Mambo against the ropes at Comrades

HARARE - Road running king Marco Mambo will be running with his back against the ropes at next weekend’s Comrades Marathon after picking up a calf injury that has hampered his preparation.

The 90th edition of the race will be run on Sunday May 31, with Mambo, who finished fourth at the Comrades in 2012, joining thousands of runners attempting to win the highly acclaimed ultra marathon race.

The 44-year-old was leading at last year’s Comrades Marathon and looked destined for a win before his joy turned into despair after pulling his calf muscle at the 68km peg.

He finished the race in an ambulance whilst Bongmusa Mthembu coasted to victory.

“I can’t really explain what happened,” Mambo recalls.

“But I pulled my calf and that was it. I was put in an ambulance for immediate treatment.”

The Bindura-based athlete seemed to have fully recovered from that ordeal when he produced a startling performance to claim the second edition of the Legends' Ultra Marathon in East London on October 5 last year.

The 68km race attracted more than two thousand athletes but it was Mambo, who was a cut above the rest, breezing home in just over four hours.

Mambo returns to South Africa this week bidding to rediscover the form that see him become a house hold name in ultra marathon after claiming the Two Oceans Marathon  in 2004, 2005, and 2008.

But a re-occurring calf injury threatens to dampen his hopes.

“This year, I wanted to go for the win but I encountered a problem with my calf. It really troubled me,” he says.

“My preparation hasn’t gone according to plan. I spent about a month without training and unfortunately this is a race that needs a lot of preparation.

“I have been training long runs but it’s still troubling even now.

“Truthfully I can’t expect a win. I had actually written off taking part in the Comrades. I was looking forward to other events but I just felt I can still compete even as I am. Sometimes you may not even feel the injury during the race.”

The Comrades Marathon is the world's oldest and largest ultra marathon run over a distance of approximately 90 km between the capital of the Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, and the coastal city of Durban.

Other fleet footed athletes expected to carry the hopes of Zimbabwe at the event include Mike Fokoroni, Stephen Muzhingi, Prodigal Khumalo and Charles Chabata.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.