Edward Mothibi winner of the 94th Comrades Marathon on June 09, 2019 in Durban, South Africa. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ANESH DEBIKY
Edward Mothibi winner of the 94th Comrades Marathon on June 09, 2019 in Durban, South Africa. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ANESH DEBIKY

Edward Mothibi’s first act of financial prudence after winning the Comrades Marathon at the weekend is paying off the house he bought in 2018.

The 34-year-old from Mahikeng in the North West took home R500,000.

He is a family man through and through and while he was waiting his turn at the post-race briefing‚ keeping his three daughters occupied took all his attention. Even when he had his turn at the podium‚ where he was flanked by third-placed Nao Kazami and second-placed Bong’musa Mthembu‚ he still had to contend with his little ones.

SportsLIVE Podcast: Burger Hands, Miguel & the Proteas Soap Opera

The road-running sacrifice was worth it for him though‚ especially when he decided to take on Mthembu at Polly Shortts.

“I never thought I was going to win the race. Last year was my first race and this win is a bonus for me and I really appreciate that. I wanted to secure back-to-back gold. All I wanted was to finish in the top 10. My family is very happy‚” Mothibi said.

The Comrades Marathon has been needing an exciting race and that’s what Mothibi and Mthembu provided. They were happy to watch the pacemakers enjoy the glare of the television cameras before they took over at the halfway mark at Drummond.

The weather‚ which was cool in stretches‚ humid in others and warm from Camperdown onwards‚ made for an interesting and thrilling race.

The competitive field dropped out one by one as their muscles and tactics could not keep up with the pace set by Mothibi and Mthembu. It was a battle of wills‚ wiles and ultimately strength as he tested Mthembu’s resolve at Polly Shortts.

Where Mthembu was able to find a response at Little Polly’s‚ the three-time winner, who went into the race as the defending champion, was asked a question of his desire and his determination. Mthembu’s mental and physical energy reserves were inadequate and Mothibi was able to gradually pull away.

It was not a clear breakaway where Mothibi looked to be the stronger runner‚ but he seemed to have the desire to make his opportunity count.

“I remember when Bong’musa and I broke away from the guys‚ we went neck to neck. When we got to Polly’s‚ I didn’t even know we were there. I kept on going because I know Bong’musa knows the route very well. When it says 15km to go‚ Little Polly’s is nearby‚” Mothibi said.

“When I saw him pushing‚ I thought this was the end but I kept on running my splits. I saw I was closing the gap and I was still going at the same pace. I was also told at training that your last 8km is a time trial. That’s when I pushed.”