Leading Port Elizabeth athlete Ntombesinthu Mfunzi is prepared to push herself beyond her boundaries to crack it into the top 10 of this year’s South African half-marathon championships at Pollok Beach on Saturday.
The 34-year-old, who won the Home and Equity 10km race at the weekend, said she was well prepared for Saturday’s race.
With top female runners such as defending champs Kenyan Sheila Chesang and South African sprinters Leboganga Phalula, Cornelia Joubert and Christine Kalmer, Mfunzi – who finished fifth at this year’s Two Oceans race – she said she was up for the challenge.
“The competition is tough but I am not afraid because this year my fitness levels have improved dramatically,” she said. “I am well prepared for the race and I am willing to push myself beyond my boundaries and maybe break into the top 10.”
“I feel like I am ready for the race, because after Two Oceans I focused on short distance races so I could do better in the SA champs.
“On Saturday, I went to the Home and Equity 10km race just to test my readiness. “I was happy to run 35 minutes and 57 seconds because it shows that the target I am aiming for of one hour and 16 minutes is within my reach,” she said.
Mfunzi ran a time of 1:21:21 last year and although she was the first Eastern Cape Province female athlete to cross the finish line, the Nedbank Athletes Club runner said she was not happy with her performance.
“Things did not go the way I had hoped they would. “I was not happy with my time, so this year with my fitness levels I am confident that I will do better.
“My aim is to reach the top 10, run a sub one hour and 16 minutes and also keep the title of first EP runner to cross the finish line.”
She said the weather could play a huge part in her performance. “Last week was very windy. I could have run 34 minutes, but because of the wind I could not.
“If there is wind on Saturday then it’s going be a problem, as runners won’t be able to do fast times.”