from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – THEY may have passed the age of 40 but it will be folly to rule out previous winners, Ludwick Mamabolo and Claude Moshiywa, from regaining the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.
The Ultimate Human Race is returning after a two-year absence and Mamabolo (45) and Moshiywa (47) are among a host of athletes aiming to dethrone defending men’s champion, the 37-year-old Edward Mothibi.
The race will mark slightly over three years since Mothibi won the competition, which was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nedbank Running Club is confident veterans Mamabolo and Moshiywa can give their fellow club member a good run for his money this weekend.
Mamabolo, whose preparations have been boosted by his running under 2hours 25 minutes in recent marathons, is upbeat ahead of the Comrades.
“In Comrades, age is nothing but a number,” 2012 winner Mambolo said.
Moshiywa was victorious in 2013.
The pair’s prospects are enhanced by the fact that the oldest winner of the Comrades, Belarus-born Vladimir Kotov was 46 when he won the last of his three titles in 2004.
Courtesy of his win in 2019, Mothibi is the favourite.
He is fresh from a training camp his club hosted in Dullstrom on the Highveld plateau in Mpumalanga province.
Nick Bester, the Nedbank Running Club national team manager, is looking forward to the club’s stars going toe-to-toe in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.
“Besides having the defending champion in the form of Edward, we have a strong team with a good mixture of former winners, gold medalists and some exciting novices,” Bester, an ex-winner of the Comrades, stated.
The 101-year-old race will start in Pietermaritzburg and finish at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
South Africans would be eager to continue their dominance of the race over the past decade.
The last foreign-born athlete to win the competition was Stephen Muzhingi, whose last of three consecutive titles came in 2011.
– CAJ News