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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'My speed comes from track' - Mothibi looks ahead to Cape Town Marathon after PB at Absa JOBURG 10K

One of the most eye-catching performances at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K on Sunday was Edward Mothibi's top five finish. The 2019 Comrades Marathon champion who is known for being a four-time Comrades gold medalist, was the ultra cat amongst the 10km pigeons when he set a new personal best clocking of 29:53 to claim fifth position in a race won by his Nedbank Running Club teammate Namakoe Nkhasi. Mothibi was more than pleased with his effort especially after claiming yet another Comrades podium position just four months ago.

"Oh thank you so much, I'm very happy with my PB it shows there is still some speed in the legs," he told #TheTopRunner after his impressive run. Having gone into the Heritage Day race with a lifetime best of 30:55 set during the same race five years earlier, Mothibi found himself leading the likes of Nkhasi, Kabelo Mulaudzi and Mathews Leeto as the leading bunch ran on the M1 Highway."My intention for that day was to run 30 minutes. At some point the pace dropped too much so I decided to lead. Then in the last 3km, that's where I pushed hard because I knew I will be caught some of the boys," explained the man who will be 39 years old in November.

Mothibi celebrates a new 10km PB after finishing the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K on 24 September. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

That a man who is better known for his exploits over 90km had the confidence to lead athletes that are accustomed to running at speeds of 2:45 minutes per kilometre is an indication of both his shape and his confidence. But just how is the man who is coached by Dave Adams able to run under 3 minutes a kilometre for 10km - a feat which is exceedingly rare for ultra marathon stars?

"My speed comes from the background of track and cross country. I used to run 1500m, 5000m, 10000m and cross country. That's what I have done in my junior days. That's something our youth has to start before progressing to half marathons, marathons and ultra marathons," was the advice of the man who lives and trains in Rustenburg where he works for Implats.

A pumped up Onalenna Khonkhobe shows off his energy by doing push ups after completing the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K in fourth place. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

Having worked on his speed and armed with the endurance of a man used to running from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, Mothibi's next assignment is to improve on his 2:13:54 standard marathon best which was set at the 2021 Cape Town Marathon. "My next Big Race is the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. Honestly the training isn't too pleasant because of the hard run at Comrades. It's a bit tiring but I'm pushing. All we have done since then is speed work and some tempo runs. Holding thumbs to break my PB," he smiled.

In addition to Mothibi's strong run during the final instalment of the five-part 2023 Absa RUN YOUR CITY series, there were also good performances from Comrades Marathon record holder Tete Dijana who took 13th place in 30:54, while Onalenna Khonkhobe who was second at the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km in February ran a splendid 29:33 personal best to claim fourth position.

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