5 minutes with 2019 Comrades Marathon winner Edward Omphemetse Mothibi

Edward Omphemetse Mothibi

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.

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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.