Mpofu aims for marathon majors after setting a new Zimbabwean record
After setting a new national marathon record during the World Championships in Eugene last week, Zimbabwean Marathoner Isaac Mpofu is targeting a maiden appearance in the World Marathon Majors series later this year. Mpofu ran a sensational personal best of 2:07:56 to finish in tenth position while bettering the eight year old Zimbabwean national record of 2:09:52 previously held by Cuthbert Nyasango.
Speaking to #TheTopRunner, Mpofu was delighted with the performance he produced in Oregon saying it was a result of hard work. "Yeah, I'm so happy Boss with the way I ran. It is another positive step in my career so far. I knew had the fitness to do it (running a new PB) but not with that margin, but anything happens in a competition. So I did promise on the race day to give it all which I did. This is one of the best performances in my career. I couldn't ask for more. I thank God for that," said an elated Mpofu.
What makes the 33-year-old's achievement even sweeter are the hurdles he had to overcome in order to book his spot at the World Championships in the first place. In May, he won the Durban International Marathon race in a time of 2:10:24 (a new PB at the time) only to get disqualified for violating the race numbers rule after he didn't have a race number at the back of his vest. But National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) appealed the decision, which saw his official time reinstated and paved the way for him to represent his country in the US.
"I was a bit disappointed with what happened in Durban but it's life right, we have ups and downs. To me, that was my motivation because I knew I ran the qualification time. I braced myself to train harder and prove myself again. Today I'm joyous, and full of happiness because am now among the greatest in marathon events. But I ain't reach my target yet. 2:05, I think that's what I must work hard for it," explained the Nedbank Running Club athlete.
Mpofu believes his performance will draw recognition from organizers of some of the world's best marathon races."I hope my performance will provide me with opportunities I never had before. It must open doors that were closed before. I'm aiming to run these big marathons like Valencia, London and Boston Marathon. Besides, the World Championships are happening next year so I must train hard for them plus the Olympics games are also in mind," he said.