Maxwell aims high in 2010

2009-12-19 00:00

THE one thing South Africa’s fastest marathoner will not be doing this holiday season is taking a break. Kloof-based Tanith Maxwell, who has established herself as the country’s No. 1 marathoner over the past couple of years, will be in full training over the next few weeks because she heads for China the day after Christmas where she will be competing in the Xiamen City Half-Marathon on January 2.

Maxwell was nominated with Moses Lepheana to represent Durban in the event, which attracts over 30 000 runners for a mix of five kilometre, 10 kilometre, half-marathon and full marathon distances.

The course is an A to B commencing from the city’s massive conference centre and using a fast coastal route where the maximum climb is around 20 metres at any point.

Together with the cool winter weather, the province seems to be experiencing, Maxwell has every chance of improving on her 74-minute personal best for the 21 kilometre distance, and this will be an ideal year-opener for the 33-year-old Boxer athlete, who plans to make 2010 a year to remember.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity. I’m just so honoured to have been asked to represent the city,” said the Boxer athlete.

“This [Xiamen] fits so well into my programme for the year. Training is going so well.”

This was re-emphasised by her win in Wednesday’s 23 km KwaZulu Weavers Summer Holiday race, where despite the altitude and undulating course she finished in a little over 91 minutes in a normal training week.

Maxwell, who already has a qualifying standard for next year’s Commonwealth Games, received another boost recently with the announcement that she has been accepted in the Elite field of next year’s London Marathon on April 25.

The list of 19 elite women is headed by past winners Deena Kastor (USA) and Germany’s Irina Mikitenko, the only two women in the field to have beaten two hours 20 minutes.

“This is a dream come true. South of England has been my base in recent years when I go to European races, and I have always wanted to do London. Now it’s becoming a reality,” said an enthusiastic Maxwell.

“With the 2012 Olympics on the horizon, there is added incentive, and there will be a number of other runners around going for the same sort of 2:30 time I would hope to achieve in that race.”

On returning and recovering from China, Maxwell will move to the high-altitude centre in Potchefstroom where she prepared for the Berlin World Championships and undertake her London preparation with the SA Cross Country squad due to compete in Poland at the end of March.

While most South African road runners will be slowing down for the festive season, Maxwell will be gearing up to get the year off to a bang and to turn New Year resolutions into time in a new level of competition.

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