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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Khati ready for marathon debut at Durban International

Better known to some as a personal trainer, Tshepiso Khati is now ready to announce himself as a top runner. That's because the 25-year-old has qualified to represent Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) at the ASA Marathon Championships which will be run at the Durban International Marathon on Sunday 12 March. Khati who will be making his marathon debut alongside seasoned 42,2km athletes including those hoping to use the race to qualify for the World Championships and Olympic Games believes he is ready.

"It's so exciting and scary at the same time, it's something I didn't expect to happen so soon, mentally and through my preparations I told myself that this year am ready to adapt into the long distance. I am supper excited about such an opportunity as it is the best motivation for me to push myself and see how far I can go," said the man who qualified for the CGA team by virtue of his podium finish at the Springs Striders 32km race in January.

Khati on his way to a third place finish at the Springs Striders 32km race in January. Photo Credit: SmacPix.

And the preparations have gone well. Khati who initially trained at Zoo Lake under Hendrick Ramaala has started his own group in Houghton, Johannesburg where he is able to combine running with strength training and core exercises while continuing to work as a personal trainer. Working with his new running partners, the man who ran his 1:07:42 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon last year, won the 21km event at the aQuellé Joburg North City Marathon in 1:13:13 in February to underline his status as an improving athlete.

"I feel amazing because things went according to plan. The race gave me the outcomes that I needed and I was able to pick up a few things that I needed to work on. Remember I had few obstacles last year especially with injuries as I was still trying to find my base and what works for me, lucky enough it was easy to recover and strength training played a very huge role in my recovery as it gave me more awareness of my strength and weaknesses within my running " said the man who originally hails from Sterkspruit in the Free State.

Khati took third place (1:48:52) at the Springs Striders 32km which was won by former national champions Gladwin Mzazi in 1:48:14. Photo Credit: SmacPix.

So now all that's left for the Old Eds top runner is to deliver on the day. And Khati is confident of a good performance because he has always run well in the coastal city. His 10km personal best for example (30:20), was set in 2019 when he took 28th place during the RUN YOUR CITY series. In addition to where the race will take place, what makes him even more positive is that he believes his strength will give him an advantage over the marathon distance.

"My aim is to run a good standard time for my first marathon, the rest will happen on its on race day but I believe I've got the potential into the long distance. I've seen how well I perform there, so going back to Durban once again for my first marathon, makes me happy gives me enough confidence that I will do well too. so far it's coming well as one of my training partners will be also participating in the marathon. I'm looking forward to see how am gonna perform in Durban," he said.

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