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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Urithi AC dominate inaugural Tshwane North Ultra 50km

Brenda Marolen couldn't help but smile from ear to ear after her club's dominant performance at the inaugural Tshwane North Ultra 50km yesterday. Tumisho Magakwe won the men's 50km race by four minutes when he crosses the finish line at the Akasia Community Hall in 3:02:06 while Piet Sebalo's 1:10:43 was enough for victory in the 21km event. Marolen who is a founding member and chairperson of Urithi Athletic Club says seeing up and coming athletes win races makes her happy because it's exactly why they started the club.

"It's a clean sweep," she laughed excitedly. "Coming to the Tshwane North Ultra 50k is part of what has been a long buildup which start in January with Tumisho. He unfortunately missed Om Die Dam where he took second place last year. So this year he has been working very hard to do well at an ultra and what a way to celebrate with a win at an inaugural race."

Urithi's Tumisho Magakwe from Mpumalanga coasted to a comfortable four minute victory at the TNU 50km. Photo Credit: Lifutso Mabua.

And this is just the beginning because Marolen says the club whose name means legacy in Swahili has bold plans for the future. According to Marolen Urithi was founded in 2020 with the sole purpose of unearthing future champions that will go on represent the country on the global stage.

"Urithi is about development," she told #TheTopRunner. "Urithi is about preparing future champions and we've given ourselves three years to do that which means we are working on vision 2024. This is our second year of preparing the runners that we adopted and signed to develop to be champions. We saw that there is a gap in the running space - especially in development so the aim is to develop athletes for the national teams.We are working on that plan to say that we need a next generation of runners."

From Left: Joseph Manyedi, Johannes Makgetla and Edward Mothibi used the TNU 50km as a long training run ahead of the Comrades Marathon on 11 June. Photo Credit: Lifutso Mabua.

Also in attendance at the Tshwane North Ultra 50km were Comrades champions Gift Kelehe (2015) and Edward Mothibi (2019) who brought the rest of his Nedbank Running Club teammates from Rustenburg. The Happy Bunch as they are known took it easy (3:35:39 running in full tracksuits) and used the hilly race through the north of the nation's capital as part of their buildup to take on The Ultimate Human Race on 11 June.

"I'm very happy that I managed to come with the whole Happy Bunch. The course was very good. It's a good course for training for Comrades because the first 35km was was not that tough and I was waiting to see where are all those hills they were talking about. But the last 15km gave us flames! The Comrades is close by so the only thing that you can do is stick to your plan and your training," said Mothibi.

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Kamohelo Mphuthi
Kamohelo Mphuthi
Apr 25, 2023

TNU well organised... We will call again 2024. The last 15km hills are something else. I come across hill called Lesotho mountain jerrrr!

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