14. I think it will be a highly competitive race,’ she said.

The winner the main 42km marathon race will pocket a cool $10 000 in both the female and male categories, with the runners-up set to pocket $4 000 each.

There will also be a 21km half-marathon race whose winner will get $1 500 while those who win in the 5km fun race will go home with $500.

Wheelchair athletes will compete in the 5km fun run with winners getting $1 000 in both men and women categories.

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Media, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, SUnshine Marathon, Zimbabwe | | Leave a comment

Exclusive Interview with All Things Jabu->a proudly South African #Sports Blog #Muzhingi

http://allthingsjabu.co.za/?p=94 Source, With thanks

Exclusive Interview with ATJ and Stephen Muzhingi <- Hot off the Press…
You can follow ATJ on Twitter also… <-  just awesome!

Posted by All Things Jabu on June 23, 2011

The three times consecutive winner of the world’s hardest marathon, the runner of the second fastest Comrades ever and the Jabu Sports Star of the Month, Stephen Muzhingi agreed to an exclusive interview with All Things Jabu. And here it is

All Things Jabu (ATJ): Hi Stephen. Congratulations on winning the toughest road race known to man for a third consecutive time!

Stephen Muzinghi (SM): Thank you!

ATJ: So lets start at the beginning. What made you want to conquer the ultra marathon?

SM: I loved running, and thought I could do well at it. After my first attempt, I think I finished in position 157 (ATJ: The comrades website has Stephen listed as 115 in 2005), it brought me back to earth. I suppose the seed had then been planted and I felt I had a point to prove not only to me, but aso for my family.  I decided that I will work really hard to win this race.

ATJ:You have just emulated Alan Robb and Bruce Fordyce by winning 3 in a row, whats your next goal with the race?

SM:  I would love to make it four in a row and become only the second person to do this (ATJ: Bruce Fordyce won 8 in a row in the 80′s). If all goes according to plan then I would have to say that I want to chase Bruce Fordyce record.

ATJ:  Do you think you could beat Bruces record of 9 wins?

SM: I have to say yes because I want this very badly! Make no mistake it will be extremely hard to do, but I will give it a good go nonetheless.

ATJ: You famously ran the second fastest time in history of 05h23 in 2009, do you think you can beat this?

SM: Yes, I know I can beat this. I was trained to run a 5H20 this year. I had to secure the win before chasing the record and this years race was very different from previous years. Fanie (ATJ: Matsipa finished second 2 minutes behind Stephen) went out early and I couldn’t let him get away. As a result we ran far to0 fast in the beginning stages. I went through half way 7 minutes faster than planned. But I’ve learnt a lot from this. I now know that I can run at a higher pace earlier in the race, so will just work on being bale to maintain that high pace for as long a period as possible. Then hopefully I will be able to break Leonid Shestov’s record (ATJ: Leonid Shestov rand a 5h20 in 2007) which is another one of my goals.

ATJ: Can you tell us about your training programs?

SM: Unfortunately I cant say to much about these! But I have a typical programme of strength, speed and endurance work. I also have secret training that I do on my own which I think gives me the edge for now. But its not easy, as I train for many hours on my own and sometimes do runs of 4 hours with no water. I always push hard and remember that saying: “No pain, no gain!”

ATJ: What about your diet?

SM:Nothing really special there. I eat sadza, chicken and meat but you cant beat sadza the Zimbabwean way. Its my power and energy booster. I also use supplements such as 32GI in training.

ATJ:If you werent a marathon runner, what would you be doing?

I would probably have a regular job like being a barber because I can cut hair and used to do this. But I think I would want to be a cameraman. I just love filming things and taking photos. My family often shout at me because I always want to film them around the house and doing things.

ATJ: Speaking of your family, I saw that they were with you at the Comrades this year, did that motivate you further?

SM: Of course. This is one of the reasons why I run. I have a responsibility to my wife and son (ATJ: Erina and Methane) to look after them as well as I can. I spend a lot of time away from them so I must win so that it is worth the time spent away from them.

ATJ: Would you advise Methane to take up ultra marathon running?

SM:  He must. He is a Muzinghi and its in our genes. It would be great to see his name on the Comrades winners board too. That being said I will encourage him to do what he desires, because if he doesnt like running then he wont enjoy it and wont excel. He will, in time, make up his mind and I will support him in whatever he wants to do.

