KwaDwesi artist was born to run

2018-07-25 06:02
Richard Mazungula, a gospel artist from KwaDwesi, shows off the medals he received for completing the five ultra marathons.       Photo:ANIKA DE BEER

Richard Mazungula, a gospel artist from KwaDwesi, shows off the medals he received for completing the five ultra marathons. Photo:ANIKA DE BEER

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A YEAR ago he was content just being a gospel singer and living life to the full.

Now, Richard Mazungula of KwaDwesi is arguably one of the best athletes in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The 41-year-old said he used to run in track races in high school, but it’s been years.

“Back then, people used to tell me I had talent, but I only ran for fun, not for fame. I don’t know why I started running again. It can only be God’s grace,” he explained.

His first venture back on the track was for a 5km race in Forest Hill last year and, to his great surprise, he came first. He’s been running non-stop ever since.

Since September last year, Mazungula has run almost 75 races.

He is now a proud member of the Nedbank Running Club after manager Irene van Eeden praised his talent and invited him to join.

Mazungula has astounded many racing fans by running five ultra marathons this year alone.

The first was the Amobia Bay Ultra Marathon in February, followed by the 2018 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Bruintjieshoogte Marathon.

Only four days after the Bruintjieshoogte Marathon he ran the Zwelitsha Mdantsane Ultra Marathon. The last ultra was the 2018 Comrades Marathon.

This came as a surprise to him as well as he said he never ran more than 15km races when he was younger.

“Most athletes only run one ultra year. I’ve run five this year alone and I have no pain or injuries.

“It must be God’s will.

“Some of the guys asked me if I had any help, but I don’t use any supplements or anything like that. We’re tested for those kind of things. I just like to run.”

The gospel artist, who has five albums to his name, is coached by Desmond Zibi, another local athlete who last year added the EPA marathon record to his 10km, 15km and 21km records for the 50-59 age category.

One of Mazungula’s proudest moments thus far is when he came second in the EPA Cross Country EP Championships last year.

“I took off my shoes. I was12th in line and feeling great and then I took off my shoes and ran barefoot.

“I ended up coming in second in the race.”

Less than a year in, he has already received his EP colours, as well as several awards and certificates during his time with the Nedbank Running Club.

He is currently preparing for the Nelson Mandela Bay Athletics South Africa 21.1km Championships which will take place on Saturday, July 28.

He will also be participating in the EPA Cross Country EP Championships again this year, which take place on August 4.

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