Indulgent Send-off for UKZN Comrades Marathon Runners

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UKZN Comrades runners with the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, Mr Sello Mokoena Guest speaker and Chair of KZN Athletics, and members of executive management.

Pasta – an excellent source of complex carbohydrates- is traditionally eaten by athletes before a big race or event.

Not only does the Italian food staple provide glucose which is crucial fuel for the brain and muscles, it also provides a slow release of energy which helps improves athletic performance by delaying fatigue, thus allowing athletes to compete at higher levels for longer.

It is against this backdrop that UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, invited UKZN athletes set to partake in the 2018 Comrades Marathon to a Pasta Evening as a gesture of good fortune.

Held yesterday (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) at the MW Makgoba Administration Building, Westville campus, the event was opened by Ms Normah Zondo, Executive Director (Acting): Corporate Relations, who congratulated the UKZN athletes for their hard work in preparing for the gruelling event whilst also assuring them of the UKZN Community’s full support.

Mr Sello Mokoena, KwaZulu-Natal Athletics President and former UKZN Health Sciences Faculty Dean, thanked Dr van Jaarsveld for making time to meet the runners, adding that the gesture is a reflection of the significance of Marathon. A Comrades Marathon runner himself, Mr Mokoena said the Comrades Marathon is an event where many athletes discover who they are.

Khosi Mdladla, one of the runners said she was humbled by the Vice-Chancellor’s gesture, however adding that as the day of Marathon approaches, she feels anxious. “This will be my first Comrades Marathon and I feel happy but nervous. Running has helped me lose a lot of weight and kept my mental state healthy” she said.

Mr Tony Singarum, a UKZN member of Council and veteran Comrades runner, expressed his gratitude to the executive as well as members of staff and students who would be present on the day of the race which is schedule for Sunday, 10 June 2018. Speaking to the runners, he said, “It’s time for you to rest and focus on your mental state as well as positives. Don’t waste energy because your immune system is going to drop,” warned Mr Singarum.

Caption: UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal (third from left) mingles with UKZN runners who will participate in the 2018 Comrades Marathon during the Pasta Evening which was held on Wednesday, 6 June 2018.

Words: Nokubonga Nomasiko Jele