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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'It just needs discipline' - Nobukhosi Buhle Tshuma a contender for a gold medal at Comrades

When it comes to elite athletes, cross pollination between training groups is a rare thing. Top runner generally tend to stick to their regular training groups with any appearance in another seen as a betrayal punishable by banishment. But things are changing - especially with South Africa's top female contenders. Nobukhosi Tshuma who is coached by Hendrick Ramaala and trains with his Zoo Lake Group has been spotted training with Gerda Steyn. The woman who enjoyed a breakthrough 2023 season which saw her win the N12 Ultra Marathon and take fourth place at the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon believes that there's nothing wrong with learning from the best.

"It's good sometimes to train with the champions to get some good advice," she told #TheTopRunner. "I was training with Gerda. She just told me to do my things, not to focus on other people and just run my own race and I'll make it. That's is very important - to train with the top runners. We must swallow our pride and join some fast ladies so we can get strong as well."

Tshuma on the way to taking second place at the City 2 City 50km race. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

The wife of 2023 Totalsports Two Oceans champion Givemore Mudziganyama is a much improved athlete since venturing into the ultra marathons in 2022. With a 42km personal best of 2:43:15 set in 2019, the Zimbabwean who has lived and trained in Thembisa township East of Johannesburg since childhood, has had to balance running with her duties as a wife and mother of three and the owner of a hair salon.

"Sometimes it's hard. But all it needs is discipline because to be a mother, business woman and an athlete is not easy. But what it needs is discipline, then you can make it," said the New Balance ambassador who will line up at the London Marathon on 21 April.

Tshuma poses for a photo with Gerda Steyn after the two completed a speed training session at the University of Johannesburg Track. Photo Credit: Gerda Steyn.

The Entsika Athletic Club top runner was speaking after claiming second place behind Shelmith Muruiki at the City2City Marathon which took place on the 31st of March, returning to the road running calendar for the first time since 2015. Tshuma's 3:30:37 finish and Comrades queen Steyn's teaching's make her a contender for a gold medal when she makes her debut at the Ultimate Human Race in June. She says City2City was excellent preparation for the Up Run on the 9th of June.

"I've never run a tough course like this. This is a tough, tough, tough course," she said of the 50km race from Pretoria to Johannesburg. "I think the elevation is 900m. But it is good for Comrades. Too many hills."

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