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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'I'm very, very happy with the way I ran' - Tshuma becomes first Entsika woman to win Comrades gold

Running in her debut Comrades Marathon, Nobuhle Tshuma did a remarkable job delivering a 6:12:18 time to finish in fifth position. Tshuma is the first black woman since Farwa Mentoor in 2011 to finish inside the top five on the Comrades Up Run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. The 30-year-old Entsika Athletics Club has been in good form this year including winning Tshwane North Ultra 50k race, the North West N12 Ultra 50km race and she came second in the City to City 50km Ultra. Speaking at the Comrades winners breakfast at Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel in Durban yesterday (Monday 10 June), Tshuma says she was confident of a top ten finish based on her performances leading up to the 85,91km race. 

"I'm very, very happy with the way I ran. Being a black woman to be in the top five is exciting especially because it was my first Comrades. Before the race, my fitness indicated that I'm in great shape. So I knew that even if the race turned out to be competitive I could still manage to get a top ten finish. I performed well in races I participated in it as the build up to Comrades." explains the top runner who was born in Zimbabwe and bred in Thembisa.

Tshuma has enjoyed a fabulous 2024 which included a maiden Comrades gold medal. Photo Credit: Givemore Mudziganyama.

Tshuma who had been in third going up Polly Shortts ended up in fifth after America's Courtney Olsen passed her on the last big climb and she surrendered fourth place to Carla Molinaro in a sprint finish just metres before the finish line. The mother of two who also won the MiWay Wally Hayward Marathon on the 1st of May admitted that she was a bit surprised at just how fast the race proved to be.

"The time I managed to run was good and it promises a great future for me. I was surprised with the way the race turned out to be. Usually in the women's race there are big gaps between runners. But this year, the competition was tough and it was challenging. That is why the times ended up being fast on the day. In fact, there was no time to slow down as the competitors were on neck and neck," she told #TheTopRunner.

Tshuma poses with coach Hendrick Ramaala and husband Givemore Mudziganyama who also earned a Comrades gold medal on debut when he claimed tenth position in the men's race in 5:37:09. Photo Credit: Givemore Mudziganyama.

Now that the ultra marathon season is behind her Tshuma will turn her focus to improving on her 2:43:15 personal best over the standard marathon. Coached by former New York Marathon winner Hendrick Ramaala, she is hoping to emulate her coach by taking on the World Marathon Majors race in the Big Apple in November. In preparation for the race, she is hoping to train in Kenya. 

"I'm going to run the New York Marathon later this year. So for now, I'm going to take a break from marathons. The next thing is to rest for a month and then afterwards, I make a trip to Kenya in order to start the preparations for New York. I'll focus on building my speed. I believe that I can manage to run 2 hours 30 minutes on the day which would be quite a big achievement for me," she concluded.

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