Bonmusa Mthembu sets sights on fourth Comrades Marathon title

Bonmusa Mthembu sets sights on fourth Comrades Marathon title

With the Comrades Marathon fast approaching, three-time champion Bongmusa Mthembu has welcomed the route alterations and is determined to add his fourth title.

The much-anticipated 87km ultra-marathon down-run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban is scheduled to take place on 11 June, with the Comrades Marathon Association confirming the race would finish at Kingsmead Stadium instead of Moses Mabhida Stadium this year.

"The changes to the route should have taken place a long time ago. I am not looking at the competition, but focussing on running my own race," Mthembu told SABC Sport.

"The Comrades Marathon is unpredictable, and anything can happen on race day. The focus is on the fourth title, and I am ready for the challenge."

Mthembu, who won the Ultimate Human Race in 2014, 2017, and 2018, is among the favourites to claim the R300 000 prize money once again this year as he looks to edge closer to retired marathoner Bruce Fordyce's record of nine Comrades titles.

"The preparations are going well, and I am ready for the ultra-marathon. The pressure to win the race is always there, and people look at the name," he added.

"I am in the best possible condition and working hard with my team to prepare for the Comrades. Om Die Dam gave us an indication of where we are in terms of our preparations. We are in camp now and working hard to put our final touches."

Last year’s race winner Tete Dijana and his Nedbank Running Club teammate Edward Mothibi, who won the crown in 2019, will also be challenging for the top honours.

But Mthembu, who relies solely on income from his races, is determined to get back to the top and claim the winner's cheque this year.

"I am unemployed and rely on running, and winning the race is vital for me," concluded the Arthur Ford Running Club member.