Marathon runner Edward Omphemetse Mothibi tells us how the lockdown has affected him and how he is keeping fit. By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
I love running because I’m really good at it. When I was 15 years old, I realised that out of all the sports I was doing, I always came first in running. I then started entering local marathons and competitions and after coming first in these competitions, I fell in love with running. Since I started running, my biggest career highlight was winning the Comrades Marathon last year.
My career as a runner continues to be a fulfilling one. I started running full marathons in 2012 and ultra-marathons in 2014. Over the years I have taken part in many running competitions including Soweto marathon, Mandela marathon, Two Oceans Marathon and the 50km World Championship in Brasov, Romania. In 2017 I joined the Nedbank Running Club. The support and guidance I receive from the coaches of the club has helped me to grow as a runner. I ran my first Comrades in 2018 where I finished in fourth place, and in 2019 I came first.
This lockdown has affected my training plans for marathons and competitions. It’s been difficult because when the year started, I came up with a training programme for the races that I wanted to prepare for, like this year’s Comrades marathon. My running plans have been affected by the lockdown and it’s hard to train when I don’t know when my next race will be. As someone who loves and enjoys running, it’s been a difficult time for me.
Training hasn’t been easy since the lockdown started but I try my best to exercise and keep fit. I’ve had to adjust my training to suit my current environment and to adhere to the lockdown restrictions. I now run around my yard for 30 minute and I also do squats, push ups and muscle building exercises. Before the lockdown, I used to normally train six days a week and do a 28 kilometer run every Wednesday, but now I’m forced to work with the space that I have. My mental strength is helping me relax, keep calm and stay positive during this difficult time.
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I’m looking forward to the time when I can run in competitions again. I urge fellow runners to continue training and live a healthy lifestyle because the lockdown will not last forever. We must all follow the rules of lockdown so we can go back to doing what we love. I can’t wait to enter a running competition again.