ATJ:As you are aware, All Things Jabu is a blog about all sport, so what other sport are you a fan of?

SM: I love soccer and since being in South Africa a lot, I have also started watching cricket and rugby.

ATJ: Favourite teams?

SM: In rugby its the Sharks and in cricket the Dolphins (ATJ: He does train in Kwazulu natal). I have to say that in soccer I support Pirates (ATJ: Nooooooooooooo!) in South Africa, much to the disappointment of my agent, Craig Fry, as he is as Kaizer Chiefs man (ATJ: Good man!). We often have a go at each other about this, but all in good humour.

ATJ: Okay Stephen, please put on your Paul and the Octopus hat and tell us which team you think will win the World Cup?

SM: Ahh, I must say I support the Amabokoboko (I think thats how you say it) the Springboks, as they are my home from home. Go John Smit and the boys. Do it again!!!

ATJ: Thank you for your time Stephen! Good luck for your future races!

SM: Thank you too! It is always a pleasure! I’d also like to share a word of thanks to everyone that has supported me. Since winning the 3rd time, I have been completely overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of support I have received. I never in my wildest dreams would have expected this. Thank you, thank you to Everyone. Special thanks to Cliff (my coach), Craig (my Manager) and Donnette (ATJ: You can follow her on twitter) (helping with all my social media things Face Book, Blogs, Videos, Twitter. I am learning a lot from this) Lastly thanks to my sponsors, Nike, 32GI. You are all awesome and important in my life.

Last but not least, to my family Erina & Methane I love you and thank you for giving so much to me whilst I follow my dream!

To read more info on Stephen you can go to any of the following links:

Squidoo

WordPress

Twitter

I would also like to congratulate Stephen on being invited to run the New York Marathon! Congrats from All Things Jabu!

This interview has been shared with the other site I write for. Run Ride Dive

Jabu

You can follow ATJ on Twitter also… <-  just awesome!

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Media, Stephen Muzhingi | , , , | Leave a comment

Everything is Happening!!!!

This may sound a little far fetched but this is in fact what has happened in thelast 6 weeks.

My passport expired in December 2010, so I had to get a new one, and with getting a new passport, when I went to South Africa to finish my training I only got a 3 month visa. So this expired on 1 May 2011, so I would have to leave the country and then re-enter. We drove from Durban to Swaziland to cross the boarder, and then discovered my visa had in fact expired, so had to pay a fine of R1000.00. I have to say the officials didn’t give any lea way or care that I was the defending Champion. I do give them credit, they were only doing their job.

They gave me 31 days on this visa. So my Visa would expire on the Tuesday 31 May. Tuesday came and I had to leave the South Africa or pay another fine, and I didn’t want a black mark on my name as it may hamper visa applications down the line.

So unfortunately I had to leave SA in a bit of a hurry. I arrived at home and things were great. Had a reception which was put on by Bakers Inn. My coach and manager wanted me back in SA for sponsors etc. My family was reluctant to let me go, but I had no choice, as this is my career, my job. So I made the trip back to SA for the awards ceremony for my club, as well as to get my new sponsored car from Barrons VW. (Nice car indeed)

Coach and I then had to drive back to Zimbabwe with my new car, name on the side and all the nice things. He had to drive with me as it is as long way and I haven’t driven on my own for such a distance. Once back in Zimbabwe, we stopped at a cross roads.

Attempted hi – Jacking

Coach was looking in one direction and out of no where two guys rush up to the car and start trying to open the door, which was locked, and then started banging on the window. I just shouted “Coach my car, my car, drive, go go go go go go.” He then seriously drove, and for the next 30 minutes we were in a bit of a state of shock. I hear of car jacking in SA, but not really in Zimbabwe. The way these guys were knocking on the window, I knew they weren’t just trying to greet me, THET WANTED MY CAR!, Sorry for them, they were unsuccessful. A South African friend said to me once – “Africa is no place for sissies (the weak).” Its sad to think that people out there would rather just take from another persons hard work!

Coach then returned to SA, and I have been resting and spending time with my Family and friends.

The Zim Government have promised me a diplomatic passport and cash incentives for winning, so lets see what transpires from this. It would be great to be recognised in this way by my Country.

In case you didn’t know as yet, I received an Invite to New York Marathon in November. Running this and hopefully doing a PB of sub 2H10 will just cap off a great year for me, and will go down as the greatest year of my life.

