Nothando: I will reach the Comrades Marathon finish line!

Nothando Makhakha is a runner from Tsomo

This is an important week for Nothando Makhakha, a runner from the Eastern Cape who will be running the Comrades Marathon on Sunday this weekend.

Makhakha is a runner from Jarha village in Tsomo who started running in 2017 as a hobby. She had no dream of becoming a runner when she grew up, but the pressure of work made her turn to running. “As a working person, there are always problems that burden us. When I first started running, I just wanted something to distract my mind. There was never a thought that I should become a runner in my life,” said Makhakha speaking to this newspaper.

“In my early days there was the Legends Marathon. I met people while jogging preparing for it. I was also interested in attending. After meeting other runners at the Legends Marathon, I became more interested in running and something in me wanted to run the Comrades Marathon one day,” said Makhakha of the Chilli Athletics Club.

When the gunshot signalling the start of the race goes off on Sunday morning, this lady from Tsomo will be among the thousands of runners who will run from Pietermaritzburg to Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban where the race will conclude. A distance of 89 kilometres is difficult, especially for a beginner like Makhakha.

However, she said she is ready to run the Comrades Marathon after running 100 kilometres in the Mthatha marathon recently. “I am ready for Comrades. There was a race in Mthatha that I attended. I participated in it and took fourth place. The Comrades Marathon has a lesser distance than the last one I participated in, but I do not take it for granted because it is a huge race. I am sure I will get to the finish line. Even if I get there crawling on my knees, I will finish it,” said Makhakha who is determined to run the Comrades for nine hours. Among the races that Makhakha has run since 2017, there is the Two Oceans Marathon, Soweto Marathon, and Heroes Marathon.