The Comrades Marathon fever is building with a month to go until one of the largest Ultra-Marathon’s in the world and for two-time finisher Siphiwe Ndlela, the lofty heights of the race’s top ten are within his sights ahead of the 89 kilometre race’s start in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, 29 May.
His recent tenth place finish at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon has made the rest of the marathon world sit up and take notice as Ndlela launched his assault on the elite top ten at the Comrades.
However, despite his strong result in Cape Town, the emerging star from Ixopo was not entirely satisfied.
“I was reasonably happy with my tenth place finish at Two Oceans,” he said. “I was feeling strong throughout so I was hoping that I would have been able to go a bit faster during the race.”
“Although my time was good and it was a strong result, I think I could have done better!”
The 2016 edition was however his first 56km outing in the Western Cape and impressively Ndlela was just the third South African in the top ten, putting his Two Oceans effort into perspective and suggesting that his result was, in fact, a positive one.
The 2016 Comrades Marathon will be a third appearance at the ultra-marathon for Ndlela, who has shown a steady improvement in his results and taking on his second ‘down run’ is something that the 26-year old is looking forward to.
“I have done one down run and one up run and I think that I am stronger on the down run, which is exciting for me and plays into my hands as I hope to get into the top 10 this year.
“Last year’s race was not great as I had a problem with my shoes and picked up a foot injury during the race but I still managed to finish well in my first ever up run, so I took some confidence from that race and will use it this year,” Ndlela mentioned.
Ndlela has been a member of the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation supported Elite Athlete Development Programme since 2014 and has seen a dramatic increase in his performance since joining the programme.
The running talent hopes that his relationship with Prime HPI and the EADP will see him reach even higher heights come Comrades.
“Using the high-altitude chamber at Prime in my preparation for the Two Oceans this year was important in me achieving my top 10 result!
“Not only was that a big help for me for that event but over the last few years the programme has helped me with my nutrition as well as training and is helping me to become the best runner that I can be.
“I want to keep improving and hopefully I can achieve the results that I know I can!” a positive and grateful Ndlela added.
For more information visit www.eadp.co.za