'It comes down to desire' - Mayer praises his athlete Kabelo Mulaudzi for Absa RYC TSHWANE 10K win
By winning his second consecutive Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series race of 2023, Kabelo Mulaudzi reaffirmed his status as one of the most talented middle and long distance athletes in South Africa. After winning last month's Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K in his first sub 28 minute clocking, the Boxer Athletic Club top runner produced 29:12 to win the inaugural Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K this morning as Precious Mashele took second in 29:14, with Ethiopia's Adisa Wake third in 29:15. Mulaudzi has been an athlete reborn since reuniting with his former coach Richard Mayer at the beginning of the year, and Mayer had nothing but praise for his young charge.
"It's very, very exciting," he told #TheTopRunner moments after witnessing the man he discovered as a fourteen year old secure the R30 000 winner's cheque. "We always expected him to get to this level, but the speed with which he has got to this level in such a relatively short period of time has been astounding. He's even more talented than I thought he was and I always knew that he was a talented athlete with a bright future in front of him," was his response when asked about how the man from Alexandra Township managed to find excellent form this year after struggling with injury in 2022.
Talent is one thing, but training is quite another. Mulaudzi who came to prominence as a junior named Kabelo Seboko before he started using his father's surname, has been able to deliver on his talent because of the training programme put in place by Mayer. A disciple of the legendary distance running coach Arthur Lydiard, Mayer says what makes Mulaudzi special is that he has both the head and the heart for running.
"He's very, very talented. But mere talent alone is not enough. He's disciplined, he can handle pressure and he's also hard in a race. He can take pain. It's something that you can't give someone - it's God given. You can have as much talent as God will give you but unfortunately if you don't have a certain desire and intensity then when things get hard in training or in a race, you'll struggle. It comes down to desire. It's desire and grit when things get hard that gets you through. I have a dialogue with an athlete. We discuss and ultimately it's his decision. Everything I do, I have learnt from someone else."
The Women’s Race was clearer cut than the men’s event, where Ethiopia’s Debash Desta took control from as early as the 3km mark. The 21-year-old put in a surge after 3km that split the leading women as she went on to record a comfortable 32:14 victory on a chilly morning in the Jacaranda City. The Nedbank Running Club duo of Sase Agafaw (32:46) and Diniya Kedir Abaraya (32:48) made it an Ethiopian podium sweep as Glenrose Xaba (33:23) in fourth place finished as the first South African. Absa’s Group Chief Marketing and Corporate Affairs Officer, Sydney Mbhele congratulated the top runner as well as the 7000 participants that painted the capital city red this morning.
"Congratulations to the winners of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY TSHWANE 10K. Your exceptional performances have set a new standard of excellence and demonstrate the countless hours of training and preparation invested. Well done to all the individuals who participated in the race. We applaud your dedication to fitness and determination to conquer the steep hills of the capital city. We look forward to your continued support as we
embark on empowering our communities and promoting a healthier, stronger, and more inclusive society. Together we can do more. Siyabangena," concluded Mbhele.