My first race outside of Africa will be in September where I will be running in Switzerland. That’s going to be great too. Will let you know how we get on there.

So a lot has happened since beginning May 2011, and it keeps coming! Who knows what tomorrow brings??????

Until next time

Stephen Muzhingi

3 Time Comrades Winner (I like to say that 🙂 )

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

More on Me & My Support

When I started running it was because I loved it, and I wanted to be the best. Yes I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to make a living from it. For me running is my job, but first and foremost I run because I love it. As a fellow runner, one can identify with the fact that the sense of joy, and feeling so proud and fulfilled when you run a Personal Best time, or even a finish position cannot be taken away from you. Running is a complete leveller, as it is you against a clock.

 

I have worked hard to get where I am right now in my career, and it is not without the help of others, but ultimately my desire and passion to keep improving each and every time i lace up the shoes. Your job should never feel like a job. My manager said to me once, that if I ever feel like running is a burden and I feel like this is just a job, then I should quit and do something else. This i find so true, as if you don’t enjoy what you do and it is a burden, then why do it at all. You have to love what you do to do it well.

 

I have spoken about my Coach in previous blogs, who has helped me achieve on the road, and continues to do this. There are others with me now making sure I make the right choices and receive what I “rightly” deserve.

After my 2009 Comrades win, my coach introduced me to my now Manager Craig Fry, as for Cliff he is first and foremost my coach and has other athletes too, so could not sacrifice all his time to do everything for me.  So I signed a contract with Craig to look after and manage my business affairs. The things like, sponsors, media, marketing and my finances. At the time I thought well, what do I need this for, I can just keep doing what I do. I have to say that now I can and have seen the importance of a professional athlete being taken care of with all the other things that go on.  One statement he said to me I will never forget, “We will never chase money, unless its is for the benefit of your  career, and does not negatively impact on your running. “

I have a great relationship with my manager and i don’t see him as someone that works for me, but someone that cares for me, and has my best interests at heart.  I have complete trust in him. Yes I always have the final say with things so I am always in control of my own destiny, but have guidance to hopefully make the right choices.

 

I never knew how difficult it all was. I spent a few days with him and all day he is on the phone and internet , e-mail, etc all day,,,,,,  all for me.  HEY I didn’t realise I was a full time job, HAHA. Since setting up my twitter, face Book and Blogs, I have learnt how to use a computer, and do these fun things. Although its fun, and this is how I see it, I have been completely blown away by the amount of people that send me messages and want to know about me. For me this is just awesome.

 

Since winning my 3rd Comrades just under a month ago, things have certainly stepped up. New potential sponsors, and race invites. I have even been promised a diplomatic passport by my Country, and promises of incentive payments from various companies. So all good things are on the horizon, and hopefully I make the right choices to benefit me and my family.

 

For me I know I am in good hands, which allows me the freedom to not worry about anything, and just run, and that is what I am going to do, JUST RUN, RUN, RUN until I don’t want to.

 

So watch this space and I will let you know more as we go

By the way you can also see info on me on www.squidoo.com/stephen-muzhingi – Very nice indeed.

Happy running all!!

Stephen Muzhingi (I have to add this below)

