Supremely fit South Coast Striders ready for Comrades

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Quintin van Jaarsveld

The South Coast Striders have left no stone unturned and look set to hit the ground running when the Comrades Marathon gets underway at Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Sunday.

It’s the biggest race of the year, THE highlight on the running calendar – the iconic Comrades Marathon, which this year is a 90km down run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.

Close to 20 000 athletes from across the world will tackle the 93rd edition of the Ultimate Human Race, key among them from a local perspective being 49 members of the Uvongo-based Striders.

The Striders contingent consist of legends, veterans and eight novices, who all share the common goal of conquering the world-renowned race.

In terms on milestones, the legendary Zwelitsha “Tiger” Gono, who has his own unique place in Comrades history as the first black athlete to obtain 40 medals, will be looking to clinch medal number 42.

EXCLUSIVE: South Coast’s ‘Tiger’ makes Comrades history

Donnovan Mulder, meanwhile, will be running his 20th Comrades, while Deborah Berridge, Eric Mqadi and Arthur Flascas will be running their 10th Comrades.

Striders running captain Mark Smith says he couldn’t be happier with the athletes’ training over the last few months.

“I do not think that there are better prepared runners anywhere,” Smith told eHowzit.

“They have been preparing since November and have managed to get mileages of between 2000 and 3000 kilometres.

“I have been busy this year with setting up routes with hills – and mountains – to keep everyone strong and ready for the big day. This included the Oribi Beloved Long Run, the 50-kilometre with David Gatebe and the Comrades route tester.”

With the hard work done, this week is dragging on for the athletes as anticipation builds with every hour, however, Smith says the runners are in the right frame of mind.

“Besides the anxiousness and the members being slightly grumpy from the tapering, all are feeling positive and they will be able to unwind and get some last minute tips from the veterans at Wednesday’s traditional pre-Comrades pasta evening.”

South Coast Striders Comrades runners:

NO NAME NO OF COMRADES COMPLETED
1 LINDELANI   ITABOR 1
2 LOUISE   HUGHES NOVICE
3 MARY-LOU  SCHOEMAN NOVICE
4 ZIYANDA   MKUZO 0
5 DEBORAH  BERRIDGE 9
6 KERRY  FARREN 1
7 WILMA  VAN DER WALT NOVICE
8 ZANDILE  DUNYWA 3
9 ARTHUR  FLASCAS 9
10 DONNOVAN  MULDER 19
11 LENNOX  MTENGWANE 20
12 MFUNDISO  WESTON  MVUNGUSE 8
13 RAYMOND  GAZE 20
14 ZWELITSHA (TIGER)  GONO 41
15 ANTON  ROSSOUW 5
16 CHRISTOPHER  MORTIMER 32
17 FIKILE  MKUTYUKELWA 2
18 GARY  LENNON 11
19 ISAK  LUDICK 15
20 JOHANNES  UNGERER NOVICE
21 MAXWELL  MKHIZE 10
22 NKOSINATHI  SHONGA 7
23 PIETER  VILJOEN 3
24 VUSI  VEZI 15
25 ELDO  MARAIS 2
26 FRANCES  VUSI   SIMAMANE NOVICE
27 GOODMAN  NQAYI 6
28 GRAEME  MILLIGAN NOVICE
29 HEINRICH  LOTZ 1
30 LENARD  DU TOIT 1
31 LIONEL  BERRIDGE 1
32 MAVELA  NYEMBEZI 7
33 MTHOBISI  MGEDEZI 1
34 NEVILLE  STORBECK 1
35 RIAAN  VAN DER WATH 6
36 SCELO SHUSHA 5
37 WISEMAN  NCANE 10
38 BROTHER  MOYO 2
39 ALFRED  LUSHABA 17
40 BONGANI  MBHELE NOVICE
41 CHRIS  BHEKI  MQADI 0
42 DAAN  VAN NIEKERK 8
43 ERIC  MQADI 9
44 GEORGE  CELE 4
45 HECTOR  MACLEOD 2
46 HENNIE  KANFER 0
47 MARK  SMITH NOVICE
48 MARTIN  VENTER 3
49 STEPHEN  LATTIN 4

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