Couple receive gold at Comrades Marathon

Nobukhosi Tshuma and Givemore Mudzinganyama and with their coach, long-distance legend Hendrick Ramaala (middle) after the race. | Supplied

Nobukhosi Tshuma and Givemore Mudzinganyama and with their coach, long-distance legend Hendrick Ramaala (middle) after the race. | Supplied

Published Jun 17, 2024


Durban — A husband and wife achieved a rare feat in last week’s running of the Comrades Marathon, both taking gold.

Givemore Mudzinganyama, 34, placed tenth in the men’s section and his wife Nobukhosi Tshuma, 31, was the fifth fastest woman finisher in her section of the event, and they both achieved gold medals for their performances.

The first 10 finishers in the men’s and women’s section of Comrades, which was run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg this year, are assured of gold medals.

The pair, who are originally from Zimbabwe, but now live in Clayview, Tembisa, made their debut at the ultramarathon and are already looking forward to next year’s event.

They credit each other for their gold medal performances.

Coming into the race, they had in mind what would be credible showings, but things went better than anticipated.

“Before we ran, we discussed how we could do well and achieve our realistic goals but we surpassed what we thought we would achieve. I am very proud of us and our success. The race was hard but we kept going, our training made it worth it,” said Tshuma.

“It was an unbelievable feeling to do so well. Compared to my husband, I was just a novice runner yet I was able to do so well, it’s because of my loving partner.”

Nobukhosi Tshuma and Givemore Mudzinganyama during training. Picture: Supplied

Tshuma said her husband drove her to her limit to bring out the best in her on race day.

She began running in 2012 as a means to lose weight and succeeded. As her weight decreased, her running speed increased, which made her more competitive.

When she started running she weighed about 105 kilograms; her current weight of 48kg helped her achieve a speedy time of 6 hours and 12 minutes.

“I only started running really fast after three years of training because of my husband at my side,” she said.

The couple met during a race in 2013.

“We enjoy running together because we understand each other and I think that's the most important thing in a relationship,” said Mudzinganyama.

“We know what we want to achieve as well and that’s part of the reason why we enjoy running together. “We train together on most days and motivate each other to do our best.”

In preparing for the Comrades, he said they put in much effort.

“At one point, we were running between 180 and 220km a week. In between, there’s one long run and a speed session, it gets us ready for every aspect of the race.”

Mudzinganyama started running at his primary school and did not look back. He stepped up his efforts to a more serious level in 2012.

“That year was when I started being more professional about running, like the way I train and the way I generally did things in running.

“I also got a coach,” said the medallist who finished last week’s run in a time of 5 hours and 37 minutes.

The couple said their three children, who are all under age 10, are showing the same enthusiasm for running as their parents.

“Anyone who is passionate about running should look to join a local running club and train with people who can give guidance,” said Tshuma.

Sunday Tribune