JOHANNESBURG – You would expect Charné Bosman’s main goal as she heads into the 92nd edition of the Comrades Marathon on Sunday to be the defence of her title.
A winner of the down run last year, Bosman is among the favourites for this year’s up run, and many are already talking of her emulating Frith van der Merwe and winning The Ultimate Human Race back to back.
Bosman’s mind, though, is set on personal goals that, if achieved, could well catapult her into those other glorious achievements.
“All I’d love to do is run faster than I did two years ago,” says Bosman.
“Of course it would be nice to win. But I never focus on that or any other runners at the race. I always run my own race, and I believe I’ve prepared well for this year. I’ve just arrived in Durban, having spent a good 27 days of training in Graskop. So, I am here to just give it my best.
“I made a lot of sacrifices and I have trained hard,” Bosman says. “I did a 6hr23 in 2015, and my goal this year is to go faster than that.”
Back then, Bosman finished second behind Caroline Wöstmann, with whom she swapped positions as she captured the holy grail of local road running.
“I also want to run a negative split. My aim is to go faster in the second half than in the first half. I am back from some intensive training in the mountains, and now it is time to run.”
That her rival Wöstmann won’t be competing is not even on Bosman’s mind. Neither is the fact that there are some top international runners such as Camille Herron and Jasmin Nunige, who are considered potential winners.
Although the mind play games, tapering is as important, if not more, than the hard training that you have done. Trust the process. U R Ready pic.twitter.com/Mj3OdDWZFO
“I only follow my own race plan and I don’t bother about other athletes. Of course I am aware of them and their abilities. If any other athlete is better trained than me and they beat me, I can’t worry about that. For me, this is a race against the 86 or so kilometres.”
She does admit, though, that it would be brilliant to retain the title or even do so in record time.
“Of course you dream of such things and it would be a dream come true to retain the title and to break the record. But I am simply going to go out there and execute the plan. I will listen to my body and won’t even think of the record until maybe at the last 20km, because then I’ll be aware of how I am going.”
Such has been her consistency in the last two races that you can bet it will go well, even to the extent of her retaining her title. And who knows, maybe even in record time.