South African athletics icon Zola Budd has confirmed she will run this year’s Comrades Marathon for the first time.
Budd, who arrived in SA on Friday, was in Durban at the weekend and chatted to runners and all Comrades hopefuls on Sunday morning at the King’s Park Athletic Track. She was thought to have discussed the “natural” style of running at a practical running seminar with renowned coach, Norrie Williamson.
She was scheduled to jog along the beachfront on Friday evening, but the run was cancelled as she was delayed in Joburg.
Budd, who was famous for winning races and breaking records while running barefoot, was crushed after American track star Mary Decker stumbled into her at the 3 000m final at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, when she was only 18 years old.
Budd was disqualified, but was later reinstated after being found not responsible for the collision by the IAAF jury.
She now divides her time between the US, where she is based, and her home town of Bloemfontein and in an almost ironic twist, is an an agent for Newton running shoes.
She will also host a natural running seminar at the Moses Mabhida Stadium Visitors’ Centre on Monday evening starting at 6pm, along with the King’s Park Sports Medicine Team, where she will also have a question and answer session.
She will make a final appearance at a track training session at the Port Natal School between 5pm and 6pm on Tuesday evening.