Hard work and har d train­ing see hum­ble loc al run­ner in ‘ Green’ race

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - THABANG MATHE­BULA • thab ang.mathe­bula@wit­ness.co.za

IT has been 16 years since se­cu­rity guard Sandile Makhaye started run­ning long dis­tance race sand his dream to com­plete his 10 th Com­rades race and ob­tain the Green Num­ber, could be re­alised this Sunday.

Makhaye, a 43yearold fa­ther of six who hails from France in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, said he had trained hard and was con­fi­dent of achiev­ing his goal come Sunday.

To date, ac­cord­ing to Com­rades Marathon As­so­ci­a­tion sta­tis­tics, 12 622 ath­letes have earned their place on the Com­rades Marathon Green Num­ber roll of honour .

Green Num­ber runners re­tain their Com­rades Marathon race num­ber in per­pe­tu­ity.

They are mem­bers of an ex­clu­sive band of in­di­vid­u­als who have ex­pe­ri­enced a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with the Ul­ti­mate Hu­man Race.

The cri­te­ria for in­clu­sion in the Com­rades Marathon Green Num­ber Roll of Honour are three wins or five golds or 10 plus medals.

Makhaye, a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer at Tala Col­lec­tion Pri­vate Game Re­serve, has a good Com­rades track record, with an 18th place fin­ish in 200 9 and 15th in 2010.

A se­ries of in­juries then caused him a mas­sive set­back and he was forced to skip sev­eral races.

With a Com­rades best time of five hours and 54 min­utes, Makhaye said he will not put him­self un­der pr es­sure by pur­su­ing the r ace lead­ers in Sunda y’s Com­rades.

“I got car­ried a way last year and I started with a high p ace. By the time I reached the half­way mark I was out, so did not se­curea good po­si­tion.

“I am not un­der any pres­sure what­so­ever this year as I have learned from the pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence. I jus t want to go there and en­joy the race and take it easy,” he said.

Makhaye has also en­trenched a name for him­self in lo­cal marathons, win­ning sev­eral ma­jor races in KZN, with a best marathon time of 2:22 f or a s tan­dard 42,2 km mar athon.

Makhaye has been train­ing daily in prepa­ra­tion for this year’s Com­rades.

Makhaye’s boss, Mike Nu­nan, said: “He has been put ting in some se­ri­ous train­ing and we are con­fi­dent he will be in the sil­vers this year.”

“I am not un­der any pres­sure what­so­ever this year as I have learned from the pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence.”

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED Com­rades Mar athon Gr een Num­ber as­pi­rant Sandil e Makha ye ( 43).

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