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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'I'm aiming for a PB' - Philani Buthelezi ready for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon

After a strong showing over 10km and the half marathon this year, Philani Buthelezi is confident that he is ready for a good performance at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. Named as one of the top male contenders to take on the likes of defending champion Stephen Mokoka and Siboniso Sikhakhane, the 32-year-old believes that he is primed to go beyond his current personal best of 2:13:15.

"Last time I ran 2:16 in Cape Town," he told #TheTopRunner ahead of the 2022 edition of the 42,2km race in The Mother City on Sunday. "I was ready. I was so ready. But this year I want a PB. I really want a PB, because my preparation has gone well. Everything has gone well," explained the man who is coached by Lindsey Parry.

Buthelezi running the Alberton Athletic Club 10km in November 2020. His marathon PB improved from 2:18 in 2019 to 2:13:15 in 2022. Photo Credit: SmacPix

And why shouldn't the Murray and Roberts Running Club top runner aim for a new lifetime best on a route where the course record is 2:08.31, which was set by Mokoka back in 2018. Moreover, not only is it a fast course but Buthelezi is arguably in the shape of his life. On Heritage Day he took fifth place in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10km in 30:05 to beat some of the best 10km specialists in the country on a hilly course.

Add to that a 1:04:38 clocking to take third place at the Penninsula Half Marathon in February and it is clear that he is fit enough to run well under his that 2:13:15 which was set at the 2021 RETAIL CAPITAL Langa Marathon Challenge. "My training partners are helping me. We have a Lindsey Parry group here which also has Sibusiso Nzima. But I asked my coach to join The Sponge Group only on weekends for my long runs. That is Stephen's group - so I join them on the weekends. I think that is going well," he shared.

Buthelezi doing his long run with The Sponge Group in Pretoria alongside defending Sanlam Marathon Cape Town champion Stephen Mokoka. Photo Credit: Sponge Group.

Having started his athletic journey as a 10-year-old in Primary School and then trained under the legendary Michael 'Sponge' Seme who initially moulded him into a promising 5000m athlete, Buthelezi believes that the work he has done with coach Parry since 2017 has left him ready to deliver his best marathon performance yet. The 2019 SA 10 000m champion who has also represented the country says there's no better place to do that, than Cape Town.

"I always run well in Cape Town. Even if I go to the track or run a half marathon - I always run well there. I like the weather. Cape Town has cool weather. I always do well in Cape Town and most of my PB's are there. This year I wanna achieve a lot because I am aiming for 2:12. That would be a huge PB for me," he concluded.

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