Reigning Comrades champion Edward Mothibi ready to break 50km world record
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By Matshelane Mamabolo
GQEBERHA - Edward Mothibi believes he has what it takes to not only win Sunday's Nedbank Runified, Breaking Barriers 50km world record attempt race but to smash the long-standing 2:43 mark too.
"I'm ready for the race and if all goes well, I know I can do it. This is a big event and I thrive on them. We are all hungry for action after not having races for a long time due to Covid-19. So we are going to give this one all we have and of course I want to win and break the record."
He admits though that it will take a massive effort for anyone of the about 100 athletes to go below the late Thomson Magawana's time set way back in 1988.
"This is a pressure event because everyone is expecting the record to be broken. But it is a positive pressure because it is encouraging all of us to go all out for a win even if we don't run the world record."
The 2019 Comrades Marathon winner described himself as being honoured to be a part of this historic race.
"The great thing about this is that even if it is not me who breaks the record, just being a part of the race means I would have contributed to pushing the winner to it and that alone will be an honour. Yes it will be his record but years down the line it would be great to say I was part of it."
Unlike organiser Nick Bester who has said he believes the race will favour the marathon specialists, Mothibi says the ultra runners are at an advantage.
"Honestly, this will favour the ultra guys. I mean after 42(.2) kilometres it will be difficult for the marathon guys to carry on at high speed. But for those who have done ultras it will be normal territory. Ultra runners also do a lot of speed work and have a longer endurance," the Nedbank Running Club athlete said.
Mothibi is one of six former Comrades champions on the start list.
The others are David Gatebe, Claude Moshiywa, Bongmusa Mthembu, Gerda Steyn and Charne Bosman. Steyn will be playing the pacing role for the female athletes who will be out to dip under Aly Dixon's three hours, seven minutes and 20 seconds mark.
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