I was introduced to running in early 2012 by my cousin Ngcebo Mfusi and did my first 10k marathon i.e. The Nike Run Jozi on the 21 March 2012 under an hour. Before then (Sport wise) I was a footballer (defender/winger) during my youth days and later became an assistance coach at Norwood FC.

It can be said that, it was hard to choose from the number one ranked sport (i.e. football) to most growing sport (i.e. athletics). The most challenging part was to control my breathing, didn’t know whether to open or close my month while running.

Then after completing my first 10k marathon and not forgetting getting a medal, I never looked back, running became part of me and started doing more and more marathons 10k, 21k, 32k, graduated to 42.1k.

Comrades Marathon

In 2015 I did my first and only 50k Ultra Marathon to-date and 1x 60k long run in 2016 before attempting the “mother of all marathons” i.e. The 90k Comrades Marathon (PMB to DBN) on the 29 May 2016. My finishing time at Comrades Marathon was 10:55 at my first attempt and I was rewarded with Bronze Medal. It is so interesting that the Comrades Marathon medal is the smallest medal from my collection of medals, dynamites comes in small packages for sure.

For me completing the Comrades Marathon, who can forget the job well done by the following:

#CoachPeteniKuzwayo, for motivation, courage, advises, trainings e.g. speed sessions, hills training, track etc, and the list is endless

#BraamfieRunners, we come from long way guys

#DeniseDube, from Diepkloof Running Club, thank you for those numerous long runs

#Family&Friends, there is no me without you

Completing the Comrades has made me to look at the world differently.

  • Running for fun, whilst increasing life expectancy
  • Respect (taking a bow) all the comrades participants (finishers and non-finishers)
  • Understanding that completing/attempting Comrades, you will always have an appetite (I guess, Law of diminishing marginal utility never applies, quote from economist, Alfred Marshall) see you again in 2017.
  • I don’t believe in polygamy, but Comrades Marathon is now my second wife, thanks Refiloe (my better half) for understating…with the smile

For anyone who will be attempting to run Comrades Marathon for the first time in 2017 and in future remember the following

  • Have a training programs
  • Attend the Nike Running Club (NRC) & Nike Training Club (NTC)….thank you NikeSA
  • Have running devices, Apps/Watches in order to monitor your progress and evaluate your performance
  • Do solo runs (I call them, secret runs), just to strengthen your mind-set.
  • Invest on proper running gears e.g. Dri Fit…thank you NikeSA once again
  • Very important during the race, it is not a crime to walk whilst you can still run, than when you can’t run anymore (I did that a lot at Comrades Marathon).

From your 2016 Comrades Marathon Bronze Medalist, all the best and see you on the streets/pavement

Thulane Zikhali

Credit Manager @ Financial Institutions