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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Mosiako to unveil new club colours at Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km

Because they are aiming to produce a fourth world record in just the third edition of the race, organisers of the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km have enlisted the services of faster half marathon and marathon athletes to pace the contenders to the fastest 50km ever run. With a 42,2km personal best of 2:09:24 set at last year's World Championships in the United States, local hero Melikhaya Frans has been assigned the main pacemaking duties and will lead the bunch to the 30km mark. Assisting him will be his training partner Thabang Mosiako.

Mosiako is back in the colours of the Nedbank Running Club. Photo Credit: Nedbank Running Club Klerksdorp.

"I'm feeling very excited and happy," he told #TheTopRunner during yesterday's media briefing ahead of tomorrow's race at Pollock Beach, in Gqeberha. "I'm happy because we've been preparing for this for quite a long while now. I think we are ready. I will pace the guys up to 25km then Melikhaya Frans will take them up to 30km."

While it is his first time pacing an ultra marathon, the former SA 5000m champion who is the holder of a 1:01:59 personal best which was set in the very same Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality back in 2018 believes he is capable of executing his duties as requested. And why shouldn't he be after setting new lifetime bests over 12 laps of the track (13:58.64) and 10km (28:26) in 2022.

Mosiako and his training partner Melikhaya Frans running shoulder during a race in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in 2022. Photo Credit: Richard Pearce.

"Definitely on Sunday (26 February) it won't be like a sprint. So we must just stick to the pace and the splits that we have been given. We must stick on our 3:09 pace up until I leave the guys at 25km," he shared.

Mosiako will also be sporting his new club colours for the first time. Having been with Boxer Athletic Club since 2018, the 28-year-old has returned to the Nedbank Running Club. "I'm so excited. I'm relieved. I'm happy I'm back with Nedbank again. The management people are familiar to me because we have known each other for quite a long time so I'm looking forward to do some magic with Nedbank again."

Winner of the 2019 SPAR Grand Prix and 2:19 marathoner Helalia Johannes will pace the women's race at the 2023 Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km. Photo credit: Reg Caldecott.

In the women's race another Nedbank athlete has been tasked with the chief pacemaking duties. Helalia Johannes who won the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and took a bronze at the World Championships the following year is looking forward to running in the city where she produced Namibia's half marathon national record (1:07:49). "I'm so very much excited because whenever I'm here, I just feel at home. I like the city, I like the people. This is the place where I ran PB's. I always feel welcome and I'm happy to be here."

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