MY COMRADES STORY BY THOMAS MUDAU
“Since my childhood, I was never one for sports. Then in October 2015, I went to the South African Police Service (SAPS) College in Tshwane for training. I realised that fitness was one of the key priorities in SAPS and decided to get involved in sporting activities.
I realized that every bit counts when in 2016, I started doing local 10km races. My love for the sport soon started blossoming which saw me doing longer distances. Before I knew it, I was running 21 km races.
As a SAPS member, we are required to undergo a Fitness Assessment at least once every year to ensure that we meet the minimum fitness levels required by SAPS in order to effectively and efficiently perform assigned duties.
For me to keep up with the fitness that was required, I developed the pastime of running at least five days a week. This naturally developed into running marathons.
I realised I had talent when I started running 42.2km and managed to run a qualifying time for Comrades. I then decided to register for the 2019 Comrades Marathon, the biggest and best ultramarathon in the world.
I managed to qualify with the time of 03:51:42 and so my journey to the #Comrades2019 start line began. I ran my first Comrades Marathon in a time of 09:54:18 and earned my Robert Mtshali Medal.
In 2020 and 2021 was difficult years for athletes as the Comrades Marathon was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This naturally affected the fitness level of most of the athletes.
Against all odds, after the Covid-19 pandemic, I managed to run my 2nd Comrades Marathon in 2022. From a time of 09:54:18 in 2019, I set myself a target of 9 hours in 2022.
I finished in 08:51:51 and got my Bill Rowan Medal. The journey continued to the 2023 Comrades Marathon which I managed to finish in 08:23:04, proving that I can continue improving when I put my mind to it.
The Comrades Marathon brings out the best in you. The race inspires us and makes us feel like we can achieve anything. Bring on 2024! I have high hopes!”
The winner of this month’s Mr Price Sport voucher is Thomas Mudau.