Sani Stagger Marathon Media Release

 No: SS1802

 10 Oct 2018

Embargo: None

Written by: Nick Tatham

Mthembu puts Sani Stagger high on priority list

Himeville - Reigning up and down Comrades Marathon champion Bongmusa Mthembu has singled out the upcoming Sani Stagger as a vital part of his build up to the 2019 Comrades Marathon when he tackles the iconic Sani Pass on Saturday, 24 November.

Mthembu is a past winner of the Sani Stagger, but had to settle for second place last year, however he says he is starting to get into the groove of his training far earlier this year than he has in the past.

"With such a short break between the Two Oceans and the Comrades this year we have already started training," the Arthur Ford athlete said.

"That means that this year's Stagger is going to be a different race because I am at a different stage of my training than I have been in the past.

"There are also going to be some really tough runners there this year, but you want good competition at tough races.

"The Stagger is one of the toughest marathons in KZN, but I am looking forward to giving it another go this year!"

The Sani Stagger takes the runners from the base of the pass to the summit and back along gravel roads which can make the going tough. Mthembu understands the intricacies of the race and has a sound race plan.

"I like to take it easy on the way up the pass because there are guys that hurt themselves going up and then have nothing left for the down section.

"I also just try and stick with the guys at the front for the first six or so kilometres on the way down then I try and up the pace.

"Running on such a rough surface can also catch guys out," he explained.

This year's Sani Stagger full and half marathons are both fully subscribed. This has a two-fold impact on the event Mthembu believes.

"Having more runners taking part should mean that the competition is going to be better and the Stagger is becoming a race that many top runner want to run because of the altitude.

"Also the race brings people into this area and the race promotes the community and helps the local people - it grows the community," he added.

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Double defending Comrades Marathon champion Bongmusa Mthembu will be hoping to go one better than the second he got in 2017 at the 2018 Sani Stagger on Saturday, 24 November. Anthony Grote/
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