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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Olympian Tanith Maxwell returns to running and is planning to run Comrades this year

After a persistent Achilles injury which has forced her out of action for years, Tanith Maxwell is breathing a sigh of relief that she is back on the road and has managed to continue with her passion of running. The veteran Boxer Athletic Club top runner announced her return with an encouraging podium finish at a local race over the weekend. But as she has revealed to #TheTopRunner, the injuries almost forced her to quit running.

"I won't lie to you, at one stage the feeling of retiring came across my mind," explained the 46-year-old. "To struggle with injuries for quite some time nearly made me lose interest in the sport. But I reminded myself that I entered with passion so I intend to follow it as I have done over the years. That's when I started having a positive attitude and believing that I would bounce back."

Maxwell is back on the road and winning medals again. Photo Credit: Supplied.

An Achilles operation September last year meant her comeback was to be launched in 2023. She ran her first race at the Spartan Harriers Firgrove Challenge 15km race in the first week of February and then followed that up with third place finish at the 27 for Freedom Mandela Remembrance race in Franschoek over on Saturday. Maxwell believes that the best is yet to come.

"I'm happy to have secured a podium finish plus managing to run the longest distance since my operation. I'm building up nicely on the road to recovery and finding that old form again. Truly speaking, the time I ran over the weekend (2:05:36) still requires a lot of improvement in order to become more competitive. The good thing though is to be on the road with people who share my passion for running," she said.

Maxwell participating in the London Marathon. Photo Credit: Supplied.

With Maxwell having received a special invitation through her sponsors New Balance to participate in the London Marathon scheduled on the 23rd of April - things are really looking up. The new is yet to sink in. She will be running the race for the third time having taken in 2010 and 2011 before she represented South Africa at the 2012 London Olympics.

"I still can't believe that I'm going to run London Marathon once again. I have lot of memories on the streets of London. I think the race came a little bit early for me as I'm still building towards of getting the full fitness. So my expectations this year are bit different. We have agreed with the coach that I must take it slow and stick to the program. The big aim is to enjoy it without putting myself under unnecessary pressure. That's where you see an importance of having a coach to guide you into making right choices in your career," said Maxwell, who is coached by Andrew Bosch, who is also an exercise physiologist at University of Cape Town.

Maxwell recovering after her surgery in 2022. Photo Credit: Tanith Maxwell.

Her main goal this year is to run the Comrades Marathon in June if the training goes well. "My dream is to run Comrades this year if I feel the training has put me in good shape. One thing I always tell people is to not run Comrades if you are not 100 percent prepared. So Comrades is on top of the list for my 2023 races," concludes Maxwell, who claimed fourth position on her debut Comrades run in 2018.

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