DURBAN - Seven time Comrades Marathon gold medallist, Mncedisi Mkhize, believes that this year there will be no disastrous performance on his part in the Ultimate Human Race, as he will be running in honour of former gold medallist and friend Siphiwe Ndlela.
“I will miss Siphiwe. We were suppose to meet in the Zululand Marathon but it was never meant to be. He was my good friend. We used to share everything as elite athletes. I will run the Comrades in his honour,” said Mkhize
“He had a great future ahead of him. Age was still on his side. He was a good ambassador for KwaZulu-Natal and the Comrades. I have no doubt that he was going to win the race one day.”
Ndlela received gold medals in 2016 and last year in the Comrades. He passed on earlier this year after a short illness at 29. The Maxed Elite Athletic Club athlete failed to impress in his fourth race last year and was forced to bail out after 72km due to hamstring injury.
Mkhize, meanwhile, had his best Comrades Marathon eleven years ago. He finished third in 2007 behind Grigory Murzin and winner Leonid Shvetsov, both Russians.
Mkhize revealed that since then, he had been overworking himself during training, which was having an adverse affect on his running.
“I was killing myself with training, I was doing it even harder than before. I used to get tired during the race as a result and ended up not winning but now I have learnt from those mistakes.”
The hard working Mkhize, wants to be first into the Moses Mabhida Stadium on June 10, as the injury that has been troubling him is now gone.
“I want to be the first athlete to reach Mabhida ... I have fully recovered from my hamstring injury. I ran well during the Zululand in March and finished fourth. That was my last race before Comrades. I am done with my training now, and I am waiting for race day.”
Mkhize made it clear that he is not a supporter of running with endurance supplements.
“I eat ready made porridge with fruit in the morning. During the day I eat porridge and boiled chicken or rice and chicken. I love sweet potatoes and potatoes, anytime when I feel like I can eat. I only drink energy drinks after training.”
Moreover, Mkhize, revealed he prefers to prepare by himself, rather than going to camps with teammates.
“I fail to learn anything about my opponents before the race. They are a secret to me. I prefer to meet them on race day. I do not believe in camps. They are training in the same area as Mthwalume where I live and train everyday before the race, so I see no difference,” said a confident Mkhize.