First Comrades for Zola Budd

2012-01-05 00:00

SOUTH African running legend Zola Budd has announced that she will be participating in the upcoming Ronnie Davel Memorial run, which she will be using to prepare for her first Comrades Marathon on June 3.

The Ronnie Davel Memorial will start and finish at Laddsworth Primary School in Hilton on January 8.

She will also be using the race as an opportunity to publicise U.S. running shoe brand Newton, for which she is the African brand ambassador.

She works closely with Mark Lee, who owns STS Sports, a sports shop at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which is an impor­ter of the brand.

“The Newton shoes are very design-specific and are perfectly suited to harsh African conditions.

“She [Budd] trained and ran most of her career barefoot, but has now settled on a brand which suits her style of running,” said Lee.

He added that Budd will be holding a number of running clinics in Durban to impart some of her experience to a younger generation.

“It’s her way of giving back to the community. She would have done it a lot sooner, but because she could not run for South Africa at the height of apartheid, she moved to Britain where she became a citizen.

“But it is good to see her now giving back to the community,” said Lee.

The clinics will be held before the Ronnie Davel Memorial on January 6 and 7.

There will also be a clinic on January 9 after the race.

In 1984, at the height of her career, Budd twice broke the world record in the women’s 5 000 metres and was the women’s winner twice at the World Cross Country Championships.

What is more remarkable about this was that she achieved this feat in less than three years.

Budd traditionally participa­ted in the 1 500 metres, 3 000 metres and 5 000 metres events as well as cross country championships, so participating in marathons and half marathons would be a new challenge for her.

“It will be a challenge for her running in her first Comrades, which is why she is coming down to KwaZulu-Natal to participate in the Ronnie Davel Memorial,” said Lee..

“She will also spend some time in the region before the Comrades in order to acclimatise for the event.”

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