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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Mosiako targets consistency at NMB Half Marathon

"Consistency, consistency, consistency," is what Thabang Mosiako will be aiming to achieve when lines up to defend his national title at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon incorporating the Athletics South Africa 21km Championships in Gqeberha on Saturday. The 29-year-old captured a first SA title on the road last year when he won the fast and flat race on Pollock Beach in 60:29 ahead of Precious Mashele in what was the fastest ever 21km clocking on SA soil.

"Coach always teaches and tell us that we need to stay consistent such that even if it’s hard in the office you stay close to the time that you ran previously. It’s part of the culture of our group. I’m happy with the 60 minutes that I ran in SA last year. I can’t complain too much," said the top runners who trains under 2023 ASA coach of the year Mike Mbambani.

Mosiako celebrates victory and an R80 000 winner's cheques at the 2023 NMB Half Marathon. South Africa's richest 21km race now offers R100 000 for victory. Photo Credit: Richard Pearce.

Training alongside World Championships marathoner Melikhaya Frans, Mosiako who swapped Potchefstroom for PE back in 2021 reaped the rewards of that brave decision to uproot his life with a 2023 season that he will not quickly forget. In addition to running under 28 minutes for 10km three times, Mosiako also finished as the first South African in the 21km race at the World Road Running Championships in a personal best 59:52. That leaves him less than 20 seconds off Stephen Mokoka’s National record of 59:36 set back in 2020.

It means that all eyes will be on the man who set a new Eastern Province Athletics (EPA) half marathon record on his way to that memorable NMB Half Marathon victory in 2023. But as he chases the R100 000 prize money, Mosiako has made it clear that he will not be thinking about records on the 1st of June, but rather about continuing to improve.

Xaba on her way to clocking a personal best 1:08:37 at the 2023 NMB Half Marathon where she finished second overall and as the first South African. Kenya's Betty Kibet won the race in 1:08:34. Photo Credit: Richard Pearce Photography.

“The time will come for me to talk about the SA Record but for now I’m still far from the record. I’m just trying to shape my PB’s,” explained the Nedbank Running Club top runner who won also a maiden Totalsports Two Oceans Half Marathon title at a canter in April.

In the women’s race, Glenrose Xaba who produced a personal best 1:08:37 in The Friendly City, will start as the favourite for the national title after setting a new 10 000m personal best a week ago. "This is likely to be my main 21km race of the season. My goal this season is to qualify for the Olympic Games in the 5000m and/or the 10000m, so this season I’ll just be visiting the half marathons and running more 10km and track races."

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