Several UKZN staff members and students ran in the recent 50th Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town, taking part in the ultra and half marathon events and trail runs.
Masters in Statistics student, Ms Nina Grundlingh, said she decided to join her parents in doing the trail run this year to have fun, take time out from her books, get in touch with nature and switch off from daily commitments. Grundlingh is currently training for the 70.3 Ironman Triathlon taking place in Durban in June this year.
UKZN staff member, Mr Tony Singarum said the race, known as the world’s most beautiful marathon given its pristine natural surroundings and picturesque scenery including the iconic Table Mountain as a backdrop attracted runners from 89 countries
‘Our UKZN team was well prepared and ran some fantastic times and they look well set for the upcoming Comrades marathon on June 9th 2019. I personally found the race challenging but dug in deep to complete my 11th ultra-marathon and felt a great sense of pride and honour to represent the colours of UKZN.
‘I was particularly encouraged whilst climbing the notorious and energy-sapping mountain called Ou Kaapse Weg when I heard one of our ex-student calling my name saying “uncle Tony, you Inspire greatness “that helped me get to the top of the hill,’ added Singarum.
Researcher and recent PhD graduate Mr Mkeka Tseole says he always wanted to do the Two Oceans because it is one of the biggest road running races in Cape Town and the second largest in South Africa. Tseole sees running as a healthy lifestyle pursuit which helps relieve stress.
‘Many people think running is too challenging but you just need to start small and build up slowly,’ he said.
For Mr Sanele Mbambo taking part in the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon was preparation for his third Comrades Marathon next month. ‘This race prepares you well for the Comrades up run and has a similar atmosphere.
Mbambo said he was very happy with his performance as he achieved his target time of 4hr:55min compared to the 6hr:11min he did in 2017, earning himself a new medal.
BSc in Applied Mathematics and Physics third-year student Mr Alex Nxumalo, who took part in the half marathon, said he was beyond happy and proud about his achievement in the race. Finishing in 1hr:29min, was a big improvement for him from last year.
‘Running keeps me grounded. It structures my life so I am able to do my training and then study,’ said Nxumalo.
Words and photographs: Sithembile Shabangu