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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Nobuhle Tshuma dedicates Soweto Marathon performance to the late Action Ramaboea

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

The tears welled up in her eyes, when Nobuhle Tshuma spoke about the influence that the Action Ramaboea had on her running career. Born in Zimbabwe but raised in Thembisa, Buhle was orphaned at a young age and taken in by a neighbour who encouraged her to take up running. Completing her first 10km in one hour and three minutes, Tshuma persevered and was soon at the sharp end of the ladies field in local 10km races. It was her determination to improve that caught the eye of the late Ramaboea.

"I feel like I can cry when I think about Action because he is the one who taught me everything. Where I am today because of him. I wish he was still alive so he can see what I am doing now," she told #TheTopRunner after claiming her first ever top ten finish at the Soweto Marathon this weekend.

Tshuma in action during the 2022 Soweto Marathon. Photo Credit: Givemore Mudzinganyama.

The Entsika Athletic Club athlete was sixth at the People's Race on Sunday in 2:50:24. Although she holds a 2:43 marathon personal best which was set when she won the 2018 Mossel Bay Marathon, her performance on Sunday in one of the country's biggest road running stages has been described as a breakthrough run. And for that she credits her coach Hendrik Ramaala, whom she joined at his Zoo Lake training base on the advice of Ramaboea.

"I was scared of the Ethiopians," she revealed when asked about her impressive performance on a notoriously hilly route run 1600m above sea level. "But at the same time, I was relaxed. I had wanted to make it into the top four, but I couldn't. I'm still happy," said the woman who started her running in the colours of Elim Clinic a club known for developing talented youngsters from Thembisa.

But the most inspiring part about Tshuma's journey is the challenges she had to overcome in order to be fit enough to race Soweto. You see last year she had a baby and struggled to shed the baby weight. Upon returning to the sport, she found it difficult to hold even 7 min/km pace. When others told her to give up running, she simply put her head down and worked. The Under Armour ambassador says although being a mother and full-time runner is not easy, it is possible especially when one enjoys good support from a club like Entsika Athletic Club. She advises women to be patient with themselves when trying to get fit after giving birth.

"They must take time to allow the body to recover. They don't have to rush. So the idea is to do more long runs in the beginning. Then maybe after some six months you can start adding some tempo runs and then speed sessions after about 8 months. It was difficult because I got some injuries as I was trying to push hard too early. So you need to be patient and take time," she smiled.

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