3 Time Consecutive Comrades Marathon Winner

2009, 2010, 2011

June 19, 2011 Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Comrades 2011

Comrades 2011
On Friday before the race I was contacted by a representative from Bakers Inn in Zimbabwe and they advised that they would make arrangements for my Wife and Baby to come to Comrades race day and be there for me at the finish. Initially they weren’t going to come but I then felt I would like some family there for me. So this helped me get very focused and determined as I didn’t want to let them down. So the arrangements were made and they paid for everything, which I am eternally grateful for. Thanks Guys
Race Day!!!!
I woke up early on Sunday morning, not that I slept much anyway, around 2H30. Did the normal routine for race day and then it was off to the City Hall in Durban. Once I arrived there I ran a few laps of the hall and got the muscles warmed up. The nerves started to kick in. Having my Coach and Manager there really was a huge help as their support and belief in me kept me from thinking too much.
05H30 was standing in the front of the field. The SA National Anthem was sung, the traditional cock crow, and then the gun. We were off. The pace for the first 2km was really fast and I think we went at about sub 3 min per km, before we settled down into a decent stride and rhythm.
We were running in a big bus with about 25 to 30 guys, and you could feel how each one was eyeing out the others, sizing up who was going to be there at this pace for the long haul. Most of the top ten would come from this bus. But you always knew that the Bus just behind was also a threat as some of the top guys started at a slower pace and would make a surge from 70km. But that didn’t really concern me as I had a good team of seconds on the road who would advise me of any surges coming later on. My main concern was that I ran at my planned pace and had to not get sucked in to the early surges from the guys trying to burn me out early. But being the current Champion I did take a lot of confidence that the guys around me were probably more concerned what I would be doing, so I kind of blocked everything out.
I was very focused, so want to apologise to any friends out there that cheered me on during the race, that I wasn’t ignoring you I was very focused and concentrating on my task at hand, but I do hear when you call out words of encouragement.
I did struggle to get a rhythm going, as I was feeling a little uncomfortable, but worked really hard to get the breathing, arms and legs going all at the same time, this came right at about Pinetown, where I saw my seconding team for the first time. Wow the crowds through Pinetown were awesome as well as going out of Durban. Although you are concentrating, you do notice the crowds, trust me.
Fields Hill – This was the first real climb of the day, and we would soon see who was there with their “A” game. As we started the climb a surge came on, and I stuck to my pace, it was early in the race. It was a hard climb, but nevertheless it was early in the race. A few guys fell off the back, and this is when I noticed Fanie, he looked very determined and strong.
Going through Hillcrest my stomach felt bad, and I did vomit, but after that I was 110%, and felt comfortable. The pace was really fast, and I looked at my watch and could see that we were about 4 minutes faster than scheduled. But I had prepared for a fast race and stuck to it. As we started to climb out of hillcrest I knew then that Fanie was the one who would be with me for the long haul.
I think at this time we both knew (Fanie and myself) that it would be between he and I at the end. We flew up to half way and most of the guys fell back or off the pace. I kept the pace and ended up going through half way 7 minutes faster than planned.

Half Way to Finish:
I knew this would be one of those races if I took my foot off the pedal and let Fanie get away and rested a bit, that it would be very hard to catch him again. I was very keen to break the record, but going at this pace it would be hard to do this. Securing the win was more important. We got to the top of Inchanga and made the right turn towards Harrison Flats. I remember thinking to myself that this man is strong and I am going to have a real “street fight” now. The plan was to run Half way in 2H48, and then from top of Inchanga would turn it on and go home in 2H44.
Coach told me to hold the pace and recover down into Cato Ridge. I was told the 3rd place guy was Claude Moshiywa and he was 6 minutes behind. So no real threat at the pace I was running to have a threat from behind.
Cato Ridge came and went and we were on our way to Camperdown. I was well rested now and ready for the climb out of Camperdown. The third Hot Spot mat was looming and you could see it. Fanie increased the pace and I went with, and we ended up sprinting for this and he crossed the mat by about half a second before me. Ok so that crazy part over, and the pace decreased but only slightly. Fanie has a good coach, in John Hamlett, and he is a very clever and a good tactician, and this Fanie was sticking to. Went through Camperdown and the crowds were huge and the noise was unbelievable. I thought I would go hard at the Climb out of Camperdown to see what Fanie had left in him. He stuck to me up this, to my surprise. We made our way to Umlaas Road, and past the Highest Point on the route.
So only climbs left were little Polly’s and then the BIG ONE, Polly Shortts! But I had about 10km of down and flat section to recover and get some supplements in. Going past the Chicken Farm, Fanie put on a huge surge. We were probably going at about 3 minutes a km. I thought I would let him do the running here and just check his every move, as this would play on his mind, and may break him mentally. Past Lion Park and down the hill, I could feel the pressure, and sensed Fanie getting a little uncomfortable. At this time I knew I would get away up either of the climbs but Fanie has guts and determination, so I knew he would come back. So I would have to keep going at this crazy pace.
I maintained the pace that Fanie set and to my surprise he started falling behind. I knew I had to keep going, and that this was my chance to get away. He could be falling behind on purpose to get some strength for the climbs ahead. I decided to carry on, so if something bad happened I would have some breathing room to recover. Little Polly’s was hard and my legs were feeling heavy. But as you get to the top at Ashburton the crowds were so noisy that although you want to walk you know you can’t as these people have come out to cheer you on, and you don’t want to disappoint.
I recovered down the other side and then the 1.8km Polly Shortts monster was upon me. I remember thinking that I would kill myself up this hill but I won’t walk. This is make or break time, and where Champions are made! I worked harder than have ever worked, and got to the top on my own. I had opened a sizeable gap now, and checked the time and it was here that I knew that the record was out of reach. Went past Market Road where I took on some ice cold water which woke me up.
One forgets about the slope from bottom of Market Road, and this felt like running up a mine shaft, but the end was close and I just had to put out any negative thoughts and pain I had. I knew my family was at the finish for me, and my country was supporting me so I just kept my head and dug deep to keep going.
I knew Fanie was coming back and was putting in a surge. I entered the last mile and down into the Stadium. Wow, what a feeling, I was tingling and felt pretty emotional with all of this. I thought please don’t trip when you get onto the grass! I then have my biggest fear play through my mind, and that is being passed whilst in the Stadium, so I moved my legs as fast as they would go, and as I turned the last corner I saw the finish tape and all the officials and cameras behind it.
The noise was just awesome and I forgot just how sore my legs were for this brief time. It was over! Crossed the line and one cannot explain how you feel. Relieved, happy, ecstatic, and if I am being honest you don’t want to cry out of pure joy.
My wife came up to me with my baby, and this was just the icing on the cake. I hadn’t seen them for 4 months. But I was finished in every way, so I had to sit down with my baby for a few seconds.
Fanie finished and I must say that I have huge respect for him, as he ran a great race and pushed me to limits that I didn’t know I could achieve. So I learnt a lot from this race.

