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Mphakathi ready to conquer the Mangosuthu Buthelezi 52km race

Ntsindiso Mphakathi is planning to run away with top honours when he steps up to race the Prince Mangosuthu 52km race in Dundee, North of KwaZulu-Natal tomorrow. Mphakathi came agonisingly close to winning the race last year when Nkosikhona Mhlakwana caught him in the last 500m to the finish. Speaking to #TheTopRunner, Mphakathi is confident that his training will carry him to the finish line.

"I've been training hard for this race. I'm confident that I'll do well. But I can't say that I will win the race as there will be strong athletes there. I promise to give it my all on the race day and don't know where my legs will take me. To whoever going to win the race will have to applaud him because this is the tough race," said the man who does his training in Soweto under the watchful eye of coach Michael Seme.

In full flight: Ntsindiso Mphakathi is ready to give it his all at Prince Mangosuthu 52km race tomorrow. Photo Credit: Richard Pearce.

The 31-year-old Entsika Athletic Club runner has learned from his 2021 mistakes and hopes not to repeat them on Sunday. "Last year, I lost the race at the end. It was painful but I don't want to make the same mistake again," said Mphakathi, who hails from the Eastern Cape.

" Last year, I lost the race where everybody believed I would be the winner. But I'm positive that my going to place inside the top five. To win the race takes a positive mindset and that is what I'm going to provide on race day. I'm hoping to stick to the leading pack for almost 40km till I make a move to take the race. I know that strong athletes will be there but I have to take my chances and trust myself," he explained.

Mphakathi, who came third in 2018 Soweto Marathon will face strong competition from former winner Mike Fokoroni, who is back this year after missing the 2021 edition of the KwaZulu Natal ultra marathon. Defending champion Mhlakwana is not racing as he turns his attention to preparing for the Comrades Marathon in August.

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