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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Mpofu returns to Boston as part of Olympic preparations

Zimbabwean long-distance running ace Isaac Mpofu is set to line up at the start of the Boston Marathon on the 15th of April as part of his training for the upcoming Olympic Games in France later this year. It will be the second time Mpofu gets to run this prestigious race having participated last year when he finished in 19th place overall in a time of 2:14:11. The 35-year-old former Durban International Marathon winner believes the preparation before taking on the streets of Boston is intact and the race in Massachusetts on Patriot's Day is similar the course that will be used at the Paris Olympics.  

Mpofu celebrating after winning the 2022 Durban International Marathon in 2:10:24 only to be disqualified. His time has been reinstated but Tumelo Motlagale who came second is recognized as the official winner of the race. Photo Credit: Durban International Marathon.

"I was there last year in Boston. It is a tough course, which I wish to do again this year.  It will test my stamina and strength. I had so many races to choose from as my profile now can put me in any race in the world, so options were available to me. But I chose Boston because I know the course and am going there to challenge my previous time. So it’s much like competing against myself. Any result I get there will direct us on which way to take on my remaining Olympic preparation." 

And the man who runs in the colours of the Nedbank Running Club whenever he races in South Africa is confident that his overall Olympic preparation are on the right track after he won the Kazungula Marathon in Botswana last month.  "Yeah it was part of the plan to have some races before the Olympics. I do them in order to asses my fitness," explains the man coached by Benson Chauke.

Mpofu in action at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon where he produced a then personal best clocking of 2:07:56. Photo Credit: Supplied.

Mpofu who is his country's national record holder over the standard marathon distance with the lifetime best time of 2:06:48 clocked during the 2022 Valencia Marathon revealed that representing Zimbabwe at the Olympics was something he never imagined. He further encouraged upcoming runners from his homeland to work hard.

"Yeah, I have," when asked about whether he has reached the highpoint of his career. "But I can still do better by improving on times. Back then I wasn’t sure that I could make it, but with maturity in sports, comes the feeling that I could do this. That’s when I thought of challenging the Olympics qualification times," he told #TheTopRunner.

"For the upcoming runners they must have focus, dedication and discipline in order to accumulate success. Besides that they must also train hard and listen to their coaches."

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