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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'It's just a matter of discipline and determination' - Busisiwe Chamane on becoming a top runner

While all eyes will be focused on the likes of Tadu Nare and Glenrose Xaba at the sharp end of the field, the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon also gives an opportunity for some of South Africa's up and coming athletes to make a name for themselves. One such athlete is Busisiwe Chamane. Making her debut in the World Athletics Elite Status Label race which also doubles as the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Half Marathon Championships, Chamane will be aiming for a top ten finish after a good showing at the Totalsports Two Oceans Half Marathon in April.

"It was a challenging race - very competitive. But I really pushed myself. In as much as I didn't reach the target that I wanted, it was a nice try. I'm glad that I was able to maintain my top ten position. So I'm a gold medalist!" she exclaimed with joy after claiming sixth position in the prestigious 21km race in a time of 1:22:10.

Chamane digs deep as she sprints for the finish line to claim a maiden gold medal at the Totalsports Two Oceans Half Marathon. Photo Credit: Action Photo.

While her performance in The Mother City may have surprised some, it will not have raised the eyebrows of those who have been following her progress on the KZN road running scene closely. The Black Diamond AC top runner, who is a new recruit to the sport has been enjoying a breakthrough 2024 season which has seen her set personal bests over 1500m (4:49.33) and 5000m (17:59.94), while she also won the Durban International Marathon 10km race in 35:43. Where has the 30-year-old been all these years?

"It hasn't been very long since I started running. I started in 2020 during Covid times. That's where I was able to see that I can actually run. I haven't really been involved in sport until now. In primary school I played volleyball and soccer. I was studying and working. Running wasn't my thing. Covid played a huge role in helping to discover my hidden talent. I just ran Spar Ladies and the Totalsports Women's race for fun and then a lot of guys saw that I can run and invited me to try it out. Now I'm seeing a lot of improvement and I'm happy with that," she told #TheTopRunner.

Chamane smiles for the cameras after winning the Durban International Marathon 10km race on 28 April. Photo Credit: Durban International Marathon.

Coached by Comrades Marathon Wally Hayward medalist Lovemore Chabata, Chamane is now well on her way to becoming an elite female performer over 10km and the half marathon. But she is not getting carried away. The woman who hails from KwaMaphumulo village in the iLembe District of KZN says she is just happy to be involved in big races like the NMB Half Marathon while continuing to improve over 10km in particular.

"There's still this stereotype in the village when it comes to running. They'll ask you why are you waking up early to chase nothing. But we go past that stereotype because we are doing what we love. It's just a matter of discipline and determination. This year my coach and I are aiming to be able to run a 33 minutes for 10km. That is our main goal. So far my PB is 35:07 so I think it's attainable. To be quite honest I'm very happy to be amongst a lot of well experienced elite athletes. It really gives me a challenge to push myself to do better."

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