ACTING city manager Lorette Tredoux, seated second from left, bids farewell to City of Tshwane Athletics Club Comrades runners.
Pretoria - Runners from the City of Tshwane are preparing to gird their loins for the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.

At least 25 runners from the City of Tshwane Athletic Club - six first-time entrants and eight women - will participate in the marathon.

After being supporters and onlookers last year, the Comrades Marathon bug bit the six first-time entrants.

The team includes runners from the mayoral office, finance, utility services, regional offices, community development, electricity, HR, planning and economic development and Tshwane Bus Service.

The City of Tshwane Athletics Club is affiliated to Athletics South Africa and caters for all City of Tshwane employees who are interested in walking, running or aerobics.

City employee Phillip Ralehlaka said preparations started 12 months ago and the real work in January when they participated in ultra-marathons and other races to prepare and show their capabilities.

“Running a couple of mini-races is not enough; to show their capability our team had to participate in many big races.

"To fully prepare we needed to do more mileage. On average a single person can over 1000km, accumulate mileage,” he said.

With permission from the City, the group trains on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm at Pilditch Stadium for about four hours each week.

Ralehlaka said everyone was ready to join the thousands in the race on Sunday.

“With a few days to go, the team cannot wait to participate. The waiting is killing us, we cannot wait to just get it over and done with,” he said.

Acting city manager Lorette Tredoux bid farewell to the runners, who head to KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.

Pretoria News