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Comrades runner to dedicate run to mother

The runner from KwaMashu is celebrating her mother at this year's Comrades Marathon as her mother turns 85.

FOUR-TIMES Comrades Marathon runner Lala Cele has announced that she is running for her mother who turns 85 years old during the upcoming race.

Lala, who has run two Up Runs and two Down Runs, is aiming to complete her fifth run of the world’s oldest and largest ultramarathon on June 9. The 97th running of Comrades 2024 is back to an Up Run following two consecutive Down Runs.

Also read: Mumbai runner eager to hit the Comrades road

The female runner from KwaMashu, north of Durban, says: “This year, my mother is turning 85 years old, so my run is to celebrate her, and luckily enough, the distance for this year’s race is 85.91km which coincides with her 85th year’s celebration. No matter how old I get, I will never grow out of needing my mother. Thank you to my mother for always being there for me in good and bad times.”

She revealed that she is a bit nervous but ready for the Up Run since she last ran it in 2019. Lala, who is running the Comrades under HollywoodBets Athletic Club, says she enjoys running the Up Run because she recovers quickly after the race. “To me, there is no difference between running up or down. I have noticed that I recover quickly from running up, though. I had mixed emotions [after my first run] and have never been more proud of myself than I was after conquering my first Comrades,” she continues.

Also read: Interesting facts about the Comrades Marathon

She admits that Comrades has not only taught her about herself but also about life in general. Lala explains: “I have learned that despite the challenges on your journey, you must keep going until you reach your destination or goal. Another thing is that Comrades training takes you away from your social life, and after the race, I use all the time to reconnect with my family and friends.”

Lala advises runners who want to finish the Up Run to ensure that they build up to the race and are mentally and physically fit. When asked about her running goals, Lala said her goal is to run as long as her body allows her to.

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