Khumalo runs 100km raises R80k for running academy
When Prodigal Khumalo crossed the finish line at the Kings Park Stadium yesterday, not only had he completed a gruelling physical feat but he had also shown that great achievements are almost always done in teams. The 2-time Comrades Marathon gold medalist ran 100km from Hilton in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands to Durban in order to raise funds for his running Academy.
Khumalo founded the Orca’s Academy in 2015 as a training camp based in the Inanda Valley. But it soon became clear that the initiative was poised for success when the Academy managed to attract 150 members in just its first year of operation leading him to officially register the Academy as a running club affiliated to the KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) under Athletics South Africa (ASA) in 2018.
The demand for his guidance and mentorship meant that the two-time winner of the Ultra-trail Cape Town 100km now had to find a way to build a facility that would accommodate the future champions on site so they could focus on training. Two years ago building began but Covid-19 derailed that leaving the boarding house unfinished. So Khumalo turned to the one thing he could always rely on in tough times - running.
Having just joined the Hollywoodbets Athletics Club, Khumalo hatched an audacious plan to complete 100km in under 7 and a half hours to raise the R100 000 required to complete the construction project. Supported by a host of top runners who acted as pacemakers including 2019 Comrades 11th place finisher Nkosikhona Mhlakwana who is also a product of the Orca’s Academy, Khumalo survived the hot and humid conditions to stop the clock at 7 hours and 27 minutes.
His achievement was rewarded with R80 000, R50 000 of which came from Hollywoodbets. “I would like to thank everyone who made this journey possible,” said Khumalo upon completing the 100km. “From my team Hollywoodbets Athletics Team, pacemakers from Orcas Running Academy, Maxed Elite, the supporting crew and everybody who has donated.This was not going to happen without your support, team work makes dream work,” he added.