'I'm grateful for the opportunity' - Khumalo appointed new coach of Hollywood Athletic Club
After commendable career as an ultra distance runner, Prodigal Khumalo is changing lanes. That's because while is still capable of producing a sub 32 minute 10km clocking as he did when he ran 31:48 to win the veterans category at the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10k in October, he has decided to shift focus on coaching. The Comrades Marathon gold medalist has be named as the new head coach of the Hollywood Athletic Club.
And while he had already made a name for himself as a running mentor after guiding Nkosikhona Mhalkwana to a runner-up position at the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon and sixth place at Comrades, Khumalo's new ambit of responsibilities will see him take charge of both top and social runners.
“I plan to help both these fine athletes improve on their personal performances from last season, aim for gold in the Two Oceans and Comrades and win it if possible. We are here to compete for podiums and break records. Nothing is impossible," said the man who has also taken Mandela Marathon third place finisher Makhosi Mhlongo under his wing. Khumalo says the faith the club has shown in him is not to be taken lightly.
"It’s a dream come true for me, as it is the first time I have been appointed to a club as a coach. I am grateful for this opportunity and the trust the club president has shown in me to take the club to new heights," said the winner of the 2016 Cape Town Ultra Trail 100km. At just 40 years old, Khumalo is still quite young in coaching terms. So the job will be an opportunity to test an approach based on his 15 years as an ultra marathon top runner.
"It's all about race preparation, with a big focus on both the physical training, correct nutrition intake and keeping all the club's Elite runners’ injury free," he said. In addition to guiding the elites and mentoring social runners that are looking to improve, PK as he is affectionately known, will also play a role in recruiting promising youngsters. Khumalo's Orcas Academy which is a running development initiative that he founded in 2018, will act as a feeder to the Hollywood AC on a pathway from development to excellence.