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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'I'm happy' - coach Dave Adams reflects on new recruit Mosiane's TNU 50km victory & road to Comrades

As if they weren’t dominant enough, the Happy Bunch have recruited another promising young talent who is threatening to become South Africa’s next ultra marathon star. On Saturday, 25-year-old Rueben Mosiane won the Tshwane North Ultra Marathon in a new course record of 2:56:50 as Teboho Lehaja finished in second place (2:59:15) and Sifiso Nqumakhwe third (3:02:56). Training alongside Comrades Marathon champions Tete Dijana and Edward Mothibi, the 27-year-old is also coached by Dave Adams who was satisfied with how his young charge performance on the hilly course run along the Eastern spine of the Magaliesberg Mountain Range in Pretoria North.

"I'm happy with his win though it was a bit tougher than what we had planned for him to do," he explained. "In February he went with Johannes Makgetla and Joseph Manyedi to the very tough Balwin Sports Pretoria Marathon. He finished second in 2:26 behind Philani Buthelezi. Since that race in February, we have been busy with our build up for Comrades with the only races being Om die Dam and this past weekend. Both of these we do as a training runs."

Mosiane and Adams pose for a photo after his victory. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

That the Nedbank Running Club man could run under 3 hours at the TNU 50km after producing the fastest finish at the Pretoria Marathon of any of coach Adams’ athletes has left the 70-year-old mentor excited about what Mosiane can do at the 97th running of The World’s Most Loved Ultra Marathon regardless of the fact that Mosiane will be making his Comrades debut.

"That was a very impressive performance on that (Pretoria Marathon) course. I have taken athletes to that race in the past (Edward, David Gatebe, TK Moshwetse and others) and none of them managed 2;26! Rueben’s goal is Comrades Marathon. His goal will be the same as the rest of the team. Gold medal and for him and to finish as the first novice."

Mosiane battling against Faranani AC's Teboho Lehaja before going on to win the TNU 50km. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

After sweeping the podium and seeing five of his men in the top ten and Galaletsang Mekgoe taking fifth place in the women’s race back in 2022, Adams is aiming for similar success with his Rustenburg outfit that has been nicknamed The Happy Bunch. Adams says their conservative approach to racing and trying is what will make them dangerous during this year’s Up Run.

"We prepare as best we can. We don’t take unnecessary risks and try to do the correct things. We motivate each other and there is always good spirits in camp. Make no mistake, we work hard! We don’t really feel any pressure. I think the pressure is more on the other guys trying to compete with us. ⁠My goal for Comrades is to have 9 athletes in peak condition ready to do their very best on the 9th of June."

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