Hard work sees humble local runner in ‘Green’ race

2017-05-31 13:45
Comrades Marathon Green Number aspirant Sandile Makhaye (43).

Comrades Marathon Green Number aspirant Sandile Makhaye (43). (Supplied)

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It has been 16 years since security guard Sandile Makhaye started running long-distance races and his dream to complete his 10th Comrades race and obtain the Green Number, could be realised this Sunday.

Makhaye, a 43-year-old father of six who hails from France in Pietermaritzburg, said he had trained hard and was confident of achieving his goal come Sunday.

To date, according to Comrades Marathon Association statistics, 12 622 athletes have earned their place on the Comrades Marathon Green Number roll of honour.

Green Number runners retain their Comrades Marathon race number in perpetuity.

They are members of an exclusive band of individuals who have experienced a special relationship with the Ultimate Human Race.

The criteria for inclusion in the Comrades Marathon Green Number Roll of Honour are three wins or five golds or 10-plus medals.

Makhaye, a security officer at Tala Collection Private Game Reserve, has a good Comrades track record, with an 18th-place finish in 2009 and 15th in 2010.

A series of injuries then caused him a massive setback and he was forced to skip several races.

With a Comrades best time of five hours and 54 minutes, Makhaye said he will not put himself under pressure by pursuing the race leaders in Sunday’s Comrades.

“I got carried away last year and I started with a high pace. By the time I reached the halfway mark I was out, so did not secure a good position.

“I am not under any pressure whatsoever this year as I have learned from the previous experience. I just want to go there and enjoy the race and take it easy,” he said.

Makhaye has also entrenched a name for himself in local marathons, winning several major races in KZN, with a best marathon time of 2:22 for a standard 42,2 km marathon.

Makhaye has been training daily in preparation for this year’s Comrades.

Makhaye’s boss, Mike Nunan, said: “He has been putting in some serious training and we are confident he will be in the silvers this year.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  comrades marathon

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