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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Mgabhi to complete 10-day 250km desert race to build school toilets in rural KZN

South African long distance runner Nontuthuko Mgabhi will take part in the des Sables Marathon in Morocco to raise funds to build school toilets in rural KwaZulu Natal. The gruelling 10 day race takes place in the scorching North African desert from 1 to 11 October, covering a distance of 250km. Mgabhi, who made history last year when she ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days is delighted to take part in the race after it initially looked as though Visa problems would prevent her from running.

Mgabi training for her desert race using the soft dunes on the beaches of Durban. Photo Credit: Nontuthuko Mgabhi.

" Yeah, I'm very excited because I managed to get the Visa to Morocco. Initially, they said they only process Visas for people traveling for business purposes and medical treatment," explained an elated Mgabhi. "I had already accepted that I'm no longer going but to my surprise, they called on Monday to tell me that my Visa has been approved. I'm fully prepared for the race as I have been on a very good program for months now. So I'm looking forward to it," she told #TheTopRunner.

The 34-year-old who works at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal as a general manager of human resources has targeted over a million Rand for Khiphinkunzi Primary School in Mtubatuba, which will be used to build flushing toilets and an administration block. Last year, she built five classrooms for the school. Mgabhi who is coached by Prodigal Kumalo says her aim is to inspire young girls from rural areas to believe in their dreams.

Mgabhi receives her race number before running a marathon in Antarctica in February 2020. Photo Credit: Salomon.

"Through my Initiative Go Beyond, I'm looking to raise R1.1 million. I have never run in the desert before so it going to be a first time experience for me," said the Murray & Roberts Running Club athlete.

" What attracted me to run this race is because I'm someone who loves adventure. I love challenges in life so I'm always aiming to achieve impossible things. That's what the initiative entails. I want to inspire children from the villages and rural areas to believe in their dreams. I'm from a rural area but I have managed to succeed in life," she concluded.

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