LADIES FIRST — WHERE IS YOUR PICK?
Gerda Steyn has taken South African running by storm. As a young novice based in Dubai Steyn has grown race by race, and now is hot favourite following her move back to home in South Africa and a win in the Two Oceans marathon.
Over the past two years her marathon best has plummeted down under 2:40 and many feel she could break 2:30 if her focus was not on Comrades — BUT Comrades is her chosen focus and she looks the all round competitor – Strong of mind and body and fast…
Charne is a past winner with a well established career which includes representing South Africa in the marathon and Commonwealth Games of 2006 (along with Tanith Maxwell) .. A very strong mental approach certainly makes this a lady that must never be underestimated, and her maturity has given her a pacing ability that will pay rewards…
Tanith is the fastest lady marathoner in the field and an Olympian, but a novice to the Comrades.
She originates from Kloof and Westville so will be running home and has good reason to be highly motivated in her bid for the podium …
BUT IS IT POSSIBLE THAT CAROLINE IS RUNNING? _ The Pervious Comrades champion was spotted running on the beachfront in Friday …. is this a silent entry from A batch?
THE MEN WHO COULD MASTER THE DISTANCE:
Bongmusa is the first multiple South African Comrades winner since Bruce Fordyce – and for many he is the one who could do the back to back wins…
Calm, controlled, focused and as he puts it — a professional runner – This is his work..
BUT below this hard shell exterior is talented, fast strong and an emotional runner – a runner powered by emotion and desire – NOW THAT is a dangerous competitor… He will be on the podium and probably the top step.
Another of the six 100km runners in the top echelon (along with Rufus Photo, Ludwick Mamabolo, Bongmusa, David Gatebe and Prodical Khumalo who did his on a trail!) — Racing this distance (IMO) will have honed their minds. Their event over 10 flat hard working laps of 10km give them a mental edge – they know that to keep moving to ignore the pain they can and have gone further and faster …. Thats a confidence that you cant buy any other way but experience. – Past winner and hard competitor.
The old hand and many call him the Master of the Down run. He understands pacing – those who are ahead better have the talent and the mind to stay ahead or face being overhauled in the final 10km..
That final 5km of flat in this years event will be one of the toughest sections… a never closer Moses Mabhida stadium and a long straight (and hot?) road… dont let Mamabolo be the one chasing you!
The fastest ever down run athlete is not to be underestimated and with the shorter smoother, less energy-sapping start from Pietermaritzburg there is every reason to believe that he has the speed and the talent to get close to (perhaps even challenge) the record, but otherwise expect a 5:20 finish by someone. Its all in the weather.
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These 100k guys will run as a team / group and know what it takes – do not underestimate and for excitement watch for the gloves to come off with 18km to go!!
Prodigal is the local hero made good. The support for him will be vociferous and increase with each stride home to Durban.
Winner of the UCT 100k trail race and a previous Gold medal – and no more need be said than “If they make mistakes ahead .. i will punish them !!!”
The UK runner explains what Comrades has done to his life – how his focus has changed and how he now lives his year for one day .. just one day, when he can come to South Africa and enjoy something special — that is the exact recipe for him to repeat his Gold and it will be a bit higher up the table this year…. welcome back Steven