This girl is on fire

IF she is not running, she is sleeping.

Every Sunday she wakes up at around 3am and runs 42 km before going for a church service at Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in Bulawayo.

At 44, Samukeliso “Magogo” Moyo is still kicking on, 20 years after winning her first “big” medal on the international scene.

In 1998 Moyo won bronze in the 5 000m race at the Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

She was only 24 then.

Last weekend she won the Old Mutual Marathon in Harare, beating a field that included some athletes half her age.

Moyo completed the 42 km race in 3 hours 1 minute 14 seconds, ahead of Chiedza Chokore and Rutendo Mapundu.

To her running is not about money, because the prizes “usually don’t come big”, but it’s about healing a soul.

“To me running is about healing my body, it’s a process that keeps me fit. I have got no plans to retire anytime soon, I can even hit 50 years,” revealed Moyo from her base in Bulawayo.

Born in Gwanda on New Year’s Day of 1974, Moyo has represented Zimbabwe at the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Olympics in a journey that has taken her to various countries in Africa and beyond.

The 1998 Commonwealth Games, her debut big international meet, are still as fresh in her memory as last Sunday’s Old Mutual race where she reaffirmed her “Queen of the Road” tag.

“I can remember the feeling up to this day, wow it was nice,” she said.

“When I look back at my career, the 1998 Commonwealth Games are one of the high points.

“Of course, in any profession there are ups and downs but I am grateful I have done my part.”

Athletics has brought her both fame and fortune.

Moyo is a proud owner of a house in Gweru, she has several cars some of them won in South African races but she doesn’t like to drive at all.

“It’s difficult to achieve what you really want to achieve in terms of properties because of the economy but I have tried.

“I train in Bulawayo but I have my own house in Gweru, I have a number of cars but I don’t prefer to call them property (with a chuckle) and I also do not want to drive. I prefer to be driven by others.”

Running is in Moyo’s veins and the veteran long distance runner revealed that she has been running 40 km every Sunday for the past 20 years.

“You won’t believe it, I know, but that has been my routine ever since I turned professional. I do not have any spare time. When I am not running I am sleeping or I am at church,” she said.

“Most of the times I train with Tabitha Tsatsa, a veteran I regard as the best ever female long distance runner in the country.

“Tabitha is turning 46 but you will amazed at how she is still doing it on the road. Remember this is the lady who ran 2 hours 29 minute in the 42km distance some time back and represented Zimbabwe at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. To me, Tabitha is the best ever,” said Moyo.

As she approaches 45 years, Moyo is relentless and wants to have another go at the Two Oceans Marathon set for March 31 in South Africa.

For her age is just a number and nothing else.

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