Collen Mulaudzi believes training with Stephen Mokoka gives him an advantage as he goes into the weekend’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon
The Boxer Athletic runner is realistic enough, however, to not put himself under the pressure of wanting to replace his mentor as champion of Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label Status race.
“Of course I want to do well in Cape Town and I got some great advice from Stephen which I intend to heed. He told me to merely strive for a local podium finish as my time to be champion will come in the next two years.”
Mulaudzi finished 15th overall last year and was the fourth South African home when Mokoka blitzed the field to set a new course record.
“I rate Stephen very highly, I look up to him and Benedict Moeng as my mentors - they have a lot of marathon experience and I want to emulate their successes,” he said.
Mulaudzi knows that the race is likely to be just as fast if not faster than last year given the calibre of athletes on the start list and has set himself the goal of running a better time than he did on his debut.
“It was the first time I ran the race last year and I did 2:18:50 and my aim is obviously to better than this time around.
“And we know that there are top athletes who will be coming to Cape Town with some great PBs, the likes of the Peter Some, who has a 2:05 and Rarifu Kimku, who has ran a 2:06.
“They are both from Kenya and we all know their reputations as great runners.”
Unlike last year when he went to the race over-trained, the 26-year-old believes he has paced himself very well and will get to the start line fresh and ready to fire.
“I was tired last year because I went to Cape Town straight after the Cross Country Championships.
“Also I had not done enough mileage for the race like I did this time around.
“Stephen has been monitoring my training and he helped me rectify the mileage issue. So I am in good shape and I am hoping to pace myself well,” he added.
Unlike the majority of South Africans who will mainly be using the race as an Olympic qualifier, the man from Ramahantsha village in Makhado, Limpopo will not have Tokyo on his mind as he pounds the streets of the Mother City.
“It is a dream of every athlete to represent his country in the Olympics but for me that is not the focus. Of course if it happens it will be my biggest achievement and I would be delighted.”
He goes into the race on the back of a pretty good year that has seen him clock some PBs.
“I set my new PB in 10km in Morocco although I was in position 10. I went on to set my new PB in the Half Marathon at Port Elizabeth of 62:03.”
With that kind of time in the 21.1km, Mulaudzi clearly has it in him to realise his goal of being among the top South African finishers in Cape Town on Sunday.
posted Monday September 9th