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