The UKZN Athletics Club recently hosted the first of three training runs to prepare for the upcoming 2018 Comrades Marathon taking place in June.

The down run route test had three different starting points with the race finishing in Howard College’s Gate 10.

The route test was attended by more than 300 KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng runners divided in three bunches of 60km, 50km and 40km.

Athletics team member and PhD Town and Regional Planning student, Mr Sanele Mbambo said the event was open to all athletes around the country.

Among those who attended were gold and silver medal recipients and well-known runners Prodigal Khumalo and Siphiwe Ndlela.

Thanking all the runners, Mbambo said: ‘Thank you for the active participation as this was never going to be successful without you. We further wish to thank our coach Mduduzi Khumulo for playing a leading role to the success of this event and incredible work on all preparations towards Comrades Marathon’

He said this was the biggest attended route test that is open to all runners. The two remaining test runs for the UKZN team will be done with Khumalo, the Club coach and Chairperson of the Phantane Athletics Club.

Wishing his teammates and all Comrades runners well, Mbambo encouraged them to enjoy but, be focussed and disciplined, stick to their training and diet, and to look after their bodies.

Going forward, the event will be held annually and Mbambo said the plan is to go big and double the standards.

Sithembile Shabangu