ULTIMATE RACE IS NO CHILD’S PLAY
By Anele Nduzulwana
The Comrade Marathon had a positive start as runners come in early, excited and confident to take part in the 90th ultimate race on a Sunday morning.
The starting moment was joyful yet the race that ran from Durban City Hall left runners exhausted and emotional by a prolonged distance and hot weather conditions in the finishing line in Pietermaritzburg.
Zimbabwean Stephen Muzhingi, who came eight position, collapsed and couldn’t walk shortly after he crossed the finish line.
He was taken for medical assistance by a stretcher and had to remain with the doctors throughout the day.
Muzhingi said that he started the race with confidant but that broke down within few kilometres before he riched the finish line.
“I didn’t want to stop because you loose medals when you quit. So you rather keep going to fulfil your dream of not only winning but to finish what you had started, ” he said.
He added that if you stop because of cramps, it shows that you have not trained enough for the race.
2nd time runner Khwakhiwawo Msinga from Umsinga said that he was determined to win as he had learned from the challenges of the previous race but this year became more challenging.
He said, “The weather that was too hot and the race was also fast but I see myself as hero because I didn’t quit along the way”.
Medical director Gerim Boulter, who has been volunteering in the marathon for 36 years, said that the main problems runners usually experience are dehydration and vomiting.
He said that medical assistance usually deal with more serious cases like heart attack and incident of people who take medication they shouldn’t take before racing.
“We always receive patients after every race but we do a wonderful job even though it’s volunteering”. Boulter said. “Everyone who works with medical team is a volunteer” he added.