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#Comrades2024: Son to run ultimate human race for late mom

“I’m looking forward to the finish line and the experience.”

The Boksburg Athletic Club (BAC)’s youngest Comrades Marathon entrant, Keagan Sutherland, will run his debut ultimate human race on Sunday (June 9) in honour of his mother.

She died of a brain tumour a week before his Ironman debut in November at the Isuzu Ironman 70.3 in Mossel Bay. He finished the event in 06:12:54 on his first attempt.

“Before her death, I promised my mom I would run the Comrades for her because she always wanted to do this race and the Two Oceans Marathon.

Keagan Sutherland will run his first Comrades Marathon.

“The week after she died, I did Ironman, a testament to my mental strength. I’m well prepared for the Comrades,” he said at the BAC’s send-off breakfast at Cappello’s on June 2.

Although an injury affected the 27-year-old’s training, he still clocked around 800km in preparation for the race. He said he is ready and looking forward to tackling the 85.9km route from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.

Keagan Sutherland with BAC chairperson Karen Bradshaw.

“I’m looking forward to the finish line and the experience. I put in a lot of effort, time and sacrifices. I’m looking forward to the starting line and enjoying the whole journey with the team I’ve been training with.”

He said he is mentally and physically ready, adding that the Ironman in Mossel Bay gave him a taste of what to expect in the ultramarathon.

“I’m 100% ready. Last year, I did my first Ironman, my first endurance race. I’ve got a taste of how this will be. That’s where it started, with me wanting to grow and push myself.”

The BAC runners going for their back-to-back medals.

“I realised the only thing in life that keeps you back is your mind. If you can push your mind to do anything, ultimately, you can achieve whatever you want.”

Isabella Dicks will also line up alongside Sutherland for her first Comrades. She told the paper she’s well prepared and has clocked about 1 400km in mileage since the start of her training.

Isabella Dicks will make her Comrades Marathon debut.

“I just want to finish the race,” she said.

“The Comrades is one of my bucket list items, and I’ve always dreamt about participating in it. It shows you how strong you are.”

Despite his training hampered by injuries and illness, Werner van der Berg looks forward to his 10th Comrades and receiving his green number at the end.

Werner van der Berg will earn his green number. He is seen here with BAC chairperson Karen Bradshaw.

“It’s my 10th run. It has to be special. I didn’t have good training leading up to this because of sickness and injuries. But I will be at the start on Sunday. The big thing is that it’s also my brother’s 10th race. Although he’s fitter than I am, we’ll be lining up and finishing together,” he said.

Club stalwart Josiah Makoro, who will run his 30th race, advised the novices to be patient and stick to their race plan if they want to finish.

Josiah Makoro will run his 30th Comrades.

“Don’t be overly excited. Because of the excitement at the start, runners tend to go out fast. Listen to your body and stick to your pace. When you reach the halfway mark, the race is finished. So, stick to your plan and ignore those going past you,” said Makoro.

The race starts at 05:30 in Durban and will finish in Pietermaritzburg at 17:30.

Also Read: Makoro to complete his 30th Comrades Marathon

Also Read: #Comrades2024: ‘Start slower to avoid suffering in the second half’

 

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