'I was scared to run the marathon' - Samuel Moloi after taking 5th in debut 42,2km in Cape Town
Aside from Stephen Mokoka securing a record third title, one of the more encouraging performances at the 2022 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was that of Samuel Moloi. The 28-year-old from Soweto produced 2:14:39 on debut to take fifth place overall and as the second-placed South African. Coached by the legendary Micheal 'Bra Sponge' Seme, the Sowetan thanked the veteran coach for bearing with him over the last few months.
"I feel good. I feel so good," he told #TheTopRunner. "I trained very well after running the ASA 10km Championships in August and I'd like to thank Bra Sponge for being patient with me because I had a groin injury that forced to take a break. We started the programme properly from the beginning and then that's what allowed me to be here today. He knows what he is doing all you have to do as an athlete is to follow the programme and you'll never go wrong," he explained.
2022 has been a great year for the man who runs in the colours of iKhaya Lethu Athletic Club. He set personal bests over 5000m (15:11.48), 10km (29:18) at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k and 21km (1:07:54) at the TotalSports Two Oceans Half Marathon in April. His improving performances over these shorter distances, gave him the confidence he needed to attempt a first marathon. Training alongside Lesotho 21km national record holder Namakoe Nkhasi, Moloi decided to take the plunge into the 42,2km.
"We trained well with Namakoe, just that he was disappointed by an injury so he couldn't run otherwise I think we both would have finished in the five. I was actually scared to run a marathon but the person who motivated me to give it a try is Namakoe. I really must thank all of my training partners," said the man who is originally from Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal but moved to Gauteng in 2016 where he discovered his athletic talent and has has since made a home for himself in Soweto where he trains at the University of Johannesburg under the guidance of Seme.
His performance on the streets of The Mother City has left him emboldened and he is now happy that he made the switch to the marathon. But good coaching and training alone would not have been enough. Moloi has had the support of his running club iKhaya Lethu AC who are beginning to make a name for themselves as a home for promising marathon and ultra marathon runners. They supported him throughout the year and played a critical role in seconding him on race day.
"iKhaya Lethu helps us so much. They help us with everything. I am here today because of them. They help me with whatever I need. Even my seconding, they seconded me very well - exactly the way I wanted it. I got all my bottles precisely where I wanted them, so I thank them so much for that. I am here because of them. My goal now is to continue doing good things and I don't regret running my first marathon," he smiled.