Pasipanodya optimistic ahead of Comrades Marathon

04 Jun, 2023 - 00:06 0 Views
Pasipanodya optimistic ahead of Comrades Marathon PROUDLY ZIMBABWEAN . . . Kudzai Pasipanodya will be hoping to be part of the cast of Zimbabwean runners at the Comrades

The Sunday Mail

Sports Reporter

THE legendary Stephen Muzhingi remains the only Zimbabwean to win the Comrades Marathon, regarded as the world’s largest and oldest ultra-marathon race.

Muzhingi also has another record: He won the race for three consecutive years between 2009 and 2011.

The veteran runner has inspired many Zimbabwean runners who participate at the annual race in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa.

The marathon, which is run between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, returned in 2022 after a two-year Covid-19-induced hiatus, with 210 Zimbabweans participating.

On Sunday, over 200 Zimbabweans are expected to line up for the 90km race, which also attracts athletes from across the globe.

And Kudzai “Greatkhalister” Pasipanodya, who made his debut last year, is excited with the prospect of competing against some of the world’s most resilient runners.

“I am very excited about this race,” says Pasipanodya, who is a corporate executive widely known in fitness circles.

His Musabvunda Athletics Academy will also provide 11 runners for the race.

“We have athletes from the Musabvunda academy who will represent Zimbabwe at the Comrades Marathon for the first time.

“They are a bit nervous as they have heard a lot of stories about the Comrades being a tough race, but I believe, with the training that they have done and the commitment they have put in, they will do well.

“We are really excited about their participation in the race,” said Pasipanodya.

The Bikita-born runner and fitness enthusiast drew a lot of lessons from last season’s Comrades and hopes to improve and fly Zimbabwe’s flag higher.

Athletes from the Musabvunda academy will leave for South Africa on Wednesday. “We need to acclimatise and also understand the course.

“We are not expecting to win but we are confident that in two or three years, athletes from our stable will achieve podium finishes.

“What we want is for them to understand the course; this is a learning marathon . . .”

Last year, Pasipanodya completed the 90km race in 10 hours 28 minutes but he is expecting to better that time.

“With the kind of preparations I have done, I am looking at finishing the race in nine hours or less.

“I am looking at setting my personal best like I did at the Dubai Marathon and the Two Oceans Marathon.

“We are very excited also as Musabvunda because we preach resilience.

“We tell athletes not to fear and we preach good health as we know that a healthy nation is a productive nation.

“We encourage everyone to rally behind the Zimbabwean runners at this year’s Comrades Marathon,” he said.

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