Comrades runners gear up
MEC wishes province’s ultra-marathon participants well, including government officials
ATHLETES taking part in the gruelling Comrades Marathon on Sunday have vowed to bring back medals to the province.
The 94th edition of the ultimate ultramarathon will see runners test their endurance from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.
Athletes doing the up run will be motivated by the fact that it was last won by the province’s Gift Kelehe, who won the title in 2015.
Kelehe from Rustenburg and other athletes from the province will take to the tarmac looking to bring pride to the province.
Government officials are also ready to sweat it out at the weekend.
Pogisho Pholoholo, who administers the head of department’s registry at the provincial department of social development, will be among those lacing up his running shoes on Sunday morning.
He said his goal was to win a Bill Rowan (silver) medal.
“I am ready for this great day in my life. I had enough training ahead of this marathon and I hope I will do my best in the race to lift up the name of Bokone Bophirima,” Pholoholo said.
Pholoholo is not a Comrades novice. He will be taking part in the race for the third time.
He will be joined by Letlhogonolo Seiso, senior state accountant in the department of social development, who will be taking part in his first Comrades Marathon.
Despite being a newcomer to one of the world’s most taxing races, Seiso said he was looking forward to it and wanted to do his best.
He said his training schedule had prepared his muscles and he would try to last the distance and even finish in the medals category.
Acting social development MEC Fenny Gaolaolwe wished the pair luck ahead of their departure for the race.
“I wish these ambassadors good luck in representing the province as a whole,” Gaolaolwe said.
“As a department we have appreciated the diligence and discipline of Pogisho Pholoholo, which we assume is enhanced by his disciplined training. The patience, efficiency and professionalism of Pholoholo are excellent traits a public servant should aspire for.”
Gaolaolwe said the marathon is a good marketing tool for good health that everyone should aspire to.
She said it took a strict diet, discipline and exercise to keep the body in shape.
“We want to ensure that wellness and fitness are entrenched in the lifestyles of government employees.
“As a province we are committed to beating lifestyle diseases linked to obesity and high blood pressure.”
She hailed the Comrades Marathon as a perfect platform to win the battle against lifestyle diseases.
Gaolaolwe said she hopes the North West team would bring home medals, citing that the province had always done well at the ultra-marathon, with the feats of Gift Kelehe and his brother, Andrew, well documented. Andrew won the Comrades Marathon in 2001.
“We hope our runners will draw inspiration from the brothers to bring prestige to the province,” Gaolaolwe said, adding that she extended her best wishes to Gift Kelehe too.
“Gift Kelehe will be defending his up run title and we hope his experience and past glory will stand him in good stead.”
FIT AND HEALTHY: The Comrades Marathon will take place on Sunday.