‘Best runner’ triumphs again

2010-05-31 00:00

“HE is a good husband and the best runner in the world.”

These were the proud words of Erinah Magwaza, the wife of 2010 Comrades Marathon winner Stephen Muzhingi, who ran to the finish to greet her husband as he broke through the finish tape.

In her excitement, Magwaza grabbed their one-year-old son Mathen and ran to the finish line when she saw defending champion Muzhingi appear around the corner.

When Muzhingi broke through the finish tape, he ran straight into the arms of his wife and son.

At that moment, the cameras and even Comrades Marathon officials didn’t matter; all he wanted to do was to hold his wife.

After several hugs and kisses with Magwaza and his son, Muzhingi acknowledged the crowds, officials and the media.

Magwaza told The Witness that she always knew Muzhingi would win and that she is extremely proud of his accomplishment as he has sacrificed watching his son grow up to pursue his dream.

“I’m glad I could be with him this year, because last year I had just given birth when he won the race. Stephen is a good man and he deserves all these great things,” she said.

Clutching her son and shouting at the same time, Magwaza is clearly Muzhingi’s biggest fan.

“My husband trains so hard for this race. It’s his dream to be the best runner in the world. It doesn’t matter to me because every time he is out there, I know that he is running for me and our son,” she said.

The couple plan to usethe R250 000 prize money to build a home in Zimbabwe.

“It is a lot of money and we are going to use it wisely. It’s important that our son has a good future, so we want to plan for that,” she said.

Muzhingi burst into tears when he crossed the finish line; he didn’t break the record, but proved that he had the strength and determination to win the world’s toughest ultra marathon.

“It was tough for me today. My race only got better during the second half where I felt more comfor­table. I expected to win the race, but there was too much pressure,” Muzhingi said at a media briefing.

Muzhingi said he trained to break the record, and he is disappointed he did not achieve this.

He said the crowds along the route motivated him to keep going.

“They shouted and screamed. Their energy motivated me to keep running.

“I didn’t want to disappoint them because I know that many people wanted me to win,” he said.

IT was party time for Muzhingi’s family and friends in Zimbabwe last night.

Muzhingi’s training partner, Collen Makaza, said the entire village watched the race. The champion is from Chitsa in Masvingo province.

“This is a special win and I think we should celebrate his success. It’s great that people in Zimbabwe are also celebrating this great success,” Makaza said.

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