I would like to thank all my supporters, coach, and Manager for everything thye have done and continue to do for me.

Most of all thank you to my beautiful wife and baby who I adore.

Cheers

Stephen

June 2, 2011 Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Is it Possible to Run a 5H10 Comrades?????

I was asked the other day, if I though it was possible to run a 5H10 Comrades Marathon? This got me thinking and I am sitting on the fence here. (I do think from time to time, despite what some of my friends may say, or tell you). 89km in 5H10! hmmmmmmm

Well if i said it wasn’t possible then I would probably be lying as anything is possible if you have the right frame of mind and the right training, you can do anything. If we take into consideration that to run a 5H20 which is the current Down Run record, which is held by Leonid Shvetsov, the man was in prime physical condition and the weather conditions on the day were almost perfect.

One had to run at a pace of in the region of 3 minutes 40 per kilometre. Which is a tough ask over that distance. But it was done, and not many at the time thought it was possible to run a 5H20. That was in 2007 and I came in 3rd.

If we look at the times of winners over the years, 85 of them to be precise these have come down from 8H59 (the first race 1921 Bill Rowen) to the 5H20 mark in 2007. The first time the 6H00 mark was broken was in 1975 by Derek Preiss, 5H53.49, and in the last 34 years the average winning time has only come down by 25 to 30 minutes. If we take this into account it would probably take another 20 odd years to get to the 5H10 mark. Yes these days we have supplements and energy boosters etc to assist us, but back in the 80`s there weren’t all these funny gels etc, so what makes the accomplishment of Bruce Fordyce so good, is that he was running consistently in the late 5H20 and early 5H30 bracket, with water and coke!

To run a 5H10 one would have to run on average 3 minutes 18 per kilometre over 89km, which is pretty much at almost full pace for the elite athletes, and not even on the radar for the average runner. So almost near impossible.

But, ahhh yes there is a but! And I am probably going to get beat up for this by the serious analysers of Comrades, I do think that within the next couple of years the 5H18 mark will be broken which will see a whole new ball game come into play going forward. Athletes train harder each year and this pushes everyone else to do so. In times gone by one would start training 6 months in advance but now days training starts almost 8 months in advance.
Is the key then to start training 11 months in advance, without running the year before?
In my humble opinion I think it is not possible in my lifetime to see the 5H10 mark achieved but I do think that the 5H15 mark will be achieved within the next 10 years!

I have included below a table of winning times, which was supplied from the Comrades Marathon Association, museum curator, Sian Theron. It just makes for interesting reading.

3 and a half weeks to the big day!

