MY COMRADES STORY BY HAMILTON EPHRAIM KGOMOTSO KUNGOANE #56369

A normal discussion with the guys over a few drinks turned out to be a challenge about the mind over body topic; is it the condition of the body that is more important to push an individual over the limit or is it the positive thoughts that one holds which helps the body to perform?

I got my inspiration way back in the year 2003, when Fusi Nhlapo won the Comrades Marathon in the time of 5:28:52. The jury was out as to whether Fusi was mentally or physically strong.

Talk is cheap, so let us put this to test. Out of eleven guys, only five took up the challenge; we started training and participating in local marathons – as a rookie, a 10km run is a marathon!

The challenge was to run only one Comrades Marathon so that we could have a constructive discussion about what was the key element that allowed us to finish the race. In 2005 I finished my first Comrades in the time of 10:48:35.

I still could not tell whether it was my positive thoughts or physical strength that got me over the finish line. I decided on a Back2Back and finished in the time of 10:09:52. Wow, my time was improving. With the support of my family, friends and colleagues, I ran again in 2007 and finished in a time of 09:44:55.

‘I can win this race!!’, my mind told me when I looked at my finish times. With every run there was an improvement in time. In 2008, while painting walls I fell and broke my ankle and could not run that year.

Thereafter I saw my finish times increasing until I ran and finished my tenth Comrades Marathon in a time of 11:37:15. As I was able to run 7 Comrades Marathons with an injury, I concluded that yes, the mind is powerful, it played a major role in pushing me over the finish line achieving eight bronze and two Vic Clapham medals.

What a way to prove a point! The Comrades certainly brings out the best in us.”

 The winner of this month’s Arnica Ice hamper is Hamilton Ephraim Kgomotso Kungoane.