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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Mbhele fired up for Two Oceans debut after Harry Gwala District Municipality win

Comrades Marathon gold medalist Jenet Mbhele believes all her preparations ahead of making her Totalsports Two Oceans 56km on the 13th of April are intact. Mbhele has been in fine form and yesterday she secured victory in a tough and hilly Harry Gwala District Half Marathon. Her winning time of 1:23:24 in the race which took place in Ixopo, South of KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday 31 March has left the Xcel Running Club top runner confident that she is ready to do well at Two Oceans. 

"I'm happy to win here," she told #TheTopRunner after her triumph. "This is one of the most important races for me as it happening in my hometown. Plus it one of the few races happening in the rural areas. I came here just to test myself fitness and see how far my training is. This race has a tough course and it did gave me a tough time. So regarding my preparations for the Two Oceans ultra marathon, I think I'm on the right track," said an elated Mbhele.

Mbhele poses with the Mayor of the Harry Gwala District Municipality Cllr ZD Nxumalo. Photo Credit: Harry Gwala District Municipality.

Having never run The World's Most Beautiful Ultra Marathon before, the former SA Marathon Champion has had to rely on the experience of her teammates at the Xcel Running Club who have assured her that it is a demanding route that requires hill climbing strength especially during the second half of the race. Mbhele says it is for that reason that she has been doing a lot of hill work to make sure that she is ready.

"It will be the first time doing the race so I must have everything in my tank to ensure I get the desired result. I have heard the race is tough so I must be covered in terms of the training. So I'm super ready to run there," she said.

What is the desired result? The 31-year-old has big ambitions in Cape Town. "I think the main focus is to stick what I have been doing on training. So I can't talk much about other athletes in the race. What I know is that there will be tough competition. If I can get a top ten finish then it would be good for me. To win the race is something that not going to happen now maybe it can happen in future."

Mholi Jali on his way to claiming victory in the men's 42,2km race. Photo Credit: Harry Gwala District Municipality.

The Harry Gwala Marathon turned out to be a good day out for the Xcel running Club in general as Mholi Jali won (2:33:45) the men's 42,2km race ahead of Kabelo Lesia (2:34:34) and Hollywood Athletics Club star Nkosikhona Mhlakwana (2:35:05).

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