Cheers

Stephen

Year Race No. Name Up/Down Record Time
2010 55925 Stephen Muzhingi D 5:29:01
2009 55925 Stephen Muzhingi D 5:23:27
2008 49670 Leonid Shvetsov U R 5:24:47
2007 49670 Leonid Shvetsov D R 5:20:49
2006 49673 Oleg Kharitinov U 5:35:19
2005 51570 Sipho Ngomane D 5:27:10
2004 39358 Vladimir Kotov U 5:31:22
2003 14084 Fusi Nhlapo D 5:28:52
2002 39358 Vladimir Kotov U 5:30:59
2001 35782 Andrew Kelehe D 5:25:51
2000 39358 Vladimir Kotov U R 5:25:33
1999 4889 Jaroslaw Janicki D 5:30:10
1998 4673 Dmitri Grishine U R 5:26:25
1997 1741 Charl Mattheus D 5:28:37
1996 4673 Dmitri Grishine U 5:29:33
1995 6845 Shaun Meiklejohn D 5:34:02
1994 5802 Alberto Salazar U 5:38:39
1993 1907 Charly Doll D 5:39:41
1992 7532 Jetman Msutu U 5:46:11
1991 13617 Nick Bester D 5:40:53
1990 2403 Bruce Fordyce U 5:40:25
1989 6051 Samuel Tshabalala D 5:35:51
1988 2403 Bruce Fordyce U R 5:27:42
1987 2403 Bruce Fordyce U 5:37:01
1986 2403 Bruce Fordyce D R 5:24:07
1985 2403 Bruce Fordyce U 5:37:01
1984 2403 Bruce Fordyce D R 5:27:18
1983 2403 Bruce Fordyce U R 5:30:12
1982 2403 Bruce Fordyce D 5:34:22
1981 2403 Bruce Fordyce U 5:37:28
1980 1704 Alan Robb D 5:38:25
1979 1834 Piet Vorster U R 5:45:02
1978 1704 Alan Robb D R 5:29:14
1977 1704 Alan Robb U R 5:47:09
1976 1704 Alan Robb D 5:40:43
1975 417 Derek Preiss U 5:53:50
1974 417 Derek Preiss U 6:02:49
1973 475 Dave Levick D R 5:39:09
1972 307 Mick Orton U R 5:48:57
1971 303 Dave Bagshaw D 5:47:06
1970 303 Dave Bagshaw U R 5:51:27
1969 303 Dave Bagshaw D R 5:45:35
1968 9 Jackie Mekler U 6:01:11
1967 168 Manie Kuhn D 5:54:10
1966 62 Tommy Malone U 6:14:07
1965 300 Bernard Gomersall D R 5:51:09
1964 9 Jackie Mekler U 6:09:54
1963 9 Jackie Mekler D R 5:51:20
1962 300 John Smith U 5:57:05
1961 184 George Claassen D 6:07:07
1960 9 Jackie Mekler U R 5:56:32
1959 17 Trevor Allen D 6:28:11
1958 9 Jackie Mekler U 6:26:26
1957 19 Mercer Davies D 6:13:55
1956 5 Gerald Walsh U 6:33:35
1955 5 Gerald Walsh D 6:06:32
1954 2 Wally Hayward U R 6:12:55
1953 2 Wally Hayward D R 5:52:30
1952 17 Trevor Allen U 7:00:02
1951 2 Wally Hayward D R 6:14:08
1950 2 Wally Hayward U 6:46:25
1949 7 Reg Allison D 6:23:21
1948 15 William Savage U 7:13:52
1947 41 Hardy Ballington D 6:41
1946 44 Bill Cochrane U 7:02:40
1940 67 Allen Boyce U 6:39:23
1939 92 Johnny Coleman D R 6:22:05
1938 41 Hardy Ballington U R 6:32:26
1937 92 Johnny Coleman D R 6:23:11
1936 41 Hardy Ballington U R 6:46:14
1935 44 Bill Cochrane D 6:30:05
1934 41 Hardy Ballington U 7:09:03
1933 41 Hardy Ballington D 6:50:37
1932 15 William Savage U 7:41:58
1931 45 Phil Masterton-Smith D 7:16:30
1930 2 Wally Hayward U 7:27:26
1929 26 Darrell Dale D 7:52:01
1928 2 Frank Sutton U 7:49:07
1927 77 Arthur Newton D 6:40:56
1926 17 Harry Phillips U R 6:57:00
1925 77 Arthur Newton D R 6:24:00
1924 77 Arthur Newton U R 6:58:00
1923 77 Arthur Newton D R 6:56:00
1922 77 Arthur Newton U R 8:40:00
1921 23 Bill Rowan D R 8:59:00

