Admire Muzopambwa eyes Nedbank 50km World Record attempt after winning SA Wings for Life World Run
When he lines up at the start line of the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km World Record attempt in Gqeberha on Sunday, Admire Muzopambwa will be aiming to give The Top Runners a real scare. Although he doesn't count himself amongst the elite athletes whose athletics puts food on the table, his steady improvement and performance at the recent Wings For Life World Run speaks of an athlete with a great deal of ultra marathon potential.
When he started running in the winter of 2014, it was just to keep his boss company on the dark, cold streets of Northern Johannesburg. You see Muzopambwa is a professional chef to an active employer who counts running, cycling and waterpolo amongst his list of weekly fitness activities. The chef was roped in to join between preparing meals and soon he was outpacing his new running partner and appearing on podiums at local races three short years later.
"Living in such an environment just keeps me motivated," he said of the close relationship he shares with his Hyde Park employer. "After I started running, he kept on motivating me every day. My first run with other people was Parkrun and from the I entered races." Before long he was running in the lead bunch and earning top five finishes (3:05) at the Om Die Dam 50km ultra marathon.
So it didn't come as much of a surprise when he topped the South African table of the unique Wings For Life World Run. The global run (completed virtually this year) is run in aid of spinal cord injury research, with all the entry fees being donated to this worthy cause. Runners take on an imaginary car which gives the runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes a head start, gradually speeding up until it catches participants one by one to eliminate them from the race. By the time the App car caught Admire he had run 50.4km and been part of a global initiative that had seen R70 million for spinal cord research by over 150 000 entrants from 195 nations.
"I feel great about it," he said when asked how he felt about winning the race. "I ran WFLWR in Johannesburg South from Frances Vorweg school. The course was great as I had mapped it days leading to the race. Although I ran by myself, I had quite a group of athletes supporting me including Tikho Nov and my best friend Caitlyn Van Dyk. But I'm just glad to be part of a fundraiser to try raise funds for the spinal code injury. It’s the best I can do to help. It’s the love that winning," explained the ASICS frontrunner.
Muzopambwa will be taking the same positive attitude to The Windy City this weekend where his goal is to continue to give it his all as he works towards his ultimate dream of tasting the sweet satisfaction of a top placing at the Comrades Marathon. "For Ultra running my eyes are on Comrades because it’s one race where I learn each year and I think I’m in good shape. For me running is more for motivating others to do it and enjoyment," he concluded.