Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
15 Feb 2014
8:00 am

Mzazi ready to make debut

Wesley Botton

One of South Africa's most accomplished road runners in recent years, Gladwin Mzazi, will make his standard marathon debut before the end of the season.

Gladwin Mzazi
Picture: Gallo Images

Mzazi, who will turn out in the Bestmed Tuks 10km race in Pretoria today, confirmed this week he had already started early preparations for his first 42km race.

“I’m planning to run my first marathon later this year, probably in November or December,” he said.

“We haven’t decided on a race yet. My manager will make that decision, but I’m hoping to get into a race where the leaders are going for 2:07 or 2:08 because I want to run under 2:10.”

While he had hoped to compete at the World half-marathon championships in Copenhagen next month, Mzazi was selected as the non-travelling reserve by Athletics South Africa’s interim leadership after finishing fourth at last year’s national championships.

The final team remained uncertain, with ASA’s administrators locked in a battle behind the scenes, but Mzazi confirmed he had already made plans to compete elsewhere.

“My manager has organised a race in Prague on April 5, a week after the world champs,” said Mzazi, who finished 18th at the global 21km spectacle in Kavarna two years ago.

“I’m glad I’ll still be able to compete in an international event.” Mzazi finished fourth last year in the popular Bestmed race, which also includes a half-marathon, relinquishing his 10km course record to Kgosi Tsosane, who won in 29:16.

Holding a three-year-old personal best of 28:27, Mzazi was confident he was in form to chop a few seconds off Tsosane’s mark, but he expected a stiff challenge from the elite men’s field.

“I’m in good shape but the competition is going to be tough.”