UKZN Vice-Chancellor Dr Albert van Jaarsveld has sent his well wishes to all the staff, students and alumni taking part in the 92nd Comrades Marathon this Sunday.
On Wednesday evening Van Jaarsveld delivered his message at a Pasta Evening event held in the foyer of MW Makgoba Admin Building at the Westville campus.
He thanked the runners for wearing the UKZN badge proudly and for taking the time to attend the event.
‘We will be thinking about you guys on Sunday. From Executive Management and students, we will be rooting for you. I want you to go out there and have a wonderful day,’ said van Jaarsveld.
He encouraged the runners to have fun, do something they will remember and to enjoy the race while remaining a hundred percent confident that they will make it to the finish line.
Advising the runners on the Do’s and Don’ts of the race, Mr Tony Singarum, who has completed the Marathon 21 times, thanked the University for hosting the Pasta Evening. Singarum said the Pasta Evening was the first of its kind to be held in the 30 years he has been at UKZN.
He urged the runners to be alert during the race especially at the start as there will be water bottles and other plastic materials which might cause them to trip and injure themselves.
Other tips included packing their kits early and getting them ready for Sunday, buying necessities like Vaseline and plasters, ensuring they keep themselves healthy by keeping warm to avoid getting sick and to relax by avoiding standing or walking for too long especially the day before the race.
Explaining the Don’ts, Singarum advised the runners not to wear or eat anything new on race day, and not to overdrink but to “drink to thirst” as over hydration could have devastating effects on the runner .
In wishing the team well, Singarum said: ‘You are running for UKZN, enjoy the crowds on the side of the road as they play a major part in motivating you to keep going. Relax and smile whether you are in the first position or last position.
Running his first Comrades Marathon is Mr Ayanda Ndlovu who will be participating in memory of his late mother who passed away in 2014.
Ndlovu said even though he is nervous, he has prepared sufficiently for the race. He added that this has been his dream since his childhood years spent growing up in Pietermaritzburg.
‘I wish the team luck but the most important thing is to enjoy the experience and be part of a small percentage in the world to finish the race,’ said Ndlovu.
Part-time LLB student, Ms Sma Gxeyane said the challenge for her was juggling her training with work, friends, family and most of all with being a mother to her three-year-old son.
‘I love running and running the Comrades Marathon has been on my bucket list for a long time. My goal is to finish the race within the set hours,’ she said.
Gxeyane is also running to raise funds for the Community Chest to help orphaned children. With the help of her classmates, she has already raised R43 000.
Three times Comrades runner Mr Gcino Ngcobo, a Master of Medical Law student, is also on the UKZN team. He said he trained fairly well and took all the necessary health precautions to ensure that he kept his body and his immune system in good shape.
Even though this is his first up-run, the route test has left him confident that he will do well. Ngcobo’s goal is to finish the race in under seven hours.
UKZN alumnus Mr Mlungisi Ndlovu said the Comrades Marathon has instilled in him discipline and perseverance. Running the race for the seventh time, Ndlovu’s goal is to complete 10 races to get the Green Number.
Ndlovu said the down run is usually difficult as a runner loses control over their body while the up run is better.
Mr Mark Bashe from the UKZN Sport’s Department congratulated all the runners and encouraged them to join and train with the UKZN club.