Three-time Comrades Marathon winner Stephen Muzhingi has left no stone unturned in his quest to overcome the agony of poor performance as he prepares for what could be his last dance in the competition.
Report By Brian Nkiwane
The race, which will be an uphill this time around, is set to start in Durban at 5:30am and expected to end in Pietermaritzburg at 5:30pm next Sunday with 18 000 athletes having registered to take part in the race.
Muzhingi’s Twitter Page was awash with posts that suggested that he was more than ready for the race.
“I am ready for the race. It’s only nine days to go,” read one of the posts.
“I am now 100% on track and I am now feeling very confident of my ability,” read another post.
His latest post read: “Injury is gone,” referring to nagging right leg injury which saw him coming sixth in last year’s race.
He also had a dismal show in this year’s Two Oceans Marathon, which he failed to defend after winning it last year.
The Zimbabwean athlete holds the second best Comrades Marathon time after winning the race in a time of 5h 23minutes in 2009, the first time he won the race before winning it in 2010 and 2011, but failing to beat his best time which he had set in 2009.
Meanwhile, Nedbank Athletics Club continued to lose a number of athletes that had registered to take part in this year’s race.
The latest athlete to withdraw from the race is Kami Semick, who finished fourth in 2010 and third in the 2011 due to a recurring injury.
Responding to a email regarding her preparations, Kami confirmed the bad news.
“I kicked a rock and jammed my hip a couple of weeks ago during a peak training session. I’ve been getting physical therapy, but still not able to run consistently. I’m going to get an MRI today, but not being able to run for two weeks is a bad sign. Looks like the stars are not aligning for anyone,” read the response.
Kami joins a long list of Nedbank Running Club gold medallists and star athletes that have already withdrawn from the race due to injuries.
The list includes, Ellie Greenwood, Lizzy Hawker, Devon-Crosby Helms (Yanko), Emma Gooderham, Kajsa Berg, Billy Burns, Caroline Wostmann and Leonad Svethof.