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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'I'm not overtrained' - Broodryk ready for Comrades as SuperSport get more coverage for women's race

After taking third place and finishing as the first South African at the 2022 Comrades Marathon Adele Broodryk, who had been relatively unknown to up until then, announced herself to the ultra-marathon loving public. It means that this time around there are a lot of armchair analysts that are keeping a close eye on her preparation for the 90km race on 11 June.

The Nedbank Running Club top runner will be running her very first June Comrades after making her debut in August 2022. She says this forced her to change her preparation and run many more ultras in a shorter space of time. Since March Broodryk has raced no less than three ultra marathons. First she defended her Om Die Dam 50km title (3:31:10), then took eighth place (3:53:27) at the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon in mid-April, before going on to take third place at the North West N12 Ultra in 3:32:27 two weeks later. The 32-year old says although it may look like a lot of racing, each ultra was done with a specific goal in mind which was not always about running flat out.

Broodryk enjoying some speed training in Dullstroom. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

"Last year I had to prove myself," she told #TheTopRunner. "Every race that I ran last year was a full-on hard race to prove that I'm someone to be reckoned with. But this year has been a whole different ball game also because Comrades is now back to June. It means you don't have so much recovery time between the ultra marathons. So I have completed four ultras in an 8-week span whereas last year there were 8 weeks between each ultra marathon. So all the eyes that are on me this year are a bit concerned. But I ran slower sometimes to test shoes or nutrition or a certain pace, because everything is built towards Comrades. At the end of the day I don't want to be overtrained or over-raced come Comrades day."

It means that if everything goes according to plan then the mother of two will be in shape to perform even better than she did last year. Working full-time as a lecturer at the North West University, Broodryk decided to balance the increased demands of training during the peak months of April and May by going away to her first high altitude Comrades training camp in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga. Training alongside Nedbank's Comrades champions Edward Mothibi and Tete Dijana, the woman who is coached by Lindsey Parry is feeling confident ahead of the big day.

Broodryk and Mothibi enjoy a chat while on a morning run during a Nedbank Running Club training camp in Dullstroom. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

"I know there are going to be some top dogs in the race this year. We have Gerda (Steyn) in, Ann Ashworth, Alexandra Morozova is coming back so everyone is so hungry for that win and a few are hungry for that record (5:54:43). So I will be happy firstly if I can improve on my time (6:26:35). The course is shorter so that is non-negotiable for me. Top ten is definitely on the cards, top five I'll be happy with. All in all, I'm gonna give it my best on the day."

For the first time ever, viewers will have two channels to watch the Comrades Marathon on June 11. The main SuperSport feed, taking in the entire race day from 5am to 6pm, will be broadcast on SS Variety 4. Another feed, focusing on the women’s race, will be carried on SS Variety 2 from 5:15am to 11:30am.

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