top of page
2024 Absa RYC D10K Banner_edited.jpg
  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Tshabalala confirms status as trail running legend with 3rd successive K-WAY SkyRun 100km victory

"I want to inspire the young generation of trail runners that nothing in this world is impossible." These were the words of Simon Tshabalala when asked what keeps him motivated to win the SkyRun 100km year after year. Over the weekend, Tshabalala rewrote himself into the history books by claiming a third consecutive victory during teh 100km race in the heart of Drankensberg Mountain in the time of 14:14:40 . Thato Kabeli, who was the second runner to cross the finish line in 5:59:58, had no answers for Tshabalala. Despite his dominant performance, the Pirates Athletics Club top runner says it was challenging.


"The race keeps throwing surprises at me every year. I came across a different challenge on the route again this year. A day before the event, It was raining hard and when we started it was slippery on the route. Then as the race progressed, the sun came out and it was very hot. It took a lot of effort to run that time. The hot conditions were brutal and at times, we had to slow down. In the last 20km, I nearly stopped and even thought about quitting the race. Things were tough for me. But I remembered one thing that I'm not a quitter in life. So I pushed till the finish line. So this victory is different from my previous two wins. In the end, I'm happy to win it in a record three times in a row," he explained.

Tshabala on his way to a third consecutive K-WAY SkyRun 100 title. Photo Credit: K-WAY SkyRun.

Having switched from road running to the trails in 2017, the 43-year-old says the achievements he obtained in a very short space of time have come as a result of good coaching. "When I started to run trail, it was me trying something different. I didn't know that I would end up being successful so quickly," said Tshabalala, who trains under the watchful eye of trail running legend Lucky Miya.

"The only thing I had was the right attitude to finish what I started. When I was doing road running what I noticed is that I didn't receive good coaching. I was running because I knew I had potential to run fast. But in trail running my progress was fast, especially after meeting Bra Lucky (Miya) who guided me to master the sport. He is one of the guys including Thabang Madiba and Eric Ngubane, who are motivating me everyday that I can be successful in trail. But with Miya, we share so much since he is my coach. He is the reason, I keep getting better and better."


A dominant Tshabalala won the race by more than an hour and 45 minutes from runner-up Thato Kabeli (15:59:58), with Dirk Immelmen taking third place (15:59:59). Photo Credit: K-WAY SkyRun.

The man, who hails from the town of Bethlehem in the Free State, hopes his good perfomances will inspire the next generation of trail runners. But before he hangs up his trail running shoes, he still has more on his to-do list for next year. "I'm hoping these victories will motivate young generation to keep going and never give up in life. I have been performing well but sponsors are a bit slow in coming," said an emotional Tshabalala who is sponsored by Hoka.

"At times I think of quitting the trail all together because its tough to make a living as a full time trail runner. But I keep pushing. I'm not doing this for me but for every kid who dreams of being like me. I hope they can succeed to see their dreams fulfilled. Before I retire, I want to get an overseas race. If that can happen next year, I would be happy. To get international competition might open more doors for me. Plus I'll get to interact with international runners. That my biggest wish." 

249 views0 comments


bottom of page