Eesou’s road to World Student Games

2017-08-16 06:05
Mariano Eesou in the lead.Photo:SUPPLIED

Mariano Eesou in the lead.Photo:SUPPLIED

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INSPIRED by the long and lonely hours on the road, Nelson Mandela University distance runner Mariano Eesou is targeting a podium in the half marathon at the World Student Games which start on Saturday and run until August 30.

The 25-year-old Bestmed Madibaz star is determined to finish the race in Taipei, Taiwan, strongly after collapsing at the finish in South Korea two years ago.

“Last time I got very dehydrated during the race and I still can’t remember the last kilometre,” said the second-year sports management student.

“I collapsed as I went over the line and when I opened my eyes I was in the hospital on a drip. I had just about enough left in me to get to the finish.”

Despite fading towards the end, Eesou finished in 18th place and the team third.

He said the experience was something he still couldn’t adequately put into words.

Having learned some valuable lessons from his first experience, he said he felt confident ahead of this year’s championships, as he’d had a solid block of training in the build-up.

He will represent South Africa in both the half marathon and 10 000m and while he didn’t have high expectations for the latter, he said he hoped to shine in the longer race.

“For the 10 000m I’m just hoping to finish in the top 10, but for the half marathon I
believe, not hope, that I will finish on the
podium.”

Eesou explained that he was covering an average of 110km per week in preparation and that his training sessions were split into two per day, seven days per week.

He explained morning sessions consisted of an easy run combined with some core work, with his second session bringing up his total distance to about 20km.

He said this training regime would continue all the way through to the games.

He divided his attention between rugby and athletics during his school career, but in 2008 he gave rugby the boot to focus on his running.

The many hours spent on the road could become lonely, he admitted, but he used the time to “think about the little things”.

“I always think of my background and where I’m heading in life. That’s what really pushes me.”

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