May 3, 2011 Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Comrades Build Up

My build up and preparation towards Comrades 2011 began in November 2010, where I ran the Township to Township 50km race in Durban. I then went back home to Zimbabwe for a few months to be with my family, as well as to do my “Zimbabwe training,” which I do every year. I pretty much follow a training programme based on Mileage for stamina, Strength training and then lastly speed work.
Although Comrades is run every year, the Up and Down runs are completely different and I do very different training dependant on which direction the race is going. The Up run is all about strength and stamina, so I have done a lot of strength training and included the speed endurance side of things. It has been a hard 6 months of total dedication where all I do is concentrate on running and have little time for anything else. My family plays a big part in my preparation for Comrades as I am not able to spend quality time with them during the preparation months and for this I am eternally grateful.

My Coach (Cliff Chinnasamy) and Manger (Craig Fry) have equally important roles in my life. The Coach from keeping me on track and making sure that I develop and peak at the right time, and not to soon and not to late. The timing has to be just right. My manager takes care of all my business such as making sure I have the right shoes and kit from my sponsor, Nike and that I have the correct supplements to keep my body from breaking down from the stresses and strains of training. He also makes sure that I am able to have an income so there is little for me to worry about.

Winning in 2010 was a lot harder than winning in 2009, despite the fact the Leonid Shvetsov was not running. The mere fact that I was the defending Champion so the expectation from most was that I would win again. There was a lot of media exposure which I wasn’t used to at that time, and on race day many of the top athletes were watching my every move. But as they say, thats all History as I overcame all the pressures and know what to expect this year. I do however think that the competition will be very stiff this year, as everyone wants to win the “Ultimate Human Race” and all the top guys have trained harder than ever.
Initially I was concerned with the contenders from East Africa, (Kenya & Ethiopia), but seeing what happened at Two Oceans last weekend I don’t think these athletes will be a big threat. Make no mistake, athletes that come from these countries are of the best in the world, but that is over the Marathon and shorter distance races. Comrades is more than Two Marathons in one race. I would say the biggest threat will come from the Russians, and from the local guys, such as Bongmusa Mthembu, Claude Moshiywa, Petros Sosibo, Prodigal Khumalo. One can never write off an athlete like Fusi Nhlapo – the man has had 9 starts at Comrades and has achieved 1 win and 8 top ten places. So the competition will be steep but on the day the best prepared athlete will win, and I hope to be that athlete.
I have not finalised the race plan as yet, but will do so now that Two Oceans is out the way. I now have a good idea as to where I am since Two Oceans, and we can now get the strategy finalised. I watch previous Comrades Races at least twice a week, which helps with my mental preparations as well as studying other athletes so on race day I am mentally 110% ready and from simple body movements of the other athletes I know how they are feeling and what they are going to do, so can counter what they do during the race.

Two Oceans last weekend was very good for me, as I ran a personal best time by two minutes. I had a time of 3H08 – 3H09 in my mind and I knew if I ran that time I should be in the top 5 places at the end. Although I finished really strong I did hold myself back a bit as I didn’t want to hurt myself for Comrades. But since the race I feel like I haven’t even run a 56km race a few days ago, so I am really happy with how I feel at the moment. After all from the Comrades runners that took part at Oceans, I was the first home, as well as in 2009 and 2010 so maybe a good omen.

Since signing up for twitter and face book and have my own blog, I have been completely overwhelmed by the support I have received from the public. The amount of wishes and messages I received after Oceans has really made me feel pretty special, and to receive this type of support fires me up to want to win Comrades, not only for me, but to give something back to all the people that support me and have shown their faith in me. One thing about me is that I love top make people smile and be happy, so if I win again, then I know that I will bring smile to many faces. So to everyone that has supported me I will give 200% this year that I can assure you.

On Comrades day you can follow live updates from my Face Book and Twitter sites and this I have arranged for my followers and friends. I am doing this so my friends can get exactly what is happening as it happens, so hopefully you will see another part of what goes on during the race.
A huge thank you to all my sponsors, Nike, 32GI, Rudy Project eyewear, Future Life, Bluff Meats for their support and most of all to my followers and supporters, thank you.
What I really want if I win Comrades this year is a new Double Cab vehicle! Lets see!
All the best

Stephen Muzhingi

April 28, 2011 Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

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