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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Mamabolo beats youngsters 20 years his junior to win Warriors Wolfpack 42km

Whistles and cries of "kolobe!" rang out as Ludwick Mamabolo entered the stadium as champion of the 2021 Warriors Wolfpack 4 in 1 Marathon in Tzaneen on Saturday. The 44-year old looked in fine form as he bested athletes several years his junior to win the 42km event in 2:33:50, which was almost a full three minutes faster than 24-year old JJ van der Merwe of Pietersburg Road Runners (2:36:18), with Pfarelo Mathada in third (2:36:23). The Nedbank Running Club star says the secret to his success is that he has refined his approach to training in order to remain competitive as he gets older.

Mamabolo enters the home straight to win the race. Photo Credit: Far North Bulletin.

"Yes. I have changed my training programme as I am getting older," he told #TheTopRunner. "I've realised that there are some workouts that I need to cut from my programme and I have also employed a young coach by the name of Thompson Magagane. He's very young, but a very good guy and I think with him we will be able to go far," said the 7-time Comrades Marathon gold medalist.

That he has managed to remain fit, active and stay winning during a time when races have been in short supply and ultra marathons almost non-existent, is a testament to the grit of a man whose age-mates have long since retired from competing against seniors. Modibe's advice to youngsters looking to emulate his success and longevity is simple. "Discipline is the key for me. They need to train hard and rest enough because you can't train hard without resting - you won't get the results," he warns.

Mamabolo has published a book on his exploits as a top runner. The biography entitled "Stir the Dust: Memoirs of a Comrades champion" is written by Mpho Ngoepe and available at or from Mamabolo himself. Photo Credit: MWMedia

With this attitude, it is no wonder Kolobe believes he can win one more 90km footrace between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. "Probably I'll be able to take another Comrades and I'm looking for one last win. And then I'd like to have ten gold medals in order to be rated amongst the legends in South Africa and the world," he concluded.

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