Mabhida backs Mfunzi to do well at the Cape Town Marathon
South African long distance runner Ntombesintu Mfunzi is eyeing a new personal best over the marathon distance when she lines up for Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on Sunday. Mfunzi, who is better known for her exploits over the ultra-marathon distance will be banking on the good form she has been showing this year to carry her through the fast and flat gold label course. Last month the Eastern Cape-based athlete clocked 03:46:00 to take second position at the Prince Mangosuthu 52km and says her aim in the Mother City is to run her race.
" I'm going to Cape Town in search of a good marathon time. The preparations have been going well and I believe I have done enough to have a good race on Sunday," said Mfunzi, who is the holder of a 02:47:56 personal best over the 42km distance."I'm not aiming for a podium finish. The main reason is to improve but if marathon specialists don't respond then I can push. I'm going there to run my race. I can't put myself under unnecessary pressure. I would just focus on my plan and execute it on race day. The good thing is that I'm injury-free and fully fit," she told #TheTopRunner.
The 39-year-old Nedbank Running Club athlete says since she started to training under the guidance of renowned South African Athletics coach Xolani Mabhida - her life has changed. And her primary goal is to do well in the Comrades Marathon next year.
"Since I started to work with Mabhida I have seen the change. Even though we are not staying in the same province but I try by all means to be faithful to him in terms of how my training works," explains Mfunzi, who represented South Africa at the 2019 World 50km Championship in Romania."He is a coach that is connected to his athletes and that makes it easier to talk to him. Despite being an open person, he is very strict when it comes to following the program. Our relationship has been good so far. Our goal remains Comrades Marathon next year which I target to do well in it," she said.
Mabhida himself is also projecting a good time for Mfunzi on Sunday and he says a podium finish would be a bonus. "A podium finish will be a bonus but I do see her dominating and getting into the top ten of the South African's only," said the man who led Bongumusa Mthembu to Comrades Marathon glory. "She is not a marathon specialist but ultra, even though I do see her getting a good time on Sunday. Honestly, for me, it's not always about the position but good performance," he concluded.