Jama aims for a nine-hour finish

2018-05-30 06:02
Pietermaritzburg resident Tsepo Jama will betaking on his maiden ComradesMarathon and says he could not be more prepared for the June 10 event.PHOTO: supplied

Pietermaritzburg resident Tsepo Jama will betaking on his maiden ComradesMarathon and says he could not be more prepared for the June 10 event.PHOTO: supplied

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AS the countdown to this year’s Comrades Marathon continues, for novice runners it will mainly be about surviving the distance, but Tsepo Jama wants to make a good first impression.

The Maritzburg resident’s big story is one of perseverance. Despite growing up as an orphan at a home called Clouds of Hope in his home town of Underberg, he never gave up on his childhood dreams.

On June 10, Jama (24) will be running in the colours of Varsity College when the world-famous ultra-marathon takes place.

“I’ve set my sights on a nine-hour finish.

“I’m feeling quite confident that it will be within my reach,” said Jama, who qualified for the 93rd edition of the ultimate human race at the Witness Medihelp Maritzburg City Marathon.

Since losing his mother in 2002 to pneumonia, his ambitions have always been clear.

The Faith-Way College old boy wanted to do well in school and become a professional runner.

He is now doing his third year of a Bachelor of Education degree at Varsity College in Pietermaritzburg, and juggling the two hasn’t been easy as he aims to step into the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in good time for the finish.

“It is very difficult to stick to a set programme when you are studying as well, but I am happy with my progress and I’ve been doing some tedious hill runs and serious track workouts.”

His idol is none other than two-time champion Bongmusa Mthembu, who hails from Bulwer, which is not too far from his home town.

“I hope to achieve what he’s achieved, but I know I have to continue working hard,’’ he said.

Jama made a special mention of his mentor, Sandra Wukovich, a seasoned athlete from Germany who will be returning to South Africa to take part in this year’s edition.

“Sandra helps me out with a lot of things and I am really grateful,” he said.

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