THREE-TIME Comrades Marathon winner Stephen Muzhingi says he has fully recovered from a nagging calf injury and will be ready for the annual Nelson Mandela Day Marathon set for next month.
The ultra-marathon runner has been struggling with the injury for a long time now, and that was seen as the cause for his below par performance at the last Comrades where he finished in tenth position.
But Muzhingi, who is currently in the country, has confirmed that he will take part in the Nelson Mandela Day Marathon on August 25 as he prepares for the International Association of Ultra-runners (IAU) 100km World Championships in October.
When asked on Twitter by wheelchair tennis star Nyasha Mharakurwa on his condition, Muzhingi said: “I’m getting there. I’m going to South Africa soon to finish my rehab.”
He added: “My leg is almost 100% now so I will be back at training soon. I will be in SA so hope to run the Nelson Mandela race. I will do the 10km but easy as I don’t want to hurt my leg again — it’s just coming right.”
The inaugural Nelson Mandela Day Marathon last year was an all-Zimbabwean affair after veteran runner Brighton Chipere won the main 42km marathon while compatriot Munyaradzi Jari came second.
The female category was also won by a Zimbabwean runner Muchaneta Gwata.
The Nelson Mandela Day Marathon, which has a R500 000 purse this year, is held over the gruelling course from Imbali outside Pietermaritzburg, through Hilton and then to the finishing line at Howick, a place where Mandela made his last speech before he was arrested and subsequently incarcerated at Robben Island for 27 years.
Organisers of the event said, “This race is destined for nothing less than being the greatest such as the icon it is associated with.”
Veteran athletes Bruce Fordyce, a ninetime Comrades Gold medallist, and 1992 New York Marathon winner Willie Mtolo have confirmed their participation in the race.