'I kept motivating myself that its gonna be the best year for me' - Thabang Mosiako on 2023 success
As one of the standout performers of the season, Thabang Mosiako will look back on 2023 as the year he transformed from talented top runner into a truly world class elite athlete. This year alone the 28-year-old broke 28 minutes for 10km three times, while securing a maiden national half marathon title before finishing in sixth place in the half marathon at the World Road Running Championships in 59:52 - the second fast 21km clocking by a South African man. Speaking to #TheTopRunner The Nedbank Running Club man revealed that his success actually began in 2022 when he ran a disappointing 1:03:36 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon and resolved to do better the following year.
"In the half marathon I was so ready, I was so prepared. Then it happened that in the last three days before the race I got sick, seriously sick. I was struggling with my stomach. But the fitness was there and I said to myself I'm not gonna run my PB today but I'm gonna finish the race. I kept motivating myself that next year is gonna be the best year for me and I'm gonna try and train very hard, so that I can achieve what I want," he explained.
And that's exactly what he did as he produced his first 27 minute 10km clocking at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K in April, went sub 28 again at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K and then ended the year with a new 10km personal best of 27:45 for sixth place at the Urban Trail de Lille - 5 et 10km in France earlier this month. It's been a year of unprecedented success which has left his wife Thandi Mosiako, herself a former athlete, singing the praises of his coach and mentor Michael Mbambani for bringing out the best in Thabang.
"I'm very, very happy. At first when he told me that he is leaving Potchefstroom to start a new life in PE it was hard for me because I didn't want him to leave. But I told him to go and try. After six months he told me that he would stay for good because it's working for him. It was very hard because I was working and our kids would stay with Thabang's mom while I was at work. Then in early January Thabang's mom passed away and we no longer had anyone to help us with the kids. Thabang told me to leave my job to take care of the kids and he will take care of us. It was tough but it's worth it because I can see his improvement. This is the right place for him. He has matured and grown up and I want to thank his coach for guiding him," she shared.
The hardships that he Mosiako has had to overcome have undoubtedly made him a better athlete, to whom the doors of the lucrative European road running circuit are now open. But his 2023 is not over yet. For his final outing of the year, the man who enjoyed three podium finishes at all three of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY series races he competed in (Gqeberha, Cape Town and Durban) will drive the sub 2H30 bus alongside training partnners Melikhaya Frans and Simon Sibeko at the NMB 1 City Marathon on Saturday, 2 December.
"It is always a comfort for athletes to know that they can rely on someone else to keep the pace, and luckily in Gqeberha we have high quality elite pacers who are in training and have agreed to assist anyone who wants to finish below 2h30min on race day," said Ikhamva Athletics Club coach and race director, Mike Mbambani. "Athletes will be competing on a very fast World Athletics-certified route which starts and finishes at Fairview racecourse in Greenbushes. We are expecting new personal best times and good seedings," said an excited